This circular contains guidelines on when an applicant can be granted a residence permit to enter into marriage in Norway pursuant to the Immigration Act section 48, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 9-5.
2. General conditions
The application must be submitted in person at a Norwegian foreign service mission in the country in which the applicant is a national or where he/she has held a residence permit for the last six months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 third paragraph.
It is a condition that the sponsor is either a Norwegian or a Nordic national, a foreign national holding a permanent residence permit, a foreign national holding a permit that forms the basis for a permanent residence permit or a foreign national with collective protection, cf. the Immigration Act sections 48 and 40.
It is a condition that both parties have reached the age of 18 at the time of the decision.
It is a condition that neither of the parties are married or in a period of separation from their former spouse at the time of the decision.
At the time of the decision, neither of the parties can be in an unfinished annulment process relating to a former marriage.
It is a condition that the subsistence requirement has been documented as being met, cf. the Immigration Act section 58 cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-7 to section 10-11. For guidelines on this condition, see the Directorate of Immigration’s (UDI) circular on the subsistence requirement.
3. Documentation that there are no impediments to marriage
In addition to the documents that are required in connection with an application for family immigration, the applicant must submit an original certificate of non-impediment to marriage or an original confirmation of marital status issued by the applicable official authority in his/her home country.impediment The document must be issued in accordance with ordinary procedures in the applicant’s home country. For countries that have not ratified the Haag Convention of 5 October 1961, the Norwegian Tax Administration requires legalisation of the document for testing the marriage conditions. The legalisation must be carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country, as legalisation carried out by the applicant’s home country’s embassy in Norway is not accepted.
It is the National Population Register, organised under the Norwegian Tax Administration, that confirms whether the conditions for entering into marriage in Norway are met. A permit cannot be granted if it is unlikely that a certificate verifying that the conditions for marriage are met will be issued.
The sponsor’s marital status shall be checked by the Central Population Register. If, at the time of the decision, the sponsor is registered as married or separated in the population register, the application must be rejected.
4. It must be substantiated that the parties intend to enter into marriage in Norway
It follows from the preparatory works and established practice that it must be substantiated that the parties intend to enter into marriage in Norway before the expiry of the permit’s period of validity.
The following factors may be relevant to this assessment:
- how well the parties know each other
- the parties’ prior relationship
- whether a date has been set for the marriage
- whether specific plans have been made for the wedding
- whether the sponsor has previously been a sponsor in corresponding cases without a marriage having been entered into.
The application must be rejected if it is stated by one or both parties or otherwise indicated by information in the case that the intention of the application is to ‘test the relationship’ etc. The application must also be rejected if the relationship between the applicant and the sponsor would not be deemed to be sufficiently established for the applicant to be granted a visitor’s visa.
5. Other conditions
5.1. The authenticity of the marriage
It must be considered highly probable that the parties intend to enter into marriage with a view to leading a genuine family life in Norway. The application must be rejected if it seems most likely that the primary purpose of the marriage is for the applicant to establish grounds for residence in Norway. It is clear from the preparatory works to the Act that the authenticity of the engagement must be taken into consideration, see Proposition No 75 to the Odelsting.
5.2. No likelihood of domestic abuse or gross exploitation of the applicant
An application must be rejected if there is information to indicate that it is likely that the applicant will be abused or grossly exploited in the relationship, cf. the Immigration Act section 48 first paragraph cf. the Immigration Act section 40 fourth paragraph.
5.3. Probability of the applicant leaving norway if the family immigration permit is rejected after his/her arrival
It follows from the Immigration Regulations section 9-5 third paragraph that, when assessing whether a permit should be granted, emphasis shall be placed on the likelihood of the applicant leaving Norway if his/her application for continued residence is rejected.
In connection with such assessment, a concrete individual assessment of the applicant’s return conditions must be made, and general conditions can also be emphasised. The following factors will have particular bearing on the assessment:
- whether the applicant comes from a country from which many asylum seekers come or from a country with great emigration potential,
- whether the applicant has previously overstayed his/her visa or applied for asylum,
- whether there is a realistic possibility of forceful return to the applicant’s home country,
- whether the applicant has family or financial commitments in his/her home country,
- whether members of the applicant’s close family have emigrated.
The list is not exhaustive.
6. The content and duration of the permit
The permit is issued with a duration of up to six months, cf. the Immigration Act section 48 first paragraph. If the sponsor holds a permit of a shorter duration, the duration of the applicant’s permit will be the same.
The permit cannot form the basis for a permanent residence permit, nor can it be extended or renewed, cf. the Immigration Act section 48 second paragraph.
After the parties have entered into marriage, the applicant may apply from Norway for a new residence permit as a spouse pursuant to the Immigration Act section 40, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 seventh paragraph. Such application should be submitted no later than one month before expiry of the granted permit.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of department
Contact: The Managed Migration Department, Section for Family Immigration