To start page
  • Use of cookies
  • Archive
  • Sitemap
  • Contact
  • Print
  • Print
  • Change text size
Norsk

UDI circulars

RS 2010-118
Document-ID : RS 2010-118
Case-ID : 09/2039-32, 17/02984
Last modified : 25.08.2017
Documentdate : 01.01.2010
Receiver :

The Managed Migration Department
Chiefs of Police
The foreign service missions

Requirement for means of subsistence as a condition for being granted a family immigration permit – the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 and 10-11; cf. the Immigration Act Chapter 6


1. Introduction

With these guidelines, the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will provide an overview of the most important provisions relating to the subsistence requirement in family immigration cases, and how they should be applied in practice. The provisions on the subsistence requirement are based on the Immigration Act Section 58 and the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 and 10-11. The guidelines must be read in conjunction with the provisions of the Regulations and applicable instructions.

The guidelines apply to both first-time applications and applications for renewal; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-20.

The guidelines do not apply to applications pursuant to the EEA regulations.

Nor do the guidelines apply to the subsistence requirement in other applications pursuant to the Immigration Act, for example applications considered pursuant to the Immigration Act Section 38 or Section 53. For these applications, the subsistence requirement shall be assessed in relation to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-7.

In this circular, the term ‘reference person’ means the person with whom the applicant wishes to be reunited or to establish family life in Norway; cf. the definition provided in the Immigration Act Section 39.

The UDI has prepared checklists for each individual country that show what documents must be submitted together with applications for family immigration. Reference is made to our website for more information about the checklists: http://www.udi.no/.

2. The subsistence requirement

The subsistence requirements entails that, as a rule, the person applying for family immigration must be provided for by the reference person.

The subsistence requirement is three-fold and sets out requirements for

  • the reference person’s future income; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8
  • the reference person’s previous income; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9
  • that the reference person has not received financial support under the Social Services Act in the last 12 months before a permit is granted; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-10.

3. The size of the subsistence requirement

The subsistence requirement is set to 88 % of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees; cf. the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-8. It is the gross income that forms the basis for assessing whether the requirement is met.

For the assessment of previous income, the amount shall equal 88% of salary grade 19 at the applicable rate in the relevant income year. It is the taxable, gross income as it appears in the information from the tax authorities that is given emphasis when assessing the requirement. 

For the assessment of future income, the amount shall equal 88% of salary grade 19 at the time of the decision. For the assessment of previous income, the amount shall equal 88 % of salary grade 19 at the applicable rate of the relevant income year. This means that the requirement for previous income can differ from the requirement for future income, as the rates are normally adjusted every year.

Reference is made to the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation’s website for an overview of the pay scale for Norwegian state employees: http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/kmd.html?id=504.

If the application concerns family immigration with the same reference person for more than one person over the age of 18, an additional amount is required per person. The addition does not apply to applicants under the age of 18 for whom the reference person will receive child benefit. The addition is equivalent to the child benefit rate for one child. The amount is specified in Appendix 1 to this circular. This addition will also apply when family members apply and are granted residence permits at different times, as long as there are still more family members in the household.

4. Future income

4.1. General information about future income

The requirement for future income is regulated by the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8. When assessing whether the requirement for future income is met, the immigration authorities can only consider the sources of income mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph (a)–(e). The subsistence requirement can be met through a combination of the sources of income mentioned in (a)–(e).

The income must be assured for the period specified in the application. The UDI must therefore, in each individual case, consider the duration of the reference person’s ability to support the applicant. For permits that are valid for more than a year, it is, as a rule, sufficient that the subsistence requirement is documented as being met for the first year of the permit’s period of validity.

4.2. Who can meet the requirement for future income?

In principle, it is the reference person who must meet the requirement for future income. In some cases, income from other persons than the reference person can also be taken into account.

4.2.1. The applicant’s income, when the applicant is lawfully employed in Norway

If the applicant is lawfully employed in Norway, his/her income shall also be taken into account; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 third paragraph (a).

See 4.3 for documentation requirements.

4.2.2. The applicant’s income, when the reference person is in education

If the reference person is undergoing higher education (university college or university) or tertiary vocational education, the applicant’s income shall also be taken into account. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 third paragraph (b). This means that the subsistence requirement can be assured through a combination of the applicant’s and the reference person’s income, if they have sufficient funds combined. It is a condition that both parties have reached the age of 23. The reference person must have earned at least 60 credits and must still be a student in order for the applicant’s income to be taken into account. If the reference person is undergoing tertiary vocational education, he/she must have completed at least one year of the nominal length of study.

In this context, tertiary vocational education means a study programme at a higher level than upper secondary school that is approved by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). An overview of tertiary vocational study programmes in Norway is available at: http://www.nokut.no/no/Fakta/Databaser-og-oversikter/Godkjente-fagskoletilbud/.

When assessing the applicant’s income, the UDI can only consider income as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph. If the reference person is undergoing education as mentioned above, an offer of employment to the applicant can therefore be included in future income.

See 4.3 for documentation requirements.

4.2.3. Financial guarantee from a person other than the reference person (third-party guarantee)

A financial income guarantee furnished by another person than the reference person (known as a third-party guarantee) cannot, as a rule, be used in connection with applications for family immigration.

The Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 third paragraph (c) provides for the possibility of exemption from this rule, but such exemption cannot be granted in connection with applications for a residence permit for spouses, cohabitants or for the purpose of entering into marriage in Norway, pursuant to the Immigration Act Sections 40, 41 or 48.

The reference person’s spouse or cohabitant’s income can be accepted as a means of assuring subsistence for the following groups:

  • Children with only one parent in Norway; cf. the Immigration Act Section 42 second paragraph
  • Single elderly parents; cf. the Immigration Act Section 46
  • Parents on a short-term visit; cf. the Immigration Act Section 47
  • Dependent children, cf. the Immigration Act Section 49, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 9-7 (b), when they apply together with a parent (who applies pursuant to the Immigration Act Sections 40 or 41).

Following a concrete assessment, we may also accept that other persons who are part of the reference person’s household furnish a financial guarantee in cases as mentioned above. For example, we may accept a financial guarantee from the reference person’s siblings in connection with an application from a single elderly parent (cf. the Immigration Act Section 46) or parents who apply for a residence permit for the purpose of visiting children in Norway (cf. the Immigration Act Section 47).

It is not possible to meet the subsistence requirement through a combination of the reference person’s income and a third-party guarantee (meaning income from a person other than the reference person).

Requirements of the person furnishing a financial guarantee

The person furnishing a financial guarantee (third-party guarantee) must present a written declaration confirming that he/she undertakes to guarantee the applicant’s subsistence; see Appendix 2.

In principle, the person furnishing a financial guarantee is not required to document previous income; cf. the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-9 and 10-10. If there is doubt about whether the income will be permanent or of a sufficient scope, the UDI may nonetheless demand that the guarantor documents that he/she has had income over time. In order to substantiate future income as described in point 4.1, the UDI may therefore demand that the person furnishing the financial guarantee also documents previous income. Unless previous income has been documented in accordance with the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 first paragraph, the UDI will carry out a concrete, individual assessment of whether the person’s earning ability is certain enough.

It is only the sources of income mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph (a)–(e) that can form the basis for a financial guarantee from a third party. For a third-party guarantor who receives retirement or disability pension, the provision in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 second paragraph will not apply. This means that the income of the person furnishing a third-party guarantee must as a minimum correspond to the amount equivalent to 88 % of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, as mentioned in point 3, also for recipients of retirement or disability pension.

4.3. What types of means are deemed to be future income?

Below is an overview of what types of means are deemed to be future income within the meaning of the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph (a)–(e), and how these means shall be documented.

4.3.1. Income from employment

Future income can be assured through income from employment. Income from employment shall be documented in the form of an employment contract or corresponding documentation that shows the pay level and the duration and scope of the employment relationship. Pay sheets/pay slips that show income for the last three months must also be presented.

In cases where the applicant’s income shall be taken into account, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 third paragraph (a) and (b), the income shall be documented in the same way as the reference person’s income. An offer of employment must show the start date, the scope and duration of the work and the pay level. The UDI may ask for a statement from the employer on the employment offer.

The UDI does not require that a permanent employment relationship exists. If the employment relationship is of a shorter duration than the period applied for, the UDI must assess the probability of the employment relationship being extended.

Temporary employment relationships etc.

In the event of temporary employment relationships or positions that do not last for the duration of the period applied for, or when there are indications that the employment relationship may cease, the UDI can ask for a statement from the employer of the probability of the employment relationship being extended, and the assumed duration of the extension.

If the income is assured through on-call work or short-term temporary positions through a temporary staff recruitment agency, uncertainty may be attached to the future income. Also in such cases, the UDI may ask for a statement from the employer concerning the probability that the same income will be maintained in the time ahead. We can take into account whether the person in question has had income over time that meets the minimum requirement through the same type of employment relationships and/or whether the work is in a sector where we know that the use of on-call work and temporary positions is common. Based on this information, we must make an assessment of whether it is probable that the income will stay at the same level for the whole period the application concerns.

Sole proprietorships and other types of enterprises

If documentation has been provided that the reference person is a self-employed person with a sole proprietorship, the UDI will consider the profit or taxable income as income from employment. The UDI will assess whether it is probable that the requirement for future income will be met. This assessment is made on the basis of the most recent tax settlement, last year’s income statement and updated information about income and expenses. A statement from an authorised accountant can also be enclosed.

If the reference person has income from other forms of enterprises, the UDI requires documentation that a salary has been drawn from the enterprise. Income from employment shall be documented through accounts, and, if necessary, the most recent tax settlement and bank statements that, over time, show that a salary has been drawn from the enterprise. The UDI shall explain that all information on the bank statement other than entries that show the receipt of income can be blanked out. A statement from an accountant may be required. If the enterprise was recently established, the UDI can request to see the VAT return and a transcript of the most recent trial balance.

4.3.1.1. When there is doubt about the authenticity of the employment relationship

If there is doubt about whether the income is genuine, the UDI may ask for bank statements that over time show the payment of wages from the employer. The UDI shall explain that all information on the bank statement other than entries that show the receipt of income can be blanked out.

The UDI may obtain documentation that the employment relationship is registered in the employer and employee register (the AA register) and receive information about the reference person’s work history. Data from this register may be lacking due to the updating frequency, however, or due to the employer’s lack of reporting. Therefore, a lack of documentation in the AA register may be, but is not necessarily, an indication of confusion surrounding the employment relationship.

The UDI may also demand to see documentation that the employer has deducted tax withholdings.

The UDI or the police may, on their own initiative, call in the reference person and/or the reference person’s employer for an interview, or carry out other investigations of the employment relationship, if there is reason to doubt the authenticity of an employment relationship or if the pay seems to be inconsistent with the reference person’s duties. Examples of cases where such investigations are relevant are cases where there is reason to question the enterprise’s ability to pay the stated pay to the reference person. In such cases, it may be relevant to ask to see documentation of the employer’s financial situation.

The police can carry out an inspection of the workplace to check whether the employment relationship is genuine.

4.3.2. Benefits under the National Insurance Act, pensions and other fixed periodic benefits

Future income can be assured through benefits under the National Insurance Act as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph (b), and through pensions and other fixed periodic benefits; see the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph (c).

The benefits mentioned in Section 10-8 first paragraph (b) are:

  • sickness benefit
  • pregnancy benefit
  • parental benefit
  • disability pension or retirement pension under the National Insurance Act

Other benefits under the National Insurance Act than those mentioned above cannot be reckoned as future income.

Examples of benefits deemed to be sources of income pursuant to (c) include:

  • interest income and income from insurance settlements
  • early-retirement pension (AFP)/ private pension schemes
  • payments from life insurance schemes
  • rental income

In order for a benefit to be reckoned as future income, it is normally a requirement that the benefit is of a permanent nature. The UDI must therefore consider both the size and the duration of the benefit.

If the income consists of benefits under the National Insurance Act as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 first paragraph (b), this must be documented in the form of a certificate or a decision from the relevant authority that shows the duration and scope of the benefit, and the three last pay slips from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV).

Income from pensions and other fixed periodic benefits must be documented correspondingly.

If the income consists of rental income, this must be documented in the form of lease(s) and account transfers. Rental income liable to tax must be documented in the form of tax settlements that show that the rental income has been reported to the tax authorities. If the rental income is not liable to tax, this must be documented.

If the rental relationship was recently established, it can be documented in the form of a deposit account in addition to leases and account transfers.

Examples of benefits that are not deemed to be sources of income:

  • work assessment allowance
  • unemployment benefit
  • housing allowance
  • child benefit, child maintenance, cash-for-care benefit, transitional benefit
  • benefits under the Social Services Act
  • dividend

4.3.3. Introduction benefit

Introduction benefit under the Introduction Act (Act of 4 July 2003 No 80) can be regarded (included) as future income. Such benefit must be documented in the form of a decision on introduction benefit from the municipality. The documentation must show how long the benefit will be paid, and transcripts must be enclosed of the payments for the last three months. Other benefits paid by the municipality in connection with introduction programmes, but that are not paid under the Introduction Act, are not deemed to be means of subsistence.

4.3.4. Student loans or grants

Student loans or grants from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen) can be regarded (included) as future income. Such funds must be documented in the form of a decision letter from Lånekassen.

4.3.5. Retirement pension and disability pension

The requirement for future income can be met through retirement pension and disability pension that at least corresponds to the full minimum pension at the high rate under the National Insurance Act Chapter 19. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 second paragraph. A full minimum pension requires a 40-year insurance period or more. It is a requirement that the benefit is permanent.

Any child supplements and other pension supplements reserved for children or granted to cover special needs, and supplements that lapse because a permit is granted to a family member, cannot be reckoned as sources of income.

Persons who do not receive retirement pension corresponding to this rate because of a short period of residence in Norway can be granted a supplementary benefit to make up the amount of minimum pension under the Act on Supplementary Benefits. This group will not be covered by the future income exemption under the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 second paragraph.

5. Previous income

5.1. General information about previous income

The requirement for previous income is regulated by the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9. If a requirement for future income applies and this requirement is met by the reference person, the reference person must, as a rule, also meet the requirement for previous income.

In cases where the applicant meets the requirement for future income alone, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 third paragraph (a) or (b), previous income is not required. If the reference person and the applicant together meet the requirement for future income, the reference person alone must meet the requirement for previous income.

It is also a requirement that the reference person has maintained a satisfactory level of income in the period after the tax settlement or confirmation from the tax authorities of reported income has been presented; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 first paragraph second sentence. When the reference person works in a permanent full-time position and has had the same employer from the last tax settlement until documentation of future income is presented, it is not necessary to document that a satisfactory level of income has been maintained.

In the assessment of previous income, all taxable income will count as means subsistence, regardless of the type of income. It is taxable income before any deductions that counts in the assessment of previous income (sum of income; cf. item 3.1.14 in the tax settlement).

The reference person’s previous income shall be documented by a transcript of the last tax settlement and/or tax return/preliminary tax settlement from the tax authorities if the tax settlement is not yet available.

The UDI also has electronic access to the information about income in the tax settlement and to information about the income reported to the tax authorities (certificates of pay and tax deducted); see the Immigration Act Section 84, cf. the Immigration Regulations Sections 17-7a to 17-7f. We do not give emphasis to certificates of pay and tax deducted submitted by the applicant or reference person themselves.

5.2. Time period for assessment of previous income

At the turn of each year, the time period for assessing previous income will in principle change. From the date on which the UDI gains electronic access to certificates of pay and tax deducted from the tax authorities, we can assess previous income based on income reported to the tax authorities for the preceding year.

We do not gain access to the certificates of pay and tax deducted until 20 January at the earliest, however, and it will vary from person to person how early this information becomes available to us electronically, and thereby how early it is possible for us to use the income from the preceding year as a basis until a new tax settlement becomes available.

For persons with multiple employment relationships, we will not have an overview of the sum of their income until the reported income has been registered from all the employers. Until we gain electronic access to all information about the preceding year’s income, the assessment of previous income will be based on the income from the last tax settlement, unless the income that has been reported already is high enough to meet the requirement.

It is also important to be aware that the sum of income that is assumed to constitute previous income may also consist of income that will not be stated on the certificates of pay and tax deducted, and that the immigration authorities will not have electronic access to information about such income until the tax settlement becomes available. In such cases, it will also be necessary to assess the income from the last tax settlement, unless the income that is stated on certificates of pay and tax deducted is sufficient in itself.

For reference persons who do not receive certificates of pay and tax deducted, for example because they are self-employed, the UDI will not have electronic access to information about their income for the preceding year until the tax settlement becomes available. However, the reference person and the applicant may submit the tax return with the necessary attachments (income statement etc.) in order to have the income for the preceding year assessed before the tax assessment is available.

5.3. Previous income through work abroad

If the reference person is a Norwegian or Nordic national or holds a permanent residence permit and has previously had paid work abroad, the requirement for previous income can be met through the income earned abroad. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 second paragraph.

Paid work abroad must be documented in the form of an employment contract and/or confirmation from the employer, pay sheets and, if relevant, the last tax settlement from the country in which the work was carried out. The income must correspond to 88 % of salary grade 19.

It will not be taken into account that the pay level may be lower than in Norway. For persons who have received income both abroad and in Norway during the period that forms the basis for the last tax settlement, both the income earned abroad and the income earned in Norway will be taken into account, and the condition for previous income will be deemed to be met if the total income corresponds to the minimum requirement.

5.4. Exemption from the requirement for previous income

An exemption will be granted from the requirement for previous income if the reference person:

  • has been a full-time student and taken higher education in Norway or abroad or taken tertiary vocational education in Norway;
  • has completed compulsory military or civilian service;
  • has had a registered net wealth of more than NOK 1 million in the last two tax settlements;
  • receives retirement pension;
  • receives permanent disability pension;
  • holds a permit as a skilled worker pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-1 first paragraph or as a self-employed person pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-18;
  • holds a permit that cannot form the basis for a permanent residence permit and is as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 9-6.

This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph (a)–(f).

Reference persons covered by the exemption provision in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph are not required to have maintained a satisfactory level of income in the period after the tax settlement; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 first paragraph last sentence.

5.4.1. Higher education

In order to be covered by the exemption from the requirement for previous income because the reference person has taken higher education in Norway or abroad, the reference person must have earned at least 60 credits or the equivalent. If the reference person has taken a Norwegian tertiary vocational education (see point 4.2.2), the education must correspond to one year of the nominal length of study. Furthermore, it is a requirement that the reference person is a Norwegian or Nordic national or holds a permanent residence permit.

The applicant must present documentation from the university college or university that shows how many credits or equivalent the reference person has earned, and during what period. If the reference person has taken tertiary vocational education, the applicant must present documentation from the technical college that shows whether the education corresponds to the nominal length of study.

The requirement for previous income cannot be met through a combination of part-time studies and previous income. This means that the completion of a part-time study programme worth 30 credits will not constitute an exemption for half of the previous income.

In cases where the reference person is a student but is on parental leave, this period will be deemed to be equivalent to the earning of credits corresponding to the normal progress.

During what period must the education have been taken?

The higher education/tertiary vocational education must have been taken during the period from 1 January to 31 December the year before the application is considered.

If the reference person has completed a programme at a university college or university in the year preceding the year his/her application is considered, and he or she has earned at least 60 credits in the last academic year he/she studied, the exemption pursuant to this provision will also apply. The exemption applies regardless of when in the year the applicant completed his/her studies, as long as parts of it were taken in the tax assessment year concerned. The same applies if the reference person has taken a tertiary vocational education.

This means, for example, that, if an application for a residence permit is submitted in February 2014 and the reference person completed a nursing degree within the nominal length of study in June 2013, an exemption will be granted from the requirement for previous income as long as the application is considered by 31 December 2014. If, due to the case processing time, the application is not considered until 2015 and the reference person was not a student in 2014, the exemption will no longer apply and the requirement for previous income must be met.

The exemption also applies to students who complete 60 credits (one academic year) without this being part of a longer course of study, if the 60 credits were earned in the course of an academic year that ends or is completed in the tax assessment year concerned.

5.4.2. National service

An exemption is granted from the requirement for previous income if the reference person has completed military service or compulsory civilian service. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph (b).

In order to be covered by this exemption, the reference person must have completed military or civilian service during the period from 1 January to 31 December the year before the application is considered. The exemption also applies in cases where the reference person has completed the military or civilian service in the course of the year concerned, as long as parts of the service were served during the year.

The applicant must present documentation that the reference person has completed the military or civilian service during the period concerned.

5.4.3. Wealth

An exemption is granted from the requirement for previous income if the reference person has had a registered net wealth of more than NOK 1 million in the last two tax settlements. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph (c). In order to be covered by this exemption, the reference person must be over the age of 23.

In order for an exemption from the requirement for previous income to be granted pursuant to this provision, the reference person must present tax settlements or tax certificates for the last two years.

5.4.4. Disability pension and retirement pension

Reference persons who meet the requirement for future income pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 second paragraph through retirement pension or disability pension are exempt from the requirement for previous income. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph (d).

6. Benefits under the Social Services Act

The subsistence requirement also sets as a condition for being granted a permit that the reference person has not received financial support under the Social Services Act in the past twelve months before a permit is granted. This is regulated by the Immigration Regulations Section 10-10.

The UDI must therefore consider whether this condition is met at the time of the decision. The UDI can obtain this information from NAV under the legal authority of the Immigration Act Section 84 first paragraph (d); cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 17-7d.

Self-declaration

If the reference person has a gross income of more than NOK 300,000, the reference person can declare that he/she has not received benefits under the Social Services Act (see Appendix 3 for the self-declaration form). This condition is described in more detail in instructions issued by the then Ministry of Justice and the Police; GI 2011-009.

In cases where it is not possible for the reference person to present such a self-declaration, the reference person must present a confirmation from his/her local NAV office that he/she has not received this type of benefit during the period concerned.

Exemption:

An exemption can be granted from this requirement pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-10 (a) and (b) second sentence in the following cases:

  • the benefit was paid pending National Insurance benefits as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8;
  • the benefit was paid pending housing allowance;
  • the benefit was paid to a reference person who at the same time received benefits under the Introduction Act.

The term housing allowance as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-10 (a) refers to housing allowance paid pursuant to the Act relating to the Norwegian State Housing Bank.

7. Exemption from the subsistence requirement

Some applicants are exempt from all parts of the subsistence requirement. These exemptions are regulated in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 fourth paragraph, cf. fifth paragraph.

In point 5.3, we have outlined cases subject to a requirement for future income, but where the requirement for previous income does not apply; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph.

Below, we give a presentation of the most important categories of applicants who are exempt from the whole subsistence requirement.

7.1. The reference person is a refugee

The subsistence requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for family immigration pursuant to Chapter 6 when the reference person holds a residence permit pursuant to the Immigration Act Section 28 (refugee status) or the Immigration Act Section 34 (collective protection), or has been granted a permanent residence permit on the basis of such a permit. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 fourth paragraph (a) and (c).

The exemption pursuant to this provision applies in cases where the applicant is the reference person’s spouse, cohabitant or child (pursuant to the Immigration Act Sections 40, 41 or 42 first and second paragraphs.)

As regards spouses, it is a condition that the marriage was entered into before the reference person came to Norway. If the marriage was entered into after the reference person came to Norway, the applicant is not covered by this exemption from the subsistence requirement.

The one-year deadline

In order to be granted exemption from the subsistence requirement pursuant to this provision, it is in principle a condition that the application was submitted within one year of the reference person being granted a residence permit; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 fifth paragraph.

In special cases, exemptions can be granted from the one-year deadline if the applicant was prevented from submitting an application due to circumstances beyond the applicant’s control. An example of such factors is where the reference person and the applicant have not been able to contact each other because they have not known each other’s whereabouts.

In order for an exemption to be granted from the one-year deadline due to factors beyond the applicant’s control, the application must be submitted within one year of the circumstances that have prevented the applicant from submitting an application earlier ceasing to exist. This means that, if the applicant has been prevented from contacting the reference person, the application must be submitted within one year of the date when the applicant and the reference person re-established contact with each other.

When is the application deemed to have been submitted?

When electronic applications are used, the application will normally be deemed to have been submitted when the applicant appears in person at the foreign service mission and submits the cover letter and the other documents that must be enclosed with the application. This means that, in the assessment of whether the one-year deadline for exemption from the subsistence requirement is met, it is the date on which the applicant appeared at the foreign service mission that shall be used as a basis. Sometimes, the application will have been registered online within the one-year deadline, but the date on which the applicant appears at the foreign service mission will be after the one-year deadline. In such cases, the UDI must consider whether the late appearance is due to circumstances beyond the applicant’s control. An example of circumstances beyond the applicant’s control is if there was a long waiting time to book an appointment at the foreign service mission. The late appearance will then be due to circumstances on the part of the immigration administration. In such cases, we will look at the date on which the application was registered online in our assessment of whether the one-year deadline was met. If, on the other hand, the applicant failed to have all the documents ready and therefore had to ask for a new or postponed appointment, this will not be deemed to constitute circumstances beyond the applicant’s control.

If an application that was submitted within the one-year deadline is rejected on formal grounds under the Immigration Act Section 56, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-1 or 10-2, because the application was not submitted correctly, a new application (if one is submitted) must also be submitted within the one-year deadline in order for an exemption to be granted from the subsistence requirement pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 fourth paragraph (a) and (c). If a new application in such cases is registered online, the application will be deemed to have been submitted in time if the date on which the application was registered online is within a year of the date on which the reference person was granted a permit.

7.2. The reference person is under the age of 18

The subsistence requirement does not apply when the reference person is under the age of 18. The legal authority for this exemption is the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 fourth paragraph (d). It is the reference person’s age at the time of application that is the cut-off point for the 18-year limit.

7.3. The applicant is a child under the age of 15 without care persons in his/her home country

The subsistence requirement does not apply if the applicant is a child under the age of 15 without care persons in his/her home country. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 10-8 fourth paragraph (e), and is specified in more detail in instructions issued by the then Ministry of Justice and the Police; GI 2011-008.

It is the applicant’s age at the time of application that is the cut-off point for the 15-year limit.

Who can be defined as care persons is defined in GI 2011-008.

8. Exemption from the subsistence requirement – particularly strong humanitarian considerations

If weighty grounds so indicate, exemptions can be granted from the subsistence requirement due to particularly strong humanitarian considerations; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-11 first paragraph.

Instructions from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has issued several instructions for cases where the UDI should or may grant exemptions from the subsistence requirement pursuant to this provision:

  • Instructions GI 2012-008 set out guidelines for cases in which the UDI may grant exemption from the subsistence requirement pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-11, including cases where the applicant and the reference person have a child together who is a Norwegian or Nordic national.
  • Instructions GI 2010-030 provide guidelines for the interpretation of this provision in cases where the applicant is a child born in Norway.
  • Instructions GI 2011-007 apply to cases where the reference person holds a residence permit as a student or a researcher with own funds, and regulate the possibility of including own funds in the calculation of the subsistence requirement in such cases.
  • Instructions GI 2012-001 concern cases where the applicant is the family member of a foreign national who is granted a permit pursuant to Section 8-10 (Norwegian parent at the time of birth), and the possibility of granting exemption from the requirement for previous income in such cases.

Whether the UDI should grant an exemption in the case will be based on a concrete overall assessment. In its application of these instructions, the UDI must consider the objective of the subsistence requirement and the objective of the individual guidelines. The consideration of counteracting forced marriage will be a consideration that indicates that no exemption should be granted from the subsistence requirement. It is important to note that some of the instructions entail that exemption is granted from the subsistence requirement as a whole, while others only entail exemption from the requirement for previous income.

8.1. Assessment of particularly strong humanitarian considerations

The UDI must make a concrete overall assessment to determine whether particularly strong humanitarian considerations exist within the meaning of the Immigration Regulations. The UDI must consider humanitarian considerations in relation to immigration control considerations.

As a rule, exemptions will not be granted from the subsistence requirement in the following cases:

  • when the applicant was staying illegally in Norway at the time of marriage
  • when the applicant is in Norway waiting for his/her asylum application to be decided
  • when the applicant is visiting Norway
  • when a marriage of convenience is suspected
  • when there is doubt about the applicant’s identity

The provision is intended as a restrictive exemption provision to address special cases in which rejecting a residence permit application because the subsistence requirement is not met would be clearly unreasonable.

In general, it takes less for an exemption to be granted from the subsistence requirement if it is only the requirement for previous income that is not met.

Key factors in the assessment of whether strong humanitarian considerations exist may be:

  • that material obstacles prevent the family from living together in another country
  • health-related factors
  • connection to Norway
  • the best interests of the child

The above-mentioned factors must not be read as conditions or as an exhaustive list of factors of importance. Also other factors may be relevant in an assessment of whether ‘particularly strong humanitarian considerations’ exist. An overall assessment must always be made in each individual case.

8.1.1. Material obstacles to living together as a family

A key factor in the assessment of whether particularly strong humanitarian considerations exist is whether material obstacles prevent the family from living together in another country. Whether there is a risk of persecution in the country where the family may settle together will therefore be relevant. Whether the break-up of the family was voluntary and how strong the parties’ connection is to Norway are also of importance. Furthermore, it may be relevant to look at how long the relationship has lasted and whether the parties have joint children.

8.1.2. Health-related factors

Health-related factors on the part of the applicant may be emphasised in a concrete overall assessment of whether particularly strong humanitarian considerations exist.

In order for an applicant’s illness to form the basis for granting an exemption from the subsistence requirement, it must normally concern an acute, life-threatening illness. By ‘acute’ is meant that it is of decisive importance that the illness is treated in the course of a relatively short time. ‘Life-threatening’ means that the person risks dying if treatment is not initiated soon.

In the case of mental illness, the applicant must suffer from a ‘serious mental disorder’ in order for mental illness in itself to form the basis for granting an exemption from the subsistence requirement. A ‘serious mental disorder’ means that the applicant must, in principle, have a mental disorder that means that he or she is psychotic or another mental disorder of a degree of severity comparable to psychosis. This will typically concern serious psychiatric diagnoses like schizophrenia, manic depression, paranoid psychosis and serious personality disorders.

If the applicant has access to adequate treatment services in his/her home country, the fact that the applicant suffers from an acute, life-threatening illness will not in itself be enough to grant an exemption from the subsistence requirement. If the applicant has access to adequate treatment in his/her home country, emphasis should nonetheless be given to whether the applicant has started a treatment programme in Norway that it would not be advised to interrupt.

Health-related circumstances must be documented in the form of a medical certificate that meets the requirements set out in the Regulations concerning requirements for health personnel’s certificates, declarations etc.; see Section 4 of these Regulations.

Although health problems in themselves are not sufficient to grant an exemption, such considerations may nonetheless be relevant in an overall assessment in which other individual circumstances exist that together warrant granting an exemption from the subsistence requirement.

Health-related factors on the part of the reference person

If it is the reference person who is ill, and he or she is not permanently disabled, this is not in itself sufficient to grant an exemption pursuant to this provision. Other individual circumstances must exist that also warrant granting an exemption from the subsistence requirement.

The consideration of disabled reference persons has been taken into account by lowering the requirement for future income, so that the subsistence requirement can be met through a full minimum pension at the high rate (see point 4.3.5), and exemption is granted from the requirement for previous income; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-9 third paragraph (d). In principle, there is no basis for granting exemptions from the subsistence requirement pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-11 for reference persons who are disabled and receive less than this rate or who receive supplementary benefits; cf. point 4.3.5. Other individual circumstances must exist that also warrant granting an exemption from the subsistence requirement and that set the applicant apart from others in the same situation.

8.1.3. Connection to Norway

If the applicant has a special connection to Norway, this may be relevant in the assessment of whether there are grounds for granting an exemption from the subsistence requirement. The connection to Norway can be established through a qualified residence period or Norwegian children.

That the applicant has Norwegian children does not constitute sufficient humanitarian considerations in itself. There must also be other significant circumstances in the case in order to grant an exemption from the subsistence requirement. Based on established practice, the fact that the parties have lived together in a long-term, established relationship, with Norwegian children, may, following a concrete assessment, be sufficient to grant an exemption from the subsistence requirement. See also GI 2012-008.

A connection established during the application period will, as a rule, not be given weight.

8.1.4. The child’s best interests

Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that the best interests of the child shall be a basic consideration in all actions involving children. The best interests of the child will be a key factor in the assessment of whether particularly strong humanitarian considerations exist within the meaning of the Immigration Regulations. However, the Convention on the Rights of the Child does not preclude other considerations, including immigration control considerations, being given equal or greater weight. The family relationship between children and parents is not in itself sufficient to grant an exemption from the subsistence requirement. In principle, there must be other factors in the case as well. The child’s age, life situation and care situation will be important factors in the assessment of whether an exemption should be granted from the subsistence requirement.

Children’s right to be heard, and grounds for decisions

Children who have reached the age of seven and younger children who are capable of forming views of their own shall be informed and given an opportunity to be heard before a decision is made in a case that concerns them under the Immigration Act; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 17-3. The child can be heard orally or in writing, or through their parents or guardians, representative or others who can make statements on the child’s behalf. The child’s view shall be given emphasis in relation to its age and maturity.

It should be made clear in decisions that affect children how the child’s situation has been assessed, including how the best interests of the child have been taken into account, unless it is deemed to be unnecessary. This follows from the Immigration Regulations Section 17-1a.

9. The subsistence requirement – renewal of a residence permit

If a first-time permit was granted pursuant to the Immigration Act Sections 40-46, a subsistence requirement does not apply when the permit is to be renewed for most groups of applicants; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-20 third paragraph.

If the reference person holds a residence permit that is subject to a requirement for subsistence on renewal, the requirement for subsistence also applies to the family member in connection with an application for renewal; cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-20 third paragraph. This will apply, for example, in cases where the reference person holds a residence permit pursuant to the Immigration Act Chapter 3, a residence permit for the purpose of work or studies, or pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 8-10.

If, in connection with an application for renewal of a residence permit, there is reason to doubt that the subsistence requirement has been met during the permit’s period of validity, the UDI must investigate the matter further and obtain relevant documentation that the subsistence requirement has been met.

10. Revocation

A residence permit can be revoked if it turns out that the subsistence requirement has not been met as assumed when the first permit was granted; cf. the Immigration Act Section 63.

The UDI shall give the applicant prior notice of a decision to revoke the permit and set a reasonable deadline for the applicant to comment on the matter. The UDI has power of decision in cases concerning revocation; cf. the Immigration Act Section 65.

 

Karl Erik Sjøholt

Head of Department

Contact: the Managed Migration Department

Latest changes
  • Changed: RS 2010-118 Requirement for means of subsistence as a condition for being granted a family immigration permit – the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 and 10-11; cf. the Immigration Act Chapter 6 (8/25/2017)

    The circular has been updated with new subsistence requirement rates effective from 25 August 2017. The requirement for future and previous income has been reduced from pay grade 24 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, to 88 per cent of pay grade 19. The subsistence requirement is thus set back to the same level as before the amendment to the regulation on 9 May 2016.

  • Changed: RS 2010-118 Requirement for means of subsistence as a condition for being granted a family immigration permit – the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 and 10-11; cf. the Immigration Act Chapter 6 (3/22/2017)

    The circular and annex 1 and 4 have been translated, and are now available in english.

  • Endret: RS 2010-118 Krav om underhold som vilkår for familieinnvandringstillatelse - utlendingsforskriften §§ 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 og 10-11, jf. utlendingsloven kapittel 6 (5/4/2016)

    Punkt 3 om underholdskravets størrelse er oppdatert, jf. kommende endringer (heving av underholdskravet og endringer i unntaksbestemmelsen) som trer i kraft 9. mai 2016. Se forøvrig ikrafttredelsesrundskrivet G-05/2016 og endringsforskrift av 22. april 2016 nr. 417.

  • Endret: RS 2010-118 Krav om underhold som vilkår for familieinnvandringstillatelse - utlendingsforskriften §§ 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 og 10-11 jf. utlendingsloven kapittel 6 (9/12/2014)

    Underholdsrundskrivet som gjelder for UDI, utenriksstasjonene og politiet er endret. Det er gjort redigeringer i tråd med endringer i utlendingsforskriften, ulike språklige og strukturelle forbedringer av teksten, og det er lagt inn noen nye avsnitt som beskriver problemstillinger og praksis som ikke var med i tidligere versjon. Det er også lagt til et nytt vedlegg 4 som angir satsen for fullt minste pensjonsnivå.

  • Endret: RS 2010-118 Krav om underhold som vilkår for familieinnvandringstillatelse - utlendingsforskriften §§ 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 og 10-11 jf. utlendingsloven kapittel 6 (5/21/2014)

    Rundskrivet punkt 8.1 er oppdatert i tråd med opphevelsen av utf. § 6-19 tredje ledd, om norskkurs til faglærte.

  • RS 2010-118 Krav om underhold som vilkår for familieinnvandringstillatelse - utlendingsforskriften §§ 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 og 10-11 jf. utlendingsloven kapittel 6 (10/16/2012)

    The circular is updated due to changes in the state pay scale for Norwegian state employees. Changes are made to chapter 5.2.1 and annex 1.

  • RS 2010-118 Krav om underhold som vilkår for familieinnvandringstillatelse - utlendingsforskriften §§ 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 og 10-11 jf. utlendingsloven kapittel 6 (9/12/2012)

    The circular has been updated in line with current practices. Attachment number 3 is new.

Utlendingsdirektoratet
Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration

Postboks 8108 Dep
N-0032 Oslo
Phone: + 47 23 35 15 00

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo
Kontakt nettredaksjonen