2. Requirements for case preparation
2.1. Application procedures
2.2. Hearing children's views
2.3. Filling in the application form
2.4. Date of application received when application is registered online
2.5 notification of decision by the foreign service mission
3. Documentation requirements
3.1 the document lists
3.2 requirement for mandatory declaration of relationship when applying for a renewed permit
3.3. Incomplete/inadequate documentation
4. Other requirements relating to case processing
4.1. Special circumstances when the applicant has been expelled
4.2. Concerning interviews of the applicant and/or the sponsor
4.2.1. Requirements concerning the interview report
The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) shall implement Norway’s refugee and immigration policy in cooperation with other areas of the immigration administration. To ensure high quality and efficiency in case processing, this circular sets out minimum requirements for the police and the foreign service missions’ preparation of cases involving applications for family immigration.
The purpose of the circular is:
- to highlight the roles of the police and the foreign service missions in case processing,
- to ensure that applications are properly filled in and that all necessary documentation has been submitted before the applications are sent to the UDI, and
- to reduce, as far as possible, the need for further information and documentation after the application has been sent to the UDI.
- The requirements that apply to the preparation of cases by the immigration authorities are set out in the Immigration Regulations sections 10-2 and 10-6.
The following sections describe the requirements that apply to the preparation of cases by the police and the foreign service missions in connection with submitted applications for family immigration and in connection with the further processing of the case.
- The right to submit applications from Norway:
If the application has been submitted from Norway and the applicant is not covered by the Immigration Regulations section 10-1 first to third paragraphs, it is important that the police do not start processing the application by requesting documentation. Nor shall the police conduct an interview of the applicant. However, in some cases it might be necessary to obtain documents in order to decide whether the applicant can apply from Norway or not. In such case, the police can obtain relevant documentation without this implying actual processing of the application.
The police shall inform the applicant that he/she is not entitled to apply from Norway. If grounds of reasonableness are invoked, cf. the Immigration Act section 56 third paragraph, the police must inform the applicant that such grounds must be documented. The police may set short deadlines for submission of such documentation. It must be noted in the application that it was submitted from within Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 56.
The police may reject applications that are not correctly submitted, cf the Immigration Regulation section 10-2 ninth paragraph
- Application submitted from a country other than that of which the applicant is a national:
If the application has been submitted via a foreign service mission in a country other than the country of which the applicant is a national, the foreign service mission shall obtain information about the applicant’s grounds for residence in that country, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 third paragraph. Information must be obtained about the period for which the applicant holds a permit and whether it is possible for the applicant to return, and, if applicable, by what deadline. In cases where this is relevant, the foreign service mission must clarify these conditions in the dispatch/the external message to UDI. See also separate guidelines on submitting applications for residence permits in circular 2013-018.
Children who apply, or children who are affected by a case, must be given an opportunity to make a statement, cf. Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Separate guidelines have been prepared on hearing children’s views in immigration cases, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 17-3, as well as guidelines for when an offer of an interview shall be made to children in family immigration cases, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 17-5, see circular 2010-043. In this circular further information is given regarding how interviews with children shall be conducted including the content of the interview.
- The body that receives the application shall ensure that the application is properly filled in before it is sent to the UDI for processing. Each family member (both adults and children) must submit/register their own application form.
- It is important that an account of all close family members is filled in, as this information may have consequences for future applications for family members. The names, dates or birth and places of residence of the applicant’s parents and siblings must be stated. In addition, the names, dates of birth and places of residence must be given for all children (own and joint with the reference person) regardless of whether they are applying at the same time.
- In cases where several family members are applying at the same time, it is important that the cases are forwarded to UDI by using the bundling functionality, where one single external massage is made encompassing all family members. In addition the DUF number of family members applying at the same time must be given in the dispatch/the external message to UDI.
- Applications from children: As regards applications from children, or applications that affect children, the police/foreign service missions must state whether the child has been informed about what the application concerns, whether the child has been given an opportunity to be heard, and whether the child has been interviewed, cf. the Immigration Regulations sections 17-3 and 17 -5. When applying electronically through internet this information must be given in the dispatch/the external message to UDI. When using the application form GP-7028, this should be stated in a separate box under section 10. If the application concerns children who apply on their own, it is important that information is obtained about the child’s care situation, who has daily care and control of the child and with whom the child is living. In cases where the application concerns children without care providers, it is especially important that this is clearly stated in the dispatch/the external message.
- The use of an authorised representative: When the application has been submitted via the foreign service mission, the applicant is encouraged to authorise the sponsor in Norway to be his/her representative in the application process. This can be done by completing section 8 of the application form concerning the use of an authorised representative, or by submitting a separate authorisation form. Authorisation form is also attached as an appendix to this circular.
The body that receives a first time application registered online via Application Portal Norway must be aware that it is the date when the applicant appears in person and submits the attachments to the application, which is the date the application is considered to be received, and which is to be registered as the date of application.
In cases where the foreign service mission notifies about a decision of rejection, the date of notification shall be registered as a correspondence out in NORVIS. This is essential in order to make it possible for UDI to decide whether an appeal is submitted within the deadline according to the Public Administration Act section 29
The body that receives the application shall ensure that the application is properly filled in before it is sent to the UDI for processing.
It is especially important that sufficient documentation of identity is enclosed, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 second paragraph, which states: ‘The applicant must provide documentary evidence of identity presenting a passport or other identity document issued by a public authority, and shall be required to document any other information given when this is deemed to be necessary. A note shall be made as to how the applicant’s identity was confirmed, see also section 100 of the Act and section 18-1 of the Regulations’. See circular 2011-040 sections 3.3. and 3.4, and circular 2012-009 sections 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 for further guidelines on how to examine identity documents.
When submitting an application, the applicant must present the following:
- If the application is submitted online via UDI’s Application Portal Norway:
- Cover letter received when completing the registration
- Passport photo (one copy of a recent photo)
- Application fee receipt, if applicable
- Completed and signed document list, see more detailed information below
- All necessary attachments as mentioned in the relevant document list
- Completed questionnaire
- If applicable, a written explanation as to why the applicant cannot present any or some of the above documents
If the applicant invokes strong humanitarian considerations or a particular connection to Norway, the applicant must clarify these matters and, if relevant, present documentation. Serious illness can be documented by means of a medical certificate or certificate from a hospital. In order to document children’s connection to Norway, statements from schools/kindergarten and a description of the child’s Norwegian language skills, participation in recreational activities etc. may be relevant documentation.
The applicant and/or sponsor must be informed that if any changes occur before a decision has been made in matters that might affect the outcome of the application, up-to-date documentation or information regarding this must be forwarded.
The police must check whether any employment relationships are registered in the employee register in accordance with applicable rules.
Complete lists of the documentation requirements for all kinds of family immigration applications, adapted to all countries, have been prepared. The body that receives the application must make sure that the applicant has completed the relevant document list and submitted all documents in compliance with this list. The applicant shall be given a stamped copy of the document list as a receipt, confirming that the required documents have been submitted. The same applies if the application has been registered online through UDI’s internet portal.
The document lists are available on UDI’s internet page:
Original official documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.) must be presented. Applicants are allowed to keep original documents, however, but a copy confirmed by the foreign service mission/the police must in such case be enclosed with the application. It is important that it is clearly stated that the original documents have been presented to the police/the foreign service mission.
The applicant’s original passport must be presented to the foreign service mission/the police, and it is particularly important that the body that receives the application conduct the necessary authenticity examination of the document according to the guidelines given in circular 2011-040. A copy of all used pages must be attached with the application.
Documents in other languages than Norwegian, English, German or French must, as a rule, be translated by an authorised translator, and it must be clearly stated who has performed the translation and when.
Documents that have been submitted to the immigration authorities at an earlier stage, for example as enclosures with a previous application that was rejected on formal grounds, do not have to be re-submitted.
Other information and clarifications that are necessary in the case can be submitted in the form of a letter from the applicant or the sponsor.
On application for a renewed residence permit based on marriage and cohabitation, a mandatory declaration of relationship must be filled in. The declaration that must be filled in and signed is attached as an appendix to this circular. The intention of this arrangement is to have a preventive effect in relation to marriages of convenience.
If it has not been possible to provide documentation pursuant to the requirements outlined above, this must be noted in the dispatch/the external message sent to UDI. The applicant/sponsor must also enclose a statement that explains why it has not been possible to provide the required documentation. If the police or the foreign service mission has noted any shortcomings or other special factors relating to the documentation presented, this must also be noted in the dispatch/the external message to UDI. The applicant/sponsor must be informed that the application may be rejected on the basis of incomplete information or documentation.
- Systematic organisation of documents and registration in the computer system for immigration and refugee cases – DUF: Reference is made to circular 2008-021 concerning the systematic organization of documents in immigration cases. Registration in DUF must be complete. The police are requested to follow the work processes in DUF and register all relevant information provided in the application.
- Deportation expenses: The police must state whether the foreign national owes the state money in connection with his/her previous departure from the realm, cf. the Immigration Act section 91.
- Checking conduct pursuant to the Immigration Act section 85, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 17-8: In connection with certain applications for residence permits for spouses, their children from a former relationship, or applications to enter into marriage, cf. the Immigration Act section 40 fifth paragraph and section 48, the police may, when preparing the case, disclose information about the sponsor’s criminal record that has a bearing on whether a residence permit should not be granted because it is likely that the applicant or his/her children from a former relationship will be abused or grossly exploited. Information about criminal records may be provided by the police on their own initiative but it must be provided at the request of the UDI or the Immigration Appeals Board. More detailed guidelines about disclosing information about criminal records pursuant to the Immigration Act section 85 and the Immigration Regulations section 17-8 are provided in circular 2010-041.
If a person is being expelled from Norway, he/she is subject to a permanent or temporary prohibition on entry. The prohibition on entry implies that the person being expelled is not permitted to enter Norway as long as the prohibition on entry is in force.
Lifting of the prohibition on entry is a condition for the granting of a permit, cf. the Immigration Act section 59.
When a person applies for family immigration via a foreign service mission despite the fact that a prohibition on entry is still in force, he/she is also deemed to be applying for the lifting of the prohibition on entry.
See circular 2010-069 Opphevelse av innreiseforbudet eller adgang til Norge for kortvarig besøk uten at innreiseforbudet oppheves for further guidelines concerning the preparation of family immigration applications filed at a foreign service mission in cases where the applicant is expelled from Norway.
Both the police and the foreign service mission will in some cases be requested by UDI to interview the applicant and/or the sponsor in connection with processing the application.
UDI would also like the police/the foreign service mission to conduct an interview of the applicant and/or the sponsor on their own initiative before sending the application to UDI for further processing, if they believe there is reason to doubt the information provided in the application. This might, for example be relevant in cases where there is reason to suspect that the marriage is a marriage of convenience, see PN 2011-003 for further guidelines concerning such cases.
When the UDI sends a request for a statement in a case, a letter is included that stipulates the questions we wish the police/foreign service mission to ask the applicant and/or the sponsor. It is important that the person who is conducting the interview asks all the questions included in this document and that relevant follow-up questions are prepared where this is natural during the interview.
In some cases, however, a general template or a standard form is used where the police/the foreign service mission are asked to ask the relevant questions. When such standard forms are used, it is particularly important that relevant follow-up questions are prepared where this is natural.
When conducting a interview of spouses (both the applicant and the sponsor) on suspicion of a marriage of convenience, it is important that both parties are asked the same questions and that they, when interviewed at the same time, are not given an opportunity to talk to each other between the interviews.
The person who is interviewed must be given an opportunity to read through the interview afterwards, and he/she will then be allowed to comment, provide additional information and correct any misunderstandings that may have arisen during the interview. If substantial changes are made to the content after such a review, the original text will be kept and new information/changes in the statement will be added as ‘comments added during read-through’.
Before the actual interview starts, the interviewee shall be made aware of the following:
- Sponsors in immigration cases must be made aware that they do not have a duty to appear in person or to provide information, cf. the Immigration Act section 83 first paragraph. If the sponsor nonetheless wishes to make a statement, he/she must be made aware of his/her duty to provide correct information, cf. the Immigration Act section 108 first paragraph letter c).
- The person in question must be made aware of the fact that the application may be decided on the basis of the information given during the interview, and that the application may be rejected if necessary information and documentation has not been provided.
- The interview report must describe the questions that were asked of the applicant and/or the sponsor, and the answers from the applicant/sponsor must be reproduced in their entirety, as accurately as possible in relation to what was said.
- If it is requested that necessary documents be submitted in connection with the case being sent for a statement, it must be clear from the interview report which documents this refers to.
- A deadline must be set for the submission of the documents. A reasonable deadline will normally be three weeks, and the stipulated deadline must be clearly stated in the interview report.
- It must also be clearly stated in the interview report that the applicant/sponsor has been informed of the consequences of not submitting the documents.
All interview reports relating to family immigration cases must therefore include the following text:
The police/the foreign service mission have clearly informed the applicant/sponsor that, if documentation is missing in the application, he/she must ensure that the police/the foreign service mission receive such documentation within three weeks of today’s date.
The police/the foreign service mission have clearly informed the applicant/sponsor that the case will be sent to the UDI for decision within three weeks, regardless of whether the documentation is enclosed, and that neither the police/the foreign service mission nor the UDI will make further requests for the documentation.
The applicant/sponsor has been made aware of the fact that inadequate information may lead to the application being rejected.
- If the applicant/sponsor already during the interview states that he/she will not or cannot submit further documentation, the UDI requests that the police/the foreign service mission take note of this and any reasons given in the interview report.
- The applicant/sponsor who was interviewed must sign all pages of the interview report, or sign a separate statement which confirms that the person has read the report and has approved it.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of department
Contact: The Managed Migration Department, Section for Family Immigration