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

UDI circulars

Document-ID : RS 2010-124
Case-ID : 15/10314
Documentdate : 18.04.2017
Receiver :

The police districts
The foreign service missions
The Directorate of Immigration

Residence permits for students at religion/belief-based schools or folk high schools – the Immigration Act Section 26 first paragraph letter b), cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 second paragraph


1. Introduction

2. Conditions for residence permits

2.1. Approved educational institutions

2.1.1. Admission to an approved religion/belief-based school

2.1.2. Admission to an approved folk high school

2.2. The purpose must be full-time education

2.3. Requirement for assured subsistence

2.3.1 Specific requirements for students at folk high schools

2.3.2 Specific requirements for students at religion/belief-based schools

2.4. Accommodation requirement

2.5. Age requirement

2.6. Return conditions

2.7. The good conduct requirement

3. The content and duration of the permit

3.1. Specific requirements for students at folk high schools

3.2. Specific requirements for students at religion/belief-based schools

4. Students’ right to full-time work for a limited period

5. Application and case-processing procedures

5.1 Place of application

5.2. Fees

5.3. Documentation requirements

5.3.1. Inadequate documentation

5.4. Power of decision

5.5. Notification of the decision

6. Appeal

7. Revocation of a residence permit

1. Introduction

The circular concerns conditions for being granted a residence permit as a student at a religion/belief-based school or a student at a folk high school pursuant to the Immigration Act Section 26 first paragraph letter b), cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 second paragraph.

The circular does not apply to foreign nationals who are to study at a religion/belief-based school for more than one year. Such applications are processed pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 first paragraph in accordance with the ordinary rules concerning residence permits granted for the purpose of education.

The circular does not apply to foreign nationals who are to study at a folk high school or a religion/belief-based school in Norway who have other grounds for residing here, for example, a residence permit for family immigration, a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, asylum or a permanent residence permit.

The circular does not apply to foreign nationals who are covered by the EEA Agreement or the EFTA Convention. Separate rules apply to these foreign nationals, cf. the Immigration Act Chapter 13, cf. the Immigration Regulations Chapter 19.

Persons who are granted a first-time permit as a student at a religion/belief-based school or folk high school are automatically entitled to take part-time work for up to 20 hours per week and full- time work during ordinary holidays, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-33 second paragraph.

2. Conditions for residence permits

2.1. Approved educational institutions

2.1.1. Admission to an approved religion/belief-based school

The applicant must have a firm offer of admission from an approved religion/belief-based school, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 first paragraph.

The school can be public or private. If the school is private, it must be approved under Chapter 4 of the Adult Education Act (Act No 95 of 19 June 2009). Permits are only granted for stays for courses or tuition in accordance with the approved curriculum and for the number of students the school receives government subsidies for.

2.1.2. Admission to an approved folk high school

The applicant must have a firm offer of admission from an officially recognised folk high school (see Act No 72 of 6 December 2002 on folk high schools), cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 first paragraph.

2.2. The purpose must be full-time education

It is a condition that the applicant is to study full time, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6- 19 first paragraph.

2.3. Requirement for assured subsistence

The student must be guaranteed subsistence, see the Immigration Act Section 58, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-7.

If the applicant has received a concrete offer of part-time employment, the expected income will also be included in the assessment of whether the subsistence requirement is met, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-7 second paragraph. The number of hours of work per month and monthly pay must be stated in the offer of employment. If the student is to finance his/her stay through income from employment, the subsistence requirement will be increased by NOK 20,000. If the applicant is only partially financing the stay by means of income from employment, the requirement will be reduced proportionately.

If the applicant has own funds at his/her disposal, the general rule is that the applicant must transfer the amount into an account in a Norwegian bank in his/her own name. Alternatively, the applicant can deposit the amount into a deposit account that the educational institution has opened for this purpose, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-7 first paragraph letter c).

2.3.1 Specific requirements for students at folk high schools

The subsistence requirement for folk high school students who are to stay at the school is stipulated in Appendix 4.

Students with private accommodation must have pocket money corresponding to a minimum of 3 per cent per month of the amount stated in Appendix 4. Any tuition fees, if relevant, come in addition.

The student must deposit the total subsistence amount into a deposit account which is at the folk high school’s disposal, cf. the Immigration Act Section 58, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-7 first paragraph letter c).

2.3.2 Specific requirements for students at religion/belief-based schools

Subsistence can be ensured through student loans, grants, public funding from the applicant’s home country or through own funds. The subsistence requirement has been met if the applicant receives full support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen) or if he/she has funds corresponding to full support, see Appendix 1.

If the student is to pay tuition fees, this amount will come in addition.

If the student is to have private accommodation, a guarantee from the owner of the residence stating that board and lodging will be covered may be accepted in exceptional cases, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-7 fourth paragraph. The guarantee must appear as genuine. It is a condition that the guarantor can document an income equivalent to a minimum of 82 per cent of pay grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, see Appendix 2. The applicant must nonetheless have funds at his/her disposal that cover pocket money, teaching material and semester fees. The rates for board, lodging, pocket money and teaching material are listed in Appendix 3. The applicant must deposit these funds into an account in his/her own name in Norway, or into the religion/belief-based school’s deposit account.

2.4. Accommodation requirement

The student must be ensured accommodation during the period covered by the application. The accommodation requirement is deemed to be met when the student can document that he/she is to stay at the school, or that he/she has the use of a house, apartment, bed-sit, room in a hall of residence etc. that satisfies official requirements. If the student is intending to rent, he/she must submit a written lease contract approved by the landlord, housing cooperative or other person responsible for the accommodation, cf. the Immigration Act Section 58, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-12 first and second paragraphs.

2.5. Age requirement

The applicant must have reached the age of 15 years at the time of the decision in order to be granted a residence permit as a student at a folk high school. Applicants between the ages of 15 and 18 must have the consent of their parents or other person with parental responsibility. Reference is made to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-32 first paragraph.

2.6. Return conditions

A residence permit for a student at a religion/belief-based school or a student at a folk high school that has been granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 second paragraph is of a limited duration and does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. fourth paragraph. This entails a clear requirement that the applicant must leave Norway when the permit expires. The immigration authorities shall assess the conditions for the applicant’s return. The probability of the applicant leaving Norway when the permit expires if he/she does not have other grounds for residence in Norway is therefore a key factor in the assessment of whether to grant him/her a residence permit. Both individual circumstances relating to the applicant and general conditions in the applicant's home country will be important in this assessment.

It is also a condition that education is the purpose of the applicant’s stay, cf. the Immigration

Regulations Section 6-19 first paragraph.

If the immigration authorities, on the basis of information about the applicant and general experience with certain regions and applicant groups, deem it likely that the applicant will not return to his/her home country at the end of his/her stay, or that he/she has a different purpose for applying for a permit than to be a student at a folk high school, the application will be rejected.

The assessment will be based on conditions that exist at the time of the decision. Importance will be attached to matters such as:

  • whether the applicant has previously applied for asylum or a residence permit on other grounds

  • previous experience of students at religion/belief-based schools in the same situation from the applicant’s home country

  • previous experience of any reference persons in Norway

  • whether it is legally and practically possible to escort the applicant out of Norway

2.7. The good conduct requirement

An applicant who otherwise satisfies the conditions for being granted a residence permit can be denied a permit if there are circumstances that constitute grounds for denying the applicant entry into or residence in Norway pursuant to other provisions of the Act, cf. the Immigration Act Section 59.

For example, it is a condition that there are no grounds for rejection or expulsion, cf. the Immigration Act Sections 17 and 66 to 68.

Furthermore, foreign policy concerns or fundamental national interests may dictate that the application be rejected, cf. the Immigration Act Section 126.

3. The content and duration of the permit

The permit entitles its holder to be a student at a specific folk high school or a specific religion/belief-based school, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-33 first paragraph, cf. Section 6-19. It must be stated in the decision that the applicant is a student, as well as the name and address of the folk high school or religion/belief-based school.

The permit entitles the holder to work part-time in addition to his/her studies for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during ordinary holidays, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-33 second paragraph. The permit does not entitle the holder to work more than this.

A residence permit for a student at a folk high school or a student at a religion/belief-based school can be granted for the total of one year, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 second paragraph. If the permit is granted for less than one year, it can be renewed. The permit does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 fourth paragraph, or for family immigration, cf. the Immigration Act Section 49, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 9-6.

The duration of the permit will not exceed the period that was applied for or the duration of the study period, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-16 fifth paragraph.

As a rule, the earliest date of entry is three weeks prior to the start of the school year, or earlier if necessary due to participation in courses etc. in connection with the stay at a folk high school. As a general rule, the final entry date shall be set no later than two weeks after the school year has started, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-17 first paragraph.

3.1. Specific requirements for students at folk high schools

As a main rule, residence permits are granted until 31 May, or, if the student has private accommodation, until 15 August.

3.2. Specific requirements for students at religion/belief-based schools

As a rule, a residence permit is granted until 15 August (the spring semester) or 31 January (the autumn semester). Deviation from these dates is permitted, for example if the school’s end-of- term is at a later date. It may also be relevant if there are circumstances in connection with the studies that indicate that the applicant needs to extend his/her stay in the country, for example the date for when the exam results will be available, an excursion etc. The reason for deviating from the main rule should be included in the decision.

4. Students’ right to full-time work for a limited period

Persons with permits pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 can be granted a permit for full-time work for a limited period if;

  • documentation exists that the work is part of the course of study, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-33 second paragraph first sentence, or

  • the work is a completely necessary precondition for admission to further education within the same programme option, and a concrete offer of employment has been made, see the Immigration Regulations Section 6-33 second paragraph second sentence.

If the applicant wants a permit for full-time work, this must be requested in his/her application for a residence permit.

Applications must always be accompanied by a statement from the educational institution about the value the work will have in relation to the course of study or about whether the work is a completely necessary precondition for admission to further education in the same programme option (see the appendices).

The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will consider whether to grant a permit for full-time work in the residence permit decision.

5. Application and case-processing procedures

5.1 Place of application

A first-time residence permit shall be granted before travelling to Norway, cf. the Immigration Act Section 56 first paragraph.

The applicant must submit his/her application to a Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy/consulate) in the country of which the applicant is a national, or to a Norwegian foreign service mission in the country in which the applicant has held a residence permit for the past six months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-2 third paragraph.

5.2. Fees

To have an application for a residence permit processed, the applicant must pay a fee on submission of the application, cf. the Immigration Act Section 89, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 17-11 first paragraph. If the fee is not paid, the application will be rejected on this basis, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 10-2 ninth paragraph.

5.3. Documentation requirements

As a rule, applications for residence permits must be submitted online (Application Portal). In exceptional cases, the UDI form Application for a permit for residence or work is used. The form is available on the UDI’s website www.udi.no, from the police and at foreign service missions.

The body that receives the application must ensure that the applicant has filled in the relevant document list and submitted all documents in accordance with the list. The applicant shall be given a stamped copy of the document list as a receipt for submission of the documents.

The document lists are available on the UDI website:

Original official documents (certificates of education, certificates of service etc.) must be presented to the foreign service mission/police, but they shall not be enclosed with the application. Only copies, certified by the foreign service mission/police, must be enclosed with the application. It is important that it is clearly stated that the foreign service mission/police have seen the original document. A translation of the documents into Norwegian or English by an authorised translator must also be enclosed with the application.

5.3.1. Inadequate documentation

If the documentation is inadequate, the foreign service mission will notify the applicant:

  • about what kind of documentation or what information is lacking, and

  • that the application will not normally be processed until the documentation or information has been provided, and that the application may be rejected if this takes a disproportionately long time.

The foreign service mission shall not send the application to the UDI until the necessary documentation has been provided, unless the applicant specifically requests this, cf. the Immigration Regulations Sections 10-2 first paragraph and 10-6 first paragraph. When sending the application to the UDI, the foreign service mission shall state whether the applicant has been informed of the consequences of an application being incomplete.

5.4. Power of decision

The UDI has power of decision and decides whether to grant the application, cf. the Immigration Act Section 65 first paragraph.

5.5. Notification of the decision

When the UDI grants an application, the decision will be sent to the foreign service mission in English. The foreign service mission shall notify the applicant by handing over the decision to the applicant, who will then sign for receipt of the decision.

If the application is rejected, the decision will be sent to the foreign service mission in English. The foreign service mission shall inform the applicant about his/her right to appeal and the deadline and procedure for appealing.

6. Appeal

A rejection of an application for a residence permit can be appealed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Public Administration Act. The applicant must submit the appeal him/herself. Alternatively, another person can submit the appeal if the applicant has given him/her written authorisation to do so, cf. the Public Administration Act Section 12.

The appeal must be submitted to the body that received the application, i.e. a Norwegian foreign service mission if the application was submitted abroad, or the police if the application was submitted in Norway. The appeal must not be sent directly to the UDI.

7. Revocation of a residence permit

A residence permit for a student at a religion/belief-based school can be revoked if the foreign national deliberately provided incorrect information or omitted to provide information about matters of material importance to the decision, or if it otherwise follows from general provisions of administrative law, cf. the Immigration Act Section 63 first paragraph.

Decisions to revoke a permit are made by the UDI, cf. the Immigration Act Section 65 first paragraph. The immigration authorities shall notify the applicant in advance that the permit may be revoked. The foreign national shall be given an opportunity to make a statement, normally within three weeks, cf. the Public Administration Act Section 16.


Karl Erik Sjøholt Head of Department

Contact: Department of Managed Migration, Section for Visa, Work and Study Permits.

Latest changes
  • Changed: RS 2010-124 Residence permits for students at religion/belief-based schools or folk high schools – the Immigration Act Section 26 first paragraph letter b), cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 second paragraph (2/2/2018)

    Attachments 4 and 5 are now available in English.

  • New: RS 2010-124 Residence permits for students at religion/belief-based schools or folk high schools – the Immigration Act Section 26 first paragraph letter b), cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 second paragraph (4/18/2017)

    The circular has been translated into english. It regulates the conditions for being granted a residence permit as a student at a religion/belief-based school or a student at a folk high school in Norway.

  • Endret: RS 2010-124 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter ved livssynsskoler og folkehøyskoler - utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften § 6-19 andre ledd (3/7/2017)

    Rundskrivet regulerer vilkårene for oppholdstillatelse for utlendinger som ønsker å studere ved livssynsskole eller folkehøyskole i Norge. Endringene er hovedsakelig korrigeringer av hjemmelshenvisninger. Videre er det gjort noen oppdateringer, blant annet synliggjøring av at elektronisk registrering av søknaden er hovedregelen, og beskrivelsen av søknad om tillatelse til heltidsarbeid er oppdatert.

  • Endret: RS 2010-124 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter ved livssynsskoler og folkehøyskoler (4/28/2015)

    Vedleggene 1 og 4 er oppdatert med nye satser for undervisningsåret 2015-2016.

  • Endret: RS 2010-124 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter ved livssynsskoler og folkehøyskoler - utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften § 6-19 andre ledd (5/21/2014)

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

  • Endret: RS 2010-124 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter ved livssynsskoler og folkehøyskoler - utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften § 6-19 andre ledd (1/1/2014)

    Rundskrivet er oppdatert i forbindelse med ny prosessordning i sikkerhetssaker. Under punkt 2.7. henvises det nå til utlendingsloven § 126.

  • Changed: RS 2010-124 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter ved livssynsskoler og folkehøyskoler - utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften § 6-19 andre ledd (7/3/2013)

    The circular has been updated. The documentation requirements are replaced with a link to the document list on udi.no.

  • RS 2010-124 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter ved livssynsskoler og folkehøyskoler - utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften § 6-19 andre ledd (10/16/2012)

    The circular is updated due to changes in the state pay scale for Norwegian state employees. Changes are made to chapter 2.3.2 and annex 2.

Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration
Utlendingsdirektoratet
P.O. box 2098 Vika
NO-0125 Oslo
Norway

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo