All applications for residence can be registered online
Previously, those who wanted to apply for residence in Norway had to queue at a police station or a foreign service mission in order to submit their application. Now they can register applications online for visas, work permits, au pair permits, study permits, permanent residence permits, family immigration or citizenship. The electronic application solution also makes it possible to pay the fee and make an appointment to submit necessary documentation online.
Application Portal Norway was introduced in all police districts in Norway in 2010. At the same time, the solution was also introduced at the foreign service missions in Manila, Teheran, Kiev, Moscow, Murmansk, St. Petersburg, Baku (Azerbaijan), Astana (Kazakhstan) and London. From February 2011, all foreign service missions will use Application Portal Norway.
Visa Portal Norway is a success
It became possible already in autumn 2008 to apply for a visa online at some foreign service missions, and in 2010, more than 60,000 visa applications were registered online. Almost 16,000 online visa applications were submitted to the embassy in Moscow alone. At the foreign service missions in Teheran, London, Kiev and Bangkok, almost 100 per cent of the applications were submitted via the application portal.
Shorter case processing times with electronic archives
Every year, Norwegian foreign service missions, the UDI and the police receive about 350,000 applications for visas and residence permits. A joint electronic archive for the entire immigration administration now ensures that all applications and other case documents are available to all relevant agencies as soon as the documents are registered. Previously, applications could be ‘on the way’ for months, from a foreign service mission to the UDI, between the UDI and a police station, or from the UDI to a foreign service mission. Now the documents can be retrieved by simply pressing a key, regardless of where the case officer is based.
The archive, which is called eCase, was introduced at the eight police districts with the most immigration cases in November 2010, and, from February 2011, all Norwegian foreign service missions that process immigration cases will start using eCase.
In the next two years, the EFFEKT programme will develop solutions for the electronic exchange of information with other agencies, primarily the Directorate of Taxes, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV), the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund and the police. This means that the immigration administration will have quicker access to quality-assured information, and that applicants will not have to send as many enclosures with their applications.
The EFFEKT programme will also develop solutions to automate more of the case processing, among other things for routine renewals of residence permits. Such automation will save a lot of time for both the applicants and the UDI.