What does the requirement for financial support entail?
The requirement for financial support (the income requirement) means that you who live in Norway must show that you
- can support the family member financially when he or she comes to Norway (read about the Future income requirement), and
- have had previous income (read about the Previous income requirement), and
- have not received financial social support (økonomisk sosialhjelp) or qualification benefit (kvalifiseringsstønad) from the social services (NAV) in the past year (read about Social support)
When your family member applies for a residence permit, it is important that he or she encloses documentation of this from Norway.
Please note! If your family member is granted a family immigration permit, you must meet the income requirement during the whole period which the permit covers (usually one year). You may be asked to document this the first time your family member applies for a renewal of the permit. This means that if you do not have enough income during the first year your family member is in Norway, your family member can lose their permit and have to leave Norway.
Before we describe the requirement for financial support in more detail, please note that there are a few exemptions to this requirement.
Exemptions from the requirement for financial support
In some cases, certain family members (spouse, partner, children) may get a family immigration permit even if you who live in Norway (the sponsor) does not have the required income. There is not a requirement for financial support if you
- are a child under the age of 18, and your parents are the ones who are applying for residence permits on the grounds that they have custody of or access rights to you.
- have been granted a residence permit or a permanent residence permit in Norway as a refugee (asylum or other protection grounds, including protection against refoulement). If your family member is your spouse, you must have entered into the marriage before you came to Norway. As a rule, your family member must apply for a residence permit within a year of you being granted your residence permit here.
- you have been granted a residence permit because of your status as a witness or because you are a victim of human trafficking, and your child, who is under the age of 18, is the one applying for a residence permit with you. As a rule, the child must apply for a residence permit within a year of you being granted your residence permit here.
The requirement for financial support also does not apply when the applicant is
- your child, who is under the age of 15 and without care providers in his/her home country
- your child, who is born in Norway. The application must be submitted within one year of the birth.
If, in your view, you are among those who should be exempt from the requirement for financial support, your family member must enclose documentation of this with his/her application.
Future income requirement
As a rule, it is the person living in Norway who must meet the requirement.
The income requirement is set at 88 percent of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, which is increased every year in May.
In 2012 this is equal to a yearly, total, documented salary of NOK 242 440 before tax. This means that it must be likely that you will have this income in the time to come.
The income can be:
- income from employment – documented by an employment contract and pay slips from the last three months
- sickness benefit, pregnancy benefit, parental benefit, disability pension or retirement pension from the National Insurance Scheme – documented by copies of decisions from The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) and payment slips for the last three months
- other permanent pensions or periodical benefits (insurance payments or similar) – documented by copies of decisions or similar and payments for the last three months
- introduction benefit for newly arrived immigrants – documented by a copy of the decision letter from the municipality and transcripts of payments for the last three months
- loans or grants received in connection with studies – documented by a copy of the decision, agreement or similar and payments for the last three months
The requirement for future income can be a combination of the above-mentioned types of income, as long as the total exceeds the income requirement.
The income cannot be:
Financial social support, housing allowance, unemployment benefit and income you receive from the public authorities to raise children, such as child benefit, cannot be included in the future income. Being temporary benefits, they cannot be included as part of the documentation when considering your future income. Own funds (money in the bank) cannot be included either.
Special rules for those who receive a retirement pension or permanent disability pension
If you who lives in Norway received a retirement pension or permanent disability pension last year, which in total is more than or equal to the minimum pension level for that year, this means that you automatically meet the income requirement.
Special rules for students
If you who lives in Norway
- are in higher education (university college or university) and have earned at least 60 credits in the year of the latest Tax settlement notice and you both are above the age of 23, or
- are studying at a technical college and in the year of the latest Tax settlement notice has completed at least one year of the nominal length of study and you have both turned 23
the income of the applicant can be counted towards the income requirement. (The income of the applicant+the income of the person in Norway=at least NOK 242 440 a year.)
Special rules for applicants who already are working in Norway
If the applicant already is legally employed in Norway, the income of the applicant can be counted towards the income requirement. (The income of the applicant+the income of the person in Norway=at least NOK 242 440 a year.)
Previous income requirement
It is also a requirement that the person living in Norway had a registered income of at least NOK 231 880 in 2011 (this sum is calculated as 88 per cent of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees in 2011).
This must be taxable income. Loans or grants received in connection with studies will not be considered as income.
You document your income by enclosing your latest tax certificate (2011).
If you did not have enough income in 2011, but did have an income of at least NOK 242 440 in 2012, you can now also send us your tax return form for 2012 to show that you have enough income. You find your tax return form on Altinn.
Sponsors who have worked abroad
If you are
- a Norwegian citizen
- a citizen of one of the Nordic countries
- or holds a permanent residence permit (settlement permit) in Norway and have worked abroad
you do not need to hand in your Norwegian tax certificate. You do however need to document that you have had an income abroad corresponding to NOK 231 880 in 2011 by handing in your tax assessment from the country where you pad tax and a statement from your employer there.
Exceptions to the previous income requirement
Some people may be exempted from the previous income requirement if they can provide documentation that they belong to one of these groups:
- You are over the age of 23 and had a registered net wealth of at least NOK 1 million in the last two tax settlements
- You receive retirement pension or permanent disability pension in the year of the latest Tax settlement notice, totaling in excess of or equal to the minimum pension level in the period concerned
- You have completed military or civilian national service in the year of the latest Tax settlement notice.
- You hold a residence permit as a skilled worker or a specialist, or you hold a residence permit that does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit (settlement permit), but nonetheless forms the basis for family immigration (for example study permit, or a permit as a researcher with own funds, please see list).
- You have been a student. This applies if you are a Norwegian national, a Nordic national or a foreign national with a permanent residence permit who have undergone higher education (university college or university) in Norway or abroad and in the year of the latest Tax settlement notice have accumulated at least 60 credits or the equivalent, or have undergone vocational tertiary education in Norway equivalent to one year’s nominal length of study as a compensation for paid work. If you have finished your studies in the spring, you must hand in documentation which shows that you have taken a total of 60 credits or the equivalent in the last student year. If you have not had a normal progression of your studies (less than 60 credits) because of illness, you must give us documentation of your illness. In these cases we will make an individual evaluation based on the documentation.
Not received financial social support for the past 12 months
You who live in Norway must not have received financial social support (with the exception of housing benefit) or qualification benefit from NAV in the year before your family member applies for family immigration.
If you have an income under NOK 300 000 before tax, you must get a written statement from NAV which shows that you (the sponsor) have not received financial social support in the last 12 months before the application is handed in.
If you have an income above NOK 300 000 before tax, you do not need to get a statement from NAV, but you must fill in a self declaration form.
Self declaration form about social support
The applicant must hand in the statement or self declaration form together with the application.
There is an exception from the rule if you received the financial social support while you were waiting for National Insurance benefits that could be included in future income, (sickness benefit, pregnancy benefit, parental benefit, disability pension or retirement pension from the National Insurance Scheme, introduction benefit for newly arrived immigrants). Please hand in documentation of this.
Exceptions to the income requirement because of particularly strong humanitarian considerations
The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will always consider whether very special circumstances exist in the case (particularly strong humanitarian considerations) that mean that your family member can be granted a residence permit even if the requirement for subsistence and housing is not met. You can read the instructions the Department of Justice has given us on how to assess this here.
If the family member who applies to come to Norway are not the children, cohabitant/spouse of you who lives in Norway, it is a requirement that you have a home that is big enough to house the relatives. Documentation of housing can be the lease or the purchase contract for the house/apartment.
If you have more questions about this topic, please contact the UDI’s Information Service.