To be granted family immigration with a person living in Norway, you must be related to or have plans to set up a family with him or her. Here, you will find an overview of who can be granted a residence permit and the criteria that must be met.
Overview of the requirements that apply to different family members:
If you are married to or are the registered partner or cohabitant of the person living in Norway, you are entitled to a family immigration permit if you otherwise meet the criteria.
If you are married/ partners, the following requirements apply:
- You are both over the age of 18 and are going to live together in Norway.
- If your spouse has been married to another person from your home country, and this person has been granted a family immigration permit to Norway, you must submit documentation from the authorities in your home country that this marriage is dissolved.
Couples who married abroad
As a rule, a marriage that is entered into outside Norway will be recognised in Norway if the marriage has been contracted in a valid manner in the country in which it took place.
There are however some exceptions: Marriages which has been entered into abroad will not be valid in Norway in one or both parties are a Norwegian citizen or was living in Norway at the time of marriage and
- one of the parties to the marriage is under the age of 18 when the marriage takes place
- the marriage is entered into without both parties being physically present during the marriage ceremony (marriage by proxy or telephone marriage)
- one of the parties is already married
If very special circumstances apply, a marriage in one of these three categories might be recognised in Norway. In order for this to happen, both parties must apply to the Norwegian Directorate of Children, Youth and Family Affairs. You can read more about the rules of the law regulating marriages at the website of the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion.
If you are cohabitants, the following requirements apply:
- You are both over the age of 18.
- Neither of you are married to other people.
- You have already lived together for at least two years. (Cohabitation time while you are married to other people does not count.) If you have lived together in Norway, you must have had legal residence in Norway during the time you have lived together. If you have or are expecting a child with the person living in Norway, the requirement for two years’ cohabitation does not apply.
- You will continue to live together in Norway.
If you wish to marry a person living in Norway, you can apply for a residence permit to come here and enter into marriage (fiancé permit). The permit is valid for six months, and you must get married in the course of the period for which the permit is valid. After you have married, you can apply for family immigration with your spouse.
Read more about fiancé permits
Children whose parents live in Norway
Children whose parents live in Norway are entitled to come here and live with them provided that the other criteria are met.
Requirements of the parents
- Both parents live in Norway and have legal residence here, or
- One of the parents lives in Norway and has sole parental responsibility, or
- One of the parents lives in Norway and the other parent has agreed to the child moving to Norway (if they have joint parental responsibility)
If the case concerns an adopted child, the Norwegian Directorate of Children, Youth and Family Affairs must have agreed to the adoption before the child enters Norway.
Read more about the application process for children on the page Children applying for family immigration
Parents whose children live in Norway
If you have children under the age of 18 living in Norway who you are going to live with or have access rights to, you can apply for a family immigration permit.
In the list below, you can find information about the different situations where you can be granted family immigration with your child in Norway.
- Your child is a resettlement refugee or has refugee status in Norway.
Siblings under the age of 18 can also apply for family immigration with the child.
- Your child has Norwegian citizenship.
You must live with the child on a permanent basis and have parental responsibility for him/her. If you are married to or cohabitate with the child’s other parent, you must apply for family immigration with your spouse or cohabitant, not with your child.
- Your child has Norwegian citizenship and has lived in another country in which you have had access rights.
If the child moves to Norway to live with the other parent, you can be granted a residence permit to continue to visit your child here.
- You use your access rights to your child living in Norway with his/her other parent.
You must have lived in Norway and held a residence permit for the past year.
We can reject such an application if a residence permit will result in you as parents being in a bigamous relationship (if one of you has a new spouse or cohabitant).
For information about how to apply for a family immigration permit, please see the page How do you apply for a family immigration permit.
If you have children living in Norway, you can also be granted a residence permit that is valid for up to nine months to visit them. This permit can be granted regardless of the children’s age.
Read more about the residence permit for parental visits
Other family members
Certain other family members can also be granted a family immigration permit. You can apply for family immigration if you are:
- a foreign national and one of your parents was a Norwegian citizen at the time you were born
- a single mother or father over the age of 60 of a person living in Norway. You cannot have a spouse, cohabitant, parent, child, grandchild, or great-grandchild in your home country. Your son or daughter in Norway must be over the age of 18.
- a child between the ages of 18 and 21 without a spouse or cohabitant, who has previously stayed in Norway for a prolonged period (with a permit).
- a child over the age of 18 without a spouse or cohabitant, who remains or will remain in your home country while the rest of your family are granted residence in Norway. You must intent to continue living with your parents or for medical reasons be completely dependent on personal care from your parents in Norway.
- a foster child under the age of 18, if valid documentation can be submitted that proves that you are and have been part of the household of the person in Norway. Parental responsibility must have been transferred to your foster parents, and they must also be deemed as having legal responsibility for you pursuant to the legislation in your home country. The Norwegian child welfare authorities must approve the foster home.
- a full sibling under the age of 18 who has no living parents or other care providers in his/her home country or country of residence.
Residence permit on the grounds of strong humanitarian considerations or a particular connection with Norway.
If you do not belong to any of these groups or you do not meet all the requirements that apply, we will always consider whether there are strong humanitarian grounds for nonetheless granting your application. However, family immigration permits are only very rarely granted according to these provisions as they are meant to be used only in exceptional cases.
Born to at least one Norwegian parent
If you are a foreign national and at least one of your biological parents was a Norwegian national at the time you were born, you have the right to apply for a residence permit. As a general rule, you must meet the requirement for financial support. You must document a total income corresponding to salary grade one in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees.
If you have more questions about this topic, contact your nearest Norwegian embassy or consulate, the nearest police district or the UDI’s Information Service.