Alternative accommodation to reception centres


You can apply to live outside a reception centre if you have particular needs that cannot be met in an ordinary reception centre.

What is the alternative accommodation scheme?

The alternative accommodation scheme is available for asylum seekers and others who have the right to live in an asylum reception centre. Under the scheme, the municipality is responsible both for arranging a housing offer and for following up on your needs. Municipalities are not obligated to participate in the alternative accommodation scheme.

The scheme is regulated by UDI Guidelines 2020-005 Alternativ mottaksplass [Alternative Accommodation to Reception Centres] (external website) (in Norwegian only). You can find an overview and description of the services municipalities are to provide under the alternative accommodation scheme in this funding letter (external website) (in Norwegian only).

Who can stay in alternative accommodation?

To be eligible for the scheme, you must be entitled to live in a reception centre.

You may qualify for alternative accommodation if:

  • you have close family living in a municipality and you wish to live together with them. ‘Close family’ includes a spouse, cohabitant, child or parent.
  • you are an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker, and you wish to live with someone who can take care of you (even if that person is not a close family member).
  • you have needs for personalised care or follow-up that cannot feasibly be met in an ordinary reception centre: e.g. if a specific municipality provides healthcare that you need.
  • you have been subjected to human trafficking and have previously been through a period of reflection.

In general, you do not qualify for alternative accommodation if:

  • you have a residence permit and are allowed to settle in a municipality
  • you have a limited residence permit
  • your application for protection has been rejected

How to apply

  1. Fill in the application form (pdf, 239 kB) (If you are an unaccompanied minor, your representative is to fill in your application for you)
  2. Collect the documentation requested in the application form
  3. Send the application and enclosed documentation to:

UDI Regionkontor Vest
Kaigaten 5
5015 Bergen

If we need more information or documentation after we have received your application, we will ask you to forward it to us.

What do we at UDI do when we receive your application?

If you do not meet the criteria for alternative accommodation, UDI will reject your application.

If you do meet qualify for alternative accommodation, we will contact your chosen municipality to ask if they will agree to accept you under the alternative accommodation scheme.

  • If the municipality says yes, UDI will approve your application, and you can move to the municipality (if you are not already living there).
  • If the municipality says no, your application will be rejected.

How long will you have to wait for an answer to your application?

UDI will process your application as quickly as possible. We try to respond to you within three weeks from the date we receive your application. Sometimes it takes longer because we need to collect additional information from you or because the municipality you have chosen needs more time to consider our request to take you in.

What happens if your application for alternative accommodation is rejected?

If you currenlty live in an asylum reception centre, you may continue to live there. Residing in a reception centre is voluntary; you are allowed to move out of the reception centre, but this would entail that you will not receive any financial support from UDI.

If you already live in private housing, you can continue to do so, but you will not receive any financial support from UDI.

If you are living in private housing but wish to live in an asylum reception centre, you can contact UDI to ask whether you are allowed to live in a reception centre.

You cannot appeal a decision on an application for alternative accommodation to reception centres.

What happens if your application for alternative accommodation is approved?

If you already live in the municipality you applied for, you can contact the municipal authorities there for information about the kinds of offerings you are entitled to.

If you are living in an asylum reception centre, you can discuss with the personnel working there when you will be able to move. If the municipality has to find housing for you it may take a while before you can move. Once again, the centre personnel will be able to help you with organising your move.

How long can you live in alternative accommodation?

Generally, an alternative accommodation arrangement ends if:

  • you are granted a residence permit
  • your application for protection is rejected as a final decision
  • you wish to move out of the municipality by your own choice

Before you move, it is important that you notify both the municipality and UDI.

Contact information

Email: AMOT@udi.no

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