Alternative to reception centres


If you have close family members who are settled in a municipality or you need adjustments, which are not feasible in a regular asylum reception centre, you can apply for an alternative to reception centre placement.

What is an alternative to reception centre placement?

An alternative to reception centre placement means that you live and receive follow-up from the municipality instead of the reception centre. The UDI and the municipality will enter into an agreement stating that the municipality will follow up your needs.

Who can apply for an alternative to reception centre placement?

In order to apply for an alternative to reception centre placement, you must be entitled to live in a reception centre. You also need to have close family members who are settled in the municipality or require special adjustments that cannot be implemented in an ordinary reception centre.

Examples of situations which can make you eligible for an alternative to reception centre placement:

  • You have a spouse and/or child(ren) who live in a municipality and you wish to live with them.
  • You have a limited residence permit because you lack documentation of identity.
  • You have special follow-up needs due to medical and/or mental health conditions.
  • You are an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker who has close family or other known care persons living in Norway who you wish to live with.
  • You already live in a municipality and wish to stay in an alternative reception centre.

Other grounds may also apply which could grant you an alternative to reception centre placement. You must state the reason for needing an alternative to reception centre placement in your application.

If your application for protection in Norway has been rejected, you will, as a main rule, not be given an alternative to reception centre placement. The UDI can make certain exceptions to this rule, see RS 2013-013 (external website).

This is how we consider your application

When we assess your application for an alternative to reception centre placement, we emphasise:

  • What your connection is to the municipality you live in
  • Which follow-up needs you have (for instance if you require medical help or psychosocial follow-up)
  • Your need for a stable life situation, a stable network and your need to continue in a follow-up programme you are already part of
  • What is in the best interests of the child/children, if the application relates to children under the age of 18.
  • Other decisions made by the immigration authorities in your application for protection

If you can be granted an alternative to reception centre placement, we will contact the municipality you wish to live in. The municipality will assess whether they wish to receive you and enter into an agreement with the UDI. The municipality can refuse to accept you.

If you are an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker who is applying for an alternative to reception centre placement, the child welfare services (or an equivalent unit in the municipality) will assess the ability to provide care of the person/family you want to move in with.

How to apply

  1. Fill in the application form (pdf, 733 kB)
  2. Enclose the documentation we request in the application form.

If we need more information or documentation, we will ask you to forward it to us.

The reception centre where you are currently staying can help you to write the application.

If you are an unaccompanied minor, your representative must fill in your application.

Send the application to:

UDI
Regionkontor Indre Østland,
P.O. Box 1253
NO-2806 Gjøvik

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

You will usually receive an answer within three weeks of us receiving your application. At times, it may take longer because we might need more information, or because the municipality you wish to live in needs more time to consider the UDI’s request to receive you.

If you are granted an alternative to reception centre placement

If you are granted an alternative to reception centre placement, the UDI will send you a letter with the information you need. It will contain information about when you can move to the municipality, or from when the offer is valid if you already live in the municipality where you have applied for an alternative to reception centre placement. If the municipality needs to find accommodation for you, it may take some time before you can move.

At the same time, the UDI enters into a written agreement with the municipality you wish to live in stating that the municipality will follow you up.

How long is the offer to live in an alternative to reception centre placement valid?

The offer to live in an alternative to reception centre placement ends if you are granted a residence permit forming the basis for settlement. You will in such case be settled in a municipality organised by the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDI)

The offer also, as a main rule, expires if you receive a final rejection to your application for protection. You must then return to your country of origin. You can be offered to stay in an ordinary reception centre.

The offer will also expire if the UDI or the municipality of other reasons need to end your alternative to reception centre placement. If relevant you will be notified of the decision in advance and you will be offered a placement in an ordinary reception centre. 

If you decide to move from the municipality you live in during the period when you have been granted an alternative to reception centre placement, it is important that you notify the municipality and the UDI.

If you are not granted an alternative to reception centre placement

If your application for an alternative to reception centre placement is rejected, you will receive a decision in the post explaining why your application was rejected.

You cannot appeal a decision regarding an alternative to reception centre placement.

Contact information

You can contact the Inland Region Office via email or phone if you would like more information.

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