Information to refugees from Sri Lanka who have applied for a renewal of their residence permit


If you are a refugee from Sri Lanka who have applied for a renewal of your residence permit , the UDI will first assess whether you will keep your refugee status. Therefore, your application will take longer to process.

Published: 04.04.2017 - Last changed: 16.03.2018

The UDI will now assess whether changes in the situation in Sri Lanka means that Sri Lankans with refugee status still have a need for protection, or if it is safe for them to move back to Sri Lanka. This has been decided by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.

Who will have their refugee status re-assessed?

Your refugee status will be re-assessed if you arrived in Norway as an asylum seeker, and have not yet received a permanent residence permit.

If this applies to you, you will most likely have a green refugee travel document.

Your refugee status will also be re-assessed if your arrived in Norway by family immigration and later received a (derived) refugee status because your spouse, cohabitant or parent had refugee status.  However, if this person already has a permanent residence permit, settlement permit or Norwegian citizenship, we will not re-assess your refugee status.   

What will happen to your residence permit?

The Asylum department in the UDI will assess whether the changes in Sri Lanka means that you no longer need protection.

We will either decide

  • that you will keep your refugee status and have your Norwegian residence permit renewed, or
  • that you lose your refugee status and your residence permit and must go home to Sri Lanka 

Some people will be given a temporary residence permit while they wait for an answer

If you have applied for a renewal of your residence permit, and have not received an answer yet, you must keep waiting for an answer from the UDI. We will contact you if we need any documentation or other information from you. You will be notified when we have processed your application. 

Many people have waited a long time for an answer to their applications. Therefore, some people from Sri Lanka will be given a renewal of their residence permit and a new residence card even though we have not yet decided if they will be able to keep their refugee status and stay in Norway. If you are given such a temporary residence permit, we will notify you. Then we will also process your application for a travel document. 

When this residence permit expires, you must apply for a renewal in the same way as last time. You must also apply to renew your travel document

What will happen with your family members' applications? 

If you have a spouse, cohabitant or child who has applied for a renewal of their residence permit, they will normally be given a renewal of their residence permit if you are given one. If they have applied for a new immigrant's passport or a travel document, we will also process that application. If you have not been given a renewed residence permit, your family members will not be given one either. 

If you have a spouse, cohabitant or child who has applied for a first time family immigration permit or derived refugee status they will not get an answer to their application until you have received an answer to whether or not you will be able to keep your refugee status.  

How long must you wait?

Unfortunately, we do not know yet how long it will take to finish processing your case. While you are waiting, you cannot get a new refugee travel document, a new residence card or a new residence permit. Therefore, you should not book any tickets for travel abroad until you have received an answer to your application and got a new residence card and travel document.

If you need a confirmation letter which shows that you are staying in Norway legally while you are waiting for an answer, you can order it from the UDI. 

If you applied for renewal of your residence permit no later than one month before your previous residence permit expired, you have the same rights as before relating to work, studies etc. while you are waiting for us to decide your application. You will retain these rights until you have received an answer to your application, even if your residence permit expires in the meantime. 

If you receive a letter where it says that the UDI is considering whether you will lose your refugee status, you have the right to a lawyer. You must contact a lawyer yourself.

Who will not have their refugee status re-assessed? 

  • You who already have a permanent residence permit, settlement permit or Norwegian citizenship.
  • You who have received a derived refugee status because your spouse, cohabitant or parent had refugee status, if this person already has a permanent residence permit, settlement permit or Norwegian citizenship.  
  • You who came to Norway as a resettlement refugee (quota refugee).
  • You who have a residence permit in Norway on humanitarian grounds (strong humanitarian considerations or because you have a special connection with Norway). If this applies to you, you most likely have a blue immigrant’s passport or a Sri Lankan passport, and on your residence card it is written 'Midlertidig oppholdstillatelse, utl 38 1' or 'Midlertidig oppholdstillatelse, utf 8-13'.
  • You who have arrived in Norway by family immigration or work immigration and do not have a refugee status. If this applies to you, you most likely have a blue immigrant’s passport or a Sri Lankan passport.

If you are in such a situation, your application for a renewal of your residence permit residence permit will be processed as normal. You can find information about how long you must wait on our page with information about case processing times (external website).