Requirement to be at least 24 years old in applications for family immigration


In some applications for family immigration for spouses and cohabitants, both the persons must have turned 24 years old.

This requirement has been introduced by the Norwegian parliament and government. 

On this page, we use the word 'reference person'. The reference person is the family member living in Norway. 

Requirement for spouses

You must fulfil the requirement if you

  • married after the reference person moved to Norway, or
  • the reference person has always lived in Norway

You must both be at least 24 years old when the application is processed.

You must not fulfil the requirement if

  • you were married, had children together or had lived together as cohabitants for more than two years before either of you moved to Norway, or   
  • you married or lived together as cohabitants in Norway while you both had a residence permit here or Norwegian/Nordic citizenship

Requirement for cohabitants

You must fulfil the requirement if 

  • you are cohabitants without children, and you lived together for less than two years before you moved to Norway, or
  • you are cohabitants with children, and the child was conceived after the reference person moved to Norway. (There is no requirement if the child was conceived while you both had a residence permit here or Norwegian/ Nordic citizenship.)

You must both be at least 24 years old when the application is processed.

You must not fulfil the requirement if you

  • lived together for at least two years before you moved to Norway, or
  • have a child who was conceived before either of you moved to Norway, or
  • have a child who was conceived while you both had a residence permit in Norway or Norwegian/Nordic citizenship).

Who can be exempted from the requirement?

Some couples can be exempted from this requirement. When the UDI assesses whether you can be given an exemption, we will consider what countries your background is from, and whether forced marriages occur in these countries.

We will not only consider what countries you are a citizen of and live in, but also what countries your parents' backgrounds are from. 

Who cannot be given an exemption?

You will normally not be given an exemption from the requirement to be at least 24 years old if

  • you both have a background from countries where Norwegian authorities have experienced that forced marriages occur, for example Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, China (only Uyghurs and Tibetans), Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia (only Chechens), Somalia, Sri Lanka, Stateless, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, West-Sahara, Yemen, or
  • the UDI has other reasons to believe that you might be vulnerable to forced marriage

Who can be exempted from the requirement?

The UDI can most likely give you an exemption from the requirement to be at least 24 years old if

  • one of you, or you both, have a background from a country where Norwegian authorities believe it is very unlikely that someone can be the victim of a forced marriage, or 
  • Norwegian authorities believe it is very unlikely that you are victims of forced marriage, for example because you are a same-sex couple, or the two of you have different cultural or religious backgrounds.