For members


EXPLAINED: How to appeal an immigration rejection in Norway

The process of getting a residence permit or visa in Norway can be quite stressful at times. It can even end in your application being rejected. If that happens, here's what you can do.

Waiting room
In this article, we will go through the steps and key information you need to know if you're appealing a UDI immigration decision in Norway. Photo by Petr Magera on Unsplash

It is not uncommon for the Norwegian immigration authorities to reject immigration requests. However, if that happens, know that you can appeal the decision.

If you decide to appeal, the embassy or the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will reconsider your case – as long as you filed the appeal within the deadline specified in the UDI decision letter you received.

While relatively straightforward, the appeal process also has a rigid structure you must be aware of.

In this article, we will go through the steps and key information you need to know if you’re appealing a UDI immigration decision in Norway.

Who can appeal the decision?

Know that you can start an appeal case only if you’re the actual applicant for immigration to Norway or if you have a power of attorney for the applicant in question.

This also applies to the applicant’s family members and other close contacts in Norway – they will need a power of attorney to appeal on the applicant’s behalf.

What are the appeal deadlines?

As of the time of writing, you need to appeal the UDI’s decision within three weeks from the date when the decision has been received or when you should have become aware of the authorities’ decision.

If you fail to gather all the documentation or information you want to include in your appeal within the deadline, you still need to submit the appeal within three weeks.

In such cases, explain that you will send over more information and documentation at a later date. The authorities will then give you two more weeks to gather and send over the said materials.

How to appeal an immigration rejection?

First off, you need to write a letter and explicitly explain which decision you are appealing and why you believe the authorities’ decision is incorrect. You can write the letter in Norwegian or English.

You will need to sign the letter, scan or take a photograph of the signed letter, and upload it to the UDI’s form for document submission (available here).

Alternatively, you can also send the letter to the police. Make sure that you include any new information or documentation that might be relevant to your case.

After that, you’ll be notified via email or SMS when the UDI receives your appeal.

Submitting an appeal is free of charge, and you can find more information on the waiting times on the UDI’s website, here.

Note that if an embassy has made the decision in your immigration application, you will have to hand in your appeal to the said embassy. In such cases, you will need to consult the embassy’s website for the waiting times that apply.

Important note: It’s very important to provide new information or add documents that support your case. If you fail to provide such information or documentation, your appeal will likely fail.

What happens next?

After you’ve submitted your appeal, you need to wait for the UDI to reconsider your case.

There are two possible outcomes: either the UDI grants your appeal, or it forwards the case to the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) – the appellate body for immigration and citizenship cases – for further consideration.

If the UDI forwards your case to UNE, you will be notified by email or SMS. The UNE will then consider your case again and either reject or grant your appeal.

If your UNE appeal is successful, then the UDI’s rejection will no longer apply. However, if the UNE also rejects your appeal, you will have no other possibilities of appeal in Norway.

Note that the rules are a bit different if an embassy is reviewing your appeal – you can find out more details on the website of the embassy in question.

Can you reside in Norway while the appeal case is being processed?

If your immigration request (usually an application for a residence permit or visa) is rejected, you will normally be given a deadline for leaving the country.

Generally, the deadline is three weeks. However, if you wish to stay in Norway while the immigration authorities review your appeal case, you can apply to remain in the country by invoking a deferred implementation of the decision.

If the authorities grant your request, you will be able to stay in Norway until the appeal has been processed. However, if they reject your request, you will have to leave the country within the specified deadline.

Know that there are special rules in place for people who have applied for a renewal or who have had their residence permit revoked. You can find more information about these rules here.

Also, in some cases, and only if certain conditions are met, you might have the right to have your legal or other necessary expenses related to the appeal process covered. The UDI has more information on the conditions that apply on its website.

Can you reapply for immigration?

Note that you can reapply one more time even if your immigration application was previously rejected – if you believe that you meet the requirements at a later time.

You can find more information on the re-application process on the UDI’s website here.

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For members


Can you start your job in Norway before your work permit is granted? 

To be eligible for a work permit in Norway, you will need a solid full-time job offer, among other things, on the table. Can you start your new role and hit the ground running while your application is processed? 

Can you start your job in Norway before your work permit is granted? 

The wages, work-life balance and office culture, are the key calling cards of working in Norway. Unless you are from the EEA or qualify for a family immigration residence, you will likely need a work permit to move to Norway for your career

Before you start, you will need a solid job offer of either full-time or 80 percent of full-time work. This is in addition to your qualifications being relevant for the job and the pay and working conditions being in line with industry standards. 

Putting in the work permit application after being offered the job can feel like you are stuck in limbo, waiting to start your new role, as work permit applications can take months to process. 

If you want to get an early start and dive into your role and are wondering whether you can start while you wait for your application to go through, you will need to be aware that, typically, this isn’t allowed

“Normally, work immigrants from countries outside the EU/EEA cannot start working until they have been granted a residence permit,” the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) writes on its website

However, there is an exception to this rule. Employees and workers can obtain permission from the police force, where they hand in the application documents for the applicant to start their job before they receive a decision on their work permit. 

Permission for an early employment start is issued by the police rather than the UDI. When the employer or applicant hands in their documents to the police, they will need to ask for an early employment start. 

If the company is handling the application on the employee’s behalf, it will also need to submit a written power of attorney from the prospective worker

Once the request has been lodged, the police can confirm whether the employee may start work early and work for the employer until their residence application has been decided. During this period, the worker cannot change employer or clients. 

Should the employee require a visa to enter Norway, they can get this by heading to their nearest embassy and handing the early start confirmation to embassy officials. 

The application for early employment can only be made before the police send the work permit application for the police for processing. After the documents have been forwarded, it will not be possible to get permission to start the job before the permit is granted. 

Those with other residence applications lodged will need to wait until they receive a decision on their case before they can work (if their permit allows them to work). 

What else to be mindful of

In some rare cases, you can receive an early employment start confirmation but have your work permit rejected. 

This will be because the authorities will determine whether you meet all the criteria when your case is processed. Therefore, you can have your work permit denied because you don’t have the relevant qualifications for the role (for example)

You will be required to leave Norway and likely lose your job when this happens. 

Furthermore, being permitted to work doesn’t mean that you can start work immediately. You will also be required to have a Norwegian identification number. Some employers will also require a Norwegian bank account for the salary to be paid into. Setting these up may take some weeks.