For members


What happens your immigration appeal is sent to the Immigration Appeals Board?

So, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) decided to forward your immigration appeal case to the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE). If you're wondering what happens next, we've got you covered.

Airport gate
The Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) is the appellate body for immigration and citizenship cases in Norway. Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

If you decide to appeal a UDI decision on your immigration application, you will encounter one of the two possible outcomes.

The first scenario entails the UDI granting your appeal, meaning that your application will be approved – in which case, congratulations, you can now move to or visit Norway!

In the second case, however, things will go differently. In this scenario, the UDI will forward your case to the Immigration Appeals Board– the appellate body for immigration and citizenship cases in Norway – for further consideration.

But what happens when your case ends up at the UNE?

The UNE appeal process

First things first, if the UDI ends up forwarding your case to the UNE, you won’t be kept in the dark – you will be notified by email or SMS.

Note that while the UNE is independent of the UDI, nominally, the same rules apply, as both organisations must make decisions in line with Norwegian law and Norway’s international obligations.

Once it gets your case, the UNE will reconsider it and either reject or grant your appeal.

When the UNE receives an appeal against a rejection decision made by the UDI, the case ends up being considered by a different body with different staff.

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 usually have no other possibilities of appeal in Norway.

What does the UNE do?

As it points out on its website, the UNE’s role is to ensure due process protection. The entity reads all appeals thoroughly to check whether there is anything to indicate that the UDI’s decision should be reversed.

The UNE also make sure to check whether the outcome of the case is correct in relation to the applicable regulations as well as considerations of equal treatment, which means that it often compares new cases with practice from similar past cases.

The UNE is independent when it comes to reaching decisions in individual cases – politicians cannot intervene in such instances, nor can they overrule UNE decisions (regardless of whether their influence would result in a positive or negative outcome).

There is only one exception to this general rule – authorities can intervene in cases which are considered consequential for “fundamental national interests or foreign policy considerations.”

Does the UNE have the necessary expertise to handle complex cases?

As the entity itself points out, its board officials have law degrees and are qualified to serve as judges in a court of law, while a part of them also have court experience.

Furthermore, most UNE case officers have a law degree. Their ranks are also filled by case officers specialising in political science, anthropology, history, and religious studies, as well as human rights and international law.

The UNE’s board members are recommended by multiple credible and widely respected organisations in Norway, including the Norwegian Association of Lawyers, the Norwegian Association of Social Scientists, the County Governors, and voluntary organisations.

Additionally, the UNE seeks out country analysts – employed by the Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo) – to get assistance in individual cases.

The said analysts support the UNE by providing factual knowledge about the situation in the different countries, but they are not part of the decisions reached in the cases.

In some cases, the UNE uses discretionary assessments to reach decisions.

What happens once the UNE has reached a decision?

Once the UNE finalises its review of an appeal against a UDI rejection, it’s done with the case. In some instances, it reconsiders cases upon request based on new case information. Such instances are called requests for reversal.

The UNE decision letter states what will happen next in your case and which body will be responsible for your case moving forward. It will also contain an overview of your rights or obligations.

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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.