Norway’s Justice Minister Grete Faremo says family reunification regulations are to be altered.
Saying that the rules relating to income requirements have been too strict in some cases, she told VG, “In a new regulation, we give greater room for flexibility in some cases where regulations have seemed unnecessarily rigid.”
A new immigratrion law came into force in 2010 with the intention to ensure those coming to Norway would not be relying on the public to support them. The Norwegian partner had to prove he/she had an annual income of at least NOK 242,000 (about USD 39,700) to be able to sustain the person travelling in.
The rules meant that many families were unable to live in Norway and the increase led to half the number of reunifications in 2010 than occurred in 2009.
Christine Wilberg at the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) said, “We’re pleased that it now appears there is more room for judgment when it comes to demands for support. This [less stringent income demands] has been our wish is based on recommendations from the UDI.”
As a result, the UDI will no longer send out rejections to those who the new rules may affect. People, who have received rejections can reapply or appeal the decision.
At the same time as the new move, Minister of Justice Faremo may increase the requirements for those who want to settle in Norway.
She suggests that those Norwegian citizens who want to bring their spouse to Norway must document an income of NOK 261,700 (just under USD 43,000) .
“The cost of living in Norway meant we considered it appropriate to raise the income requirement in light of the purpose of the provision, which is to ensure maintenance ability and integration, as well as prevent forced marriages. This is essential work.”
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