When you are in between countries you are in limbo. You can only live year by year as that is all you are approved to do until you get a permanent residency permit. After three years on a temporary residency permit I have finally been upgraded to permanent.
It certainly hasn’t been an easy road for me. I’ve gone through the initial application process twice. After two years of living in Norway we went to London for a year and then returned. I had to start the application process again because I stayed over 9 months outside of Norway. After lost papers (UDI lost them), interviews and waiting, waiting, waiting (you shouldn’t leave the country when you are being processed so holidays at this time is definitely out), I have paid my dues and now reside in Norway permanently. (This also means I just can’t return back to Australia if I want to. I will need to go through another application process to get back in the country.) So Norway is now officially my home.
After the initial application, the following ones are a breeze, providing your circumstances don’t change and you gave correct information at your first application. This last time it took just two months from handing in my application to getting the stamp in my passport. There are a couple of reasons why my application processing time for a permanent permit based on family reunification was so quick:
1. It was the third time I applied and therefore it was more about procedure than sorting through information.
2. My documents were filled out correctly.
3. My application was uncomplicated. I haven’t changed status since my initial application, I am not a refugee and I come from an agreeable country. Therefore the local police station was able to handle my case. If an application is complicated it will most certainly be handled by UDI in Oslo which has a long waiting list on top of all the extra information transfers and communications.
4. I live in a small city that doesn’t have many applications.
5. I am married to a Norwegian. This makes things easier as Norwegians have more rights than non-Norwegians, especially when it comes to immigration.
6. I have Norwegian children. While residing in Norway I have created a life and family here which is a strong humanitarian addition to my application.
7. I have no convictions and no criminal activity.
8. I have fulfilled my Norwegian language requirement.
And softer additions that would help if my application was questionable:
9. I work and therefore don’t drain the social system.
10. I am well educated and have specialist skills.
11. I am a participant of society.
Going through all the application processes to live in Norway can be annoying to say the least but rather than thinking that it is a process that judges your value, think of it as a time to test Norway to see if it is good enough for you. Learn everything you can about Norway, live the culture and become involved in society. This way when it comes time to apply for that permanent residency permit you will be going into it with a thorough understanding of the country that will become your life.