Sunday, 22 January 2012

Waging a war with Udi

It is something I have not talked about on my blog before but for the last 16 months we have been fighting a battle with the norwegian immigration department, UDI.
We have been turned down twice for family reunification based on the fact that Henrik earned too little in London in 2010. Our fight is that surely it does not matter what Henrik earned in London, surely what counts is what Henrik is earning now, here in Norway. You are required to be payscale 8 which Henrik was slightly below in England. He is now payscale 50 (quite a jump, huh?) but the UDI says that Henrik did not earn enough in London to support us both here in Norway. Crazy huh? They don't take into account that I'm now working and I am earning a very nice wage. We have both more than doubled our salaries here. We have a nice life in Norway, a lovely home,a car, no debts, a fridge full of good food,and enough spare cash to enjoy ourselves.
Those of you who regularly read my blog can see we are not living in poverty (as the UDI seems to think!)Life is good, yet once again we have been turned down for family reunification. It stinks.
After 2 lawyers and countless trips to many government offices I had had enough so I went to Aftenposten, Norways best and most reliable newspaper. Today our story came out along with many other couples who are having exactly the same problem as us. We will also have a follow up story tomorrow in the same paper. I'm hoping it helps with our struggle. We are now in the dark regarding our future in Norway.


  1. Oh that sucks big time!!! But i think you made a good descision to go to the newspaper and bring it out! Maybe now they'll get the point and understand that you won't let this go untill it's solved!
    Good luck with this, i hope it will have a positive end! Thumbs up :)

  2. I'm confused, as a Brit do you need family reunification? Obviously you're both working and living here. Are there rights or tax considerations that you receive as family reunification residency? Do you need to establish residency here? Since I'm not an EU citizen I'm not sure on the details, all my EU friends are here as students which is a different boat.

    Best of luck to you, however. I hope it all works out for both of you.

  3. it's great to stand up and fight the system. awful to feel so helpless while someone else makes big decisions about your life, hope this article gets you somewhere. ridiculous rules! keep us updated. x

  4. What a stupid situation! I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I hope things will be solved quickly, who knows what might happen after the article in the Aftenposten?

  5. Lisa- you're famous! But in all serious, this is such a ridiculous and unacceptable matter. I'm totally baffled. We were in a similar situation as the two of you while living in the US, yet had no problem and only a month of waiting to be approved by UDI after moving to Norway. Why the discrepancy? Such bullshit. Best of luck to you. I hope Aftenposten helps you pull through!

  6. Hey Lisa,
    We read your article on the Net as we couldn´t get hold of the paper. It really sucks that this has blown up into such a big issue.....hopefully Aftenposten will help to get things back on track at the UDI. Anyway, here´s the link to the article if your other readers are interested.

  7. Sounds like a very frustrating experience for you both and I hope it gets sorted soon.

    I thought as an EEA national you can get residency based on the fact you have a job here? I'm a Brit married to a Norwegian and all I had to do was go to the police station with my work contract.

    It seems particularly unfair as when we lived in the UK my wife didn't need a residence permit at all – after all, free movement of people is one of the key tenets of the EEA. Not for Norway though it seems.

    By the way, the Aftenposten story can now be seen here.

  8. One of the things that's bad about Norway not being in the EU... The way you've been treated sounds completely illogical and I'm so sorry to hear about it.. I sincerely hope your case gets sorted soon. Crossing my fingers for you.

  9. I would also like to add to the confusion as to why as a (assuming) British Citizen you can't get residency? I was born in Ireland and now living in Olso 3 years. My cousin also from Ireland came for the first time to work temporarily last summer while on his college break and he had no problem getting a permit. All he had to do was register online at UDI's website and go to the tax office to pickup his "skattekort". Anyway whatever happens I hope it all works for you guys :-)

  10. Corinne & Michael Carey-
    When I arrived in Norway I presented myself at the police station,registered and was told to apply for family reunification, which we did. Huge mistake. Turned out we did not need it. They never officially registered me. They lost my paperwork and now I'm floating in some weird void where they don't seem to know what to do with me! I still don't have a personal number, just a temp d number which causes many problems, I work, I pay tax. This whole think has been a massive fail on the part of the UDI.

  11. Lots good luck with it Lisa! It is crazy you've been put down like that.
    Crossing fingers for you!

  12. Hello Lisa. My husband and I are in a very similar situation as you and it is so frustrating. I am Norwegian and he is an Israeli (with a French citizenship as well). We applied for family reunification in July and were turned down a few weeks ago, PLUS my husband was requested to leave Norway within four weeks or he could face a forced expulsion. The UDI managed to list him as an Israeli national even though he had always stated that he was French (thus an EEA national) with the extemption of once mentioning that he has an Israeli nationality as well. It's completely ridiculous and he was forced to waste a day of work going to the police and the People's Registry.
    The grounds for us being denied family reunification is also that I didn't earn enough in 2010 since that was just after I had finished my studies, we were newly married, and decided to live in Israel for a while. We lived there until October of 2010 and so I didn't get to work much that year. However, since then, I have had a full time job as a teacher and earn pretty well and my husband has a job now as well. I honestly don't know what to do and how to go about with the complaint letter.

    It seems that most of us are getting stuck because of the ludicrous rule that one has to have earned enough in the previous year.
    I hope things work out for you!

  13. Hi there, our sympathies with you!
    The UDI is a terrible institution and I have waged war with them since 2007 when my wife and I returned from the UK after a 9 year working there. Couldnt believe what treatment we got, been married since 1974, got 4 Norwegian children, both paid taxes to Norway, even tax to Norway on rental income on norwegian house while away.... so Uk wife refused oppholdtillatelse bacause she had left Norway for more than 2 years. Only way to do it was to pay 7000kr and apply each year for 3 years. I took Norway to court in the EFTA survailance organ for "harassment of EU citizen" and in 2010 Norway had to change the law to make it easier for EU citizens.
    They were very helpful and you could take your case there maybe. contact me for more detail at if you like.
    We managed to get Janet signed back into Norway last year, but not without agro, what a place, they demanded proof that I had lived in the UK and wage slips proving that I had actually worked there! Luckily I had kept some documents, otherwise we would probably have been in the same situation as you.
    All I can say is good luck and dont give up and continue to expose the incompetance of the UDI.
    /Janet & Bjorn

  14. Ariella- I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Much worse than ours. I'm not so updated when it comes to the Udi, I find everything so confusing if your husband is a french citizen than as an EU resident he should be able to be in Norway with no pressure to prove that you are able to support him.
    This is what I'm going on although maybe cause your husband is a citizen and not a national it's different.....

    You are an EEA national and your family member who lives or is going
    to live in Norway is Norwegian
    You can apply for family immigration pursuant to the general
    regulations, or register through the registration requirement scheme
    if you have right of residence pursuant to the EEA regulations on an
    independent basis. In some cases, family members of a Norwegian
    citizen can choose to register through the registration requirement
    scheme for family immigration. This will apply if the Norwegian
    national has:
    1. had an actual family life with you in another EU/EEA/EFTA country
    in another EU/EEA/EFTA country, and
    2. engaged in economic activity there (work, student or so)
    , and
    3. returned to Norway with his/her family.

    Good luck!

  15. Oh Lisa... best of luck to the both of you! This sounds so horribly stressful and I'm not sure I totally understand it. Really hope it all works out – hoping the newspaper feature helps xx

  16. This sounds absolutely crazy and infuriating. Best of luck getting it sorted out!

  17. When will it ever stop, eh, Lisa?

    Glad the article came out--was looking for it Friday! I hope you get some reaction out of it, as I did mine (although mine not all so positive!).

    Lykke til!

  18. I saw the article online and I just can't believe it (well - I can believe it, but I was not expecting it) - when we came back to Norway we applied for my husband to come here not on family-reunion, but based on his work. Which was lucky, as the year before we moved we actually went travelling for 6 months so I was on reduced pay...
    It is amazing that it can be that difficult and that rules can be so strict... I wish you luck!

  19. Oh that suck!!! So good you took mathers in your own hands!! Hopefully it will pay of!!!

  20. Good on you for talking to the papers about this! I hope it will get some much-deserved attention and help change the situation for the better for you and all the others who suffer under this stupid, if not to say downright disgusting, rule.

  21. So sorry to hear about this. I hope it all gets sorted. Good luck! Good idea going to Aftenposten, btw.

  22. Hello everyone- thanks for all your lovely comments and support!

  23. All I can say is that ANY immigration process is UTTER RUBBISH. Some shite people who come to freeload and suck the system dry make it hard for all of us regular joes who work hard, are educated, and here to contribute to the country, and who simply try to live a peaceful life with the person we love. Genuinely. And NOT for immigration purposes.

    I'm so glad it's finally come through for you! *Fist in the air* Victory!