Norway threatened with lawsuits for spending too long on residence applications

UDI Logo, minor asylum seekersLogo UDI. Photo Norway Today Media

The EFTA Surveillance Authority threatened to sue Norway for spending too long a time on residence permit applications.

Through the EEA regulations, persons from a country outside the EU, but who are married or in the family with an EEA citizen, can apply for a residence card to be able to live and work in Norway.

Norway is obliged to finalise and respond to the application within six
months to ensure the right to free movement in EU and EEA states. But the majority of applications for residence cards that were submitted last year were not processed within the deadline reported NRK news.

In a letter sent to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on March 19, the ESA wrote that the Norwegian authorities must “deliver their
observations” by April 26 or they will consider suing Norway in the
EFTA Court.

‘’The issue has been discussed in several meetings with the Norwegian authorities. In October 2017, Norway indicated that they would take measures to reduce the processing time. But the statistics sent to us on behalf of the Norwegian government in December 2018 showed that despite the fact that they implemented measures, they still have problems staying within a processing period of six months’’ said communications manager, Øystein Solvang, of the ESA to NRK .

The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will not comment on the case.

‘’We are working on a draft response to the letter from ESA. It will be
sent to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs next week. Apart
from that, we have no comment at this time’’ wrote the department
director of the UDI, Karl Erik Sjøholt, in an email to NRK.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will not make any comment
until they have responded to the ESA.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today