UDI boss: – Working migrants fall under the radar

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

The number of migrants from India and other countries outside the EEA increased last year to 6,196. – This is a type of immigration that falls a little under the radar, believes the UDI boss.

New immigration figures were presented by the UDI on Tuesday, just before KrF presented its new ministers who will collaborate in government with the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Frp.

If all groups of immigrants and refugees are seen together, the number has been decreasing for several years. Both the number of working migrants from EEA countries and refugees and asylum seekers have declined significantly.

But one group stands out and is growing: Working migrants from countries outside the EEA.

  • The typical immigrant in this group is the male Indian engineer, often in the IT industry, said UDI chief Frode Forfang when the figures were presented.

India on top
The number of foreigners from countries outside the EEA, who got a work permit in Norway, increased last year to 6,196. Ten years ago, the corresponding figure was about 4,000.

India is at the top of the list of countries which these immigrants come from. In two years, the number of Indians was more than doubled to 1,901. Many of them are highly educated IT engineers.

Indians also top the list of family reunification last year with 915 granted permits.

By comparison, a little over 3,500 people received asylum or protection as quota refugees in Norway last year.

  • Asylum and that type of immigration are still receiving a lot of attention, says Forfang to NTB. He believes work immigration instead “falls a little under the radar”.
  • Norway’s need governs
    In the second place on the list of skilled labour immigration from countries outside the EEA, is the USA . 506 Americans received a work permit in Norway last year.

At the same time, there were 1,222 seasonal workers from Vietnam. Many of these performed jobs in agriculture.

Forfang believes this type of work immigration receives less attention than the refugees do, because it is perceived as less challenging – and because it is largely governed by the needs of Norwegian business and industry.

  • In fact, it is Norway’s needs that govern. That’s the big difference, he says.

Asylum immigration is instead related to the needs of those who come, the UDI points out.

Strong decline
European workers from EEA countries are by far the largest group of people who immigrate to Norway. But the number has fallen sharply, from over 40,000 in 2010 to just over 20,000 last year.

At the same time, many Europeans move back to their home countries every year. In total, 26,600 foreigners emigrated from Norway in 2017, according to Statistics Norway.

The rules for migrant workers from countries outside the EEA are much stricter and, as a rule, they must have a concrete job offer in order to be able to move to Norway.

Forfang believes the authorities are keen to facilitate this type of immigration. Many of those who apply for such a work permit have their applications processed within a few weeks.

Many asylum seekers have to expect a much longer waiting time, although the variation here is great.

“When it comes to asylum, the policy has been that those who have an obviously bad case should be proceesed and removed quickly,” says Forfang.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today