Norway to change family reunification regulations

Norwegian officials have said that the government is to change some rules regarding family reunification.

Justice minister Grete Faremo said in a statement on Wednesday that income requirements for Norwegian citizens looking to bring family into the country are overly strict in some cases.

Speaking to the VG news agency, she said, “In a new regulation, we give greater room for flexibility in some cases where regulations have seemed unnecessarily rigid.”

The news comes after 2010 regulations, which require immigrants and sponsors to prove that they would not be relying on Norwegian taxpayers for support, went into force. For approval, sponsors must show an annual income of at least NOK 242,000 (EUR 32,390), according to the law.

Experts say the move reduced the number reunifications by around 50 per cent in a single year.

Christine Wilberg said on behalf of the Directorate of Immigration (UDI), “We’re pleased that it now appears there is more room for judgment when it comes to demands for support. This has been our wish and is based on recommendations from the UDI.”

Despite the measure, Faremo said that she is looking to raise annual income requirements to NOK 261,700 (EUR 34,390) for those seeking to settle in the country.