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Frequently Asked Questions

1. UNE and the UDI – what's the difference?

The Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) is an appeal body. This means that UNE can only consider cases that have first been considered by the Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

UDI is the body that receives applications and notifications concerning permits and rights for foreign nationals. If the UDI rejects such applications and notifications, its decisions can be appealed. If the UDI does not reverse its decision after having considered the appeal, the case is forwarded to UNE for consideration and final decision.

2. How do I apply for protection/a residence permit?

Asylum application: When you arrive in Norway, you must register as an asylum seeker with the police. See the information on UDI's website: 'Want to apply'.

Residence permit: All applications must be submitted to UDI: 'Work and residence'

The case is only forwarded to UNE if such an application has been rejected by the UDI and you or a person authorised by you have appealed against the rejection.

3. When/how can I appeal against rejections by the UDI?

If UDI rejects your application, you are entitled to appeal the decision.

It is the person the decision concerns, the party, who has a right of appeal. This means that, if the decision concerns you, you have a right to appeal against it. A person authorised by you to act on your behalf (an authorised representative) also has a right to appeal. The appeal must be signed by you or your authorised representative.

The deadline for appealing is three weeks from the date when you or your representative received the decision. The appeal must state which decision you are appealing against and why you believe the decision to be incorrect. It should also state what is incorrect about the matters you are appealing about.

The appeal is sent via the police to UDI, which considers whether to reverse or change the decision or uphold it. If UDI decides not to grant the appeal or to grant it only in part, it will forward the appeal to UNE for a decision. See 'What happens if your application for protection is rejected?'.

Once UNE has made a decision in the appeal case, this decision cannot be appealed further. However, UNE's decisions can be brought before the ordinary courts of law for judicial review. UNE also considers reversal requests, which are requests for the reversal of final decisions pursuant to the Public Administration Act.

4. Legal assistance

All appellants are entitled to be assisted by a lawyer or other representative at all stages of the appeal case. You decide who you want to represent you.

Persons representing humanitarian organisations and others can also act as your representative. However, you can only use one representative in relation to the government administration. Therefore, you cannot receive legal assistance from both a lawyer and another representative in connection with your appeal case.

If you have applied for protection and your application has been rejected, a lawyer will be appointed to assist you. The lawyer will act as your helper and be a link between you and the Norwegian authorities. The lawyer will ensure that deadlines are complied with and that your appeal case is properly processed.

Norwegian Regulations concerning public fees for advocates etc.

5. Case processing times

UNE has not stipulated requirements or guarantees as regards case processing times. At present, the expected (future) case processing times for different types of cases are as follows:

Asylum (protection) 5 months
Dublin-cases 3 month
Family immigration 4 months
Work permits 4 months
Study permits 3 months
Visa 1 month
Foreigners passport / travel document 4 months
Permanent residence 4 months
Citizenship 4 months
Permit recall 6 months
Expulsion (entry denial) 4 months


Some cases require more work, for example in connection with verification or obtaining more information. This could mean that the case processing time will be longer than otherwise expected. Moreover, certain types of cases are prioritised, and case processing times can be shorter for such cases.

6. Can I talk to the case officer?

If you have a case concerning protection under consideration, you can talk to the case officer, unless the switchboard or someone else can answer your question. The same applies to questions about cases concerning travel documents. You need written authorisation to receive information if the case in question is not your own case. This does not apply to the lawyer in the case.

If you have another type of case under consideration by UNE, for example family reunification, your questions will be answered by the switchboard or other members of UNE's service section. If you have new information that could have a bearing on the case, it is important that you give this information to UNE in writing.

7. What kind of information can I get from the public help desk?

UNE has a public help desk where you can come in person to get information about your own case. There, you can talk to people who work in UNE. They are not case officers, but service staff. The public help desk is open from 11.30 to 14.30 on Mondays, and from 12.00 to 14.00 Tuesday–Friday. Between 15 May and 15 September, the public help desk is open from 11.30 to 14.30 on Mondays, and from 11.30 to 13.30 Tuesday–Friday.

The public help desk can tell you whether UNE has received your case. You can also find out when UNE received your case and what the normal case processing time is. The public help desk cannot tell you when consideration of your case is expected to be completed. Since case processing times vary from case to case, it is unfortunately not possible to give an exact date for when the consideration of a specific case will be completed.

You can also hand in documents that you have not previously submitted to the public help desk, and the person you talk to can also pass on information to the case officer. However, case processing in UNE is primarily based on information submitted in writing. It is therefore important that information that you believe will have a bearing on your case is submitted in writing to UNE.

Much of the information the public help desk can give you can also be obtained by calling the switchboard.

8. Can UNE grant temporary work permits?

No, UNE cannot grant you a temporary work permit. That decision is made by UDI (or the police).

If you want to work while you have an application for protection under consideration, you can be granted a temporary work permit if you meet certain conditions. Among other things, the asylum interview must have taken place, you must have documented your identity, and you must be over 18 years of age. It is important that you state during your asylum interview that you want a temporary work permit. Otherwise, you have to apply for one or submit a written request to  UDI. UDI will then decide whether you qualify for such a permit.

If you want a temporary work permit after your case has been forwarded to UNE, you have to apply via the police. UDI or the police will process the application. If your application is rejected, you cannot appeal that decision to UNE.

You are only eligible for a temporary work permit if you have applied for protection. If you have applied for family reunification, for example, you cannot be granted such a permit. If you have applied for a work permit and complied with the ordinary case processing procedures, however, you can be granted a temporary work permit if you meet certain conditions. Normally, such a permit will only be granted if it is likely that the application will be granted. You must explicitly request such a permit. The police and/or the UDI will then make a decision about your request. UNE cannot grant a provisional permit, and you cannot appeal the police/UDI's decision.

9. I have been granted deferred implementation, what does this mean for me?

If UDI has consented to deferred implementation, you can stay in Norway while your appeal case is being considered by UNE. This deferral applies until UNE has made its final decision in the case.

What happens after that depends on the outcome of UNE's decision. If UNE grants the appeal, you will be given some form of permit. If UNE does not grant the appeal, you are in principle obliged to leave Norway voluntarily once you have been informed of the decision.

If you have applied for protection and been granted a temporary work permit, deferred implementation means that the temporary work permit will be valid until UNE has considered your case.

10. Can voluntary organisations help me with my case?

There are several voluntary and non-profit organisations that can help you with your case. You will find brief presentations and links to some of these organisations below.

The Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) primarily assists in asylum cases. It can provide general information about the application procedure and the conditions for asylum, among other things. NOAS can also provide free legal aid in asylum cases.

Jusstudentens rettsinformasjon (Juss-Buss) is run by law students from the University of Oslo, and can help in cases other than asylum cases, including family reunification. There are also several other student organisations that can provide similar assistance: Legal Advice for Women (JURK), Jussformidlingen in Bergen, Jusshjelpa i Nord-Norge in Northern Norway, and Jusshjelpa i Midt-Norge in Central Norway.

Selvhjelp for innvandrere og flyktninger (SEIF) is a voluntary and independent organisation that can help immigrants and refugees to find information and solve problems. They can also refer you to other agencies that can help.

Organisasjonen mot Offentlig Diskriminering (OMOD) is a voluntary organisation that works to promote equality, integration and equal public services for ethnic minorities in Norway.

MiRA Resource Centre for Black, Immigrant and Refugee Women (the MiRA Centre) can provide help and guidance in legal matters, among other things.

11. Return support after final rejection

Most people who do not have legal residence in Norway and who return voluntarily, are eligible for differentiated financial reintegration support.

Reintegration support is intended for asylum seekers and persons without legal residence in Norway. The support is intended to make it easier for those who do not have a residence permit in Norway to return voluntarily by giving them financial assistance to resettle in their country of origin.

The scheme works as follows:

1. A sum of NOK 20,000 is granted to persons who apply for voluntary return before the deadline for leaving Norway. This group also includes persons who apply before they have been given a deadline to leave Norway.

2. A sum of NOK 15,000 is granted to persons who apply for voluntary return no later than two months after the expiry of the deadline for leaving Norway.

3. A sum of NOK 10,000 is granted to persons who wait longer than this.

* Families with children that apply for voluntary return under the auspices of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) can also be granted a one-off sum of NOK 10,000 per child.

In order to receive this support, an application for voluntary return must be submitted via the International Organization for Migration (IOM), tel. (+47) 23105320, www.iom.int.

Last updated 07 May 2014