A swifter bureacratic process for international student
International students from countries outside of the EU/EEA must apply for a residence permit for studies. The residence permit must be renewed every year. The ordinarily lengthy process has been negatively impacted by the corona situation, with the waiting times increasing significantly. Students must attend appointments with the police and hand in documents no later than one month before their residence permit expires. Only then is the application submitted. The waiting times for the police appointments are very long at the moment. Some applicants do not get an appointment with the police to hand in the application documents on time, even though they have sent the application well in advance.
The applications are processed by the police but they may also be forwarded to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Currently, the Oslo Police District takes 6 weeks to process the application, and if they cannot process it, they send it to UDI within 1 to 2 weeks. Oslo Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) takes 1 day to process the application, but if the application has to be forwarded to UDI it takes a month.
If the application is sent to the UDI for processing, UDI waiting times apply. According to UDI, in the case of permit renewal, it takes 7 months to receive an answer to the application from the time the documents were handed in.
This situation impacts international students in several ways. If the application is not processed on time, students do not have a valid residence card. It means that they cannot travel in and out of Norway while waiting for your new permit. They can be stopped at border control in other countries. Additionally, they can be unable to enter Norway if they travel outside the country. This not only affects international student’s social welfare negatively in the form of unwanted/unnecessary worry and stress but can also impact their focus on studies as well. These bureaucratic processes creates an unacceptable burden for international students, and need to be revised.
The Student Welfare Council in Oslo and Akershus’s position is that:
- The Oslo Police District and Oslo Service Centre for Foreign Workers should make more appointments available for international students.
- Police District and Service Centre for Foreign Workers should work towards shortening the time of processing the applications.
- If the applications need to be forwarded to UDI, the Police District and Service Centre for Foreign Workers should do so more quickly.
- UDI should shorten the processing time of the applications forwarded to them.
The resolution was written by Gabriela Lis, Mohamed Abdirashid – International Committee
Vedtatt på VTs vårseminar 5. og 6. februar 2022