Immigrants to be issued new residence cards

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CORRECTED: Foreign citizens living in Norway will no longer get a sticker in their passports to indicate legal, permanent residence. Instead, reported newspaper Aftenposten, they’ll now be issued plastic cards that they must carry along with the passports when traveling abroad.

All foreign residents from countries outside the European Economic Area need to document their permanent residence, and also have to renew the documentation every other year, to continue to be able to travel and move freely within the so-called “Schengen region.” Now, however, the documentation comes in the form of the cards that resemble a bank ID card and verify what the Norwegians call oppholdstillatelse.

The changes reported by Aftenposten suggested the foreign residents no longer would need to make a trip down to the local police office that enforces immigration policies, and would be able to order the cards and have them delivered in the mail. That’s not correct, as an alert Views and News reader who’s just been through the process could report.

Instead, when their current residence permission stickers are about to expire, all foreign residents still must show up in person at their local police station handling immigration matters, to not only have a new photo taken but also to register information for a new biometric chip that will be contained in the cards. In Oslo, appointments now must be booked in advance.

“The cards are proof that someone has the right to live in Norway,” Karl Erik Sjøholt of immigration agency UDI told Aftenposten. UDI officials cautioned that during the transition period, the agency may be guilty of sending out some conflicting information, including letters that may still refer to a need to get stickers in passports. They asked foreign nationals “to disregard this.”

UDI also initially reported that cards can only be ordered upon expiration of the stickers now in passports. That may change later this year, and UDI officials suggested foreign nationals check for the latest rule changes on the agency’s website, www.udi.no. For more details on the new residence cards, click here.

Views and News staff