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Is EEA still alive and well in Norway?

What the EEA (EØS) agreement would give the 3 nations in EFTA and the EU was a set up guaranteeing free flow of four things; products, services, money and people (labour). This was signed into law back in 1994, would believe it was common knowledge by now then…

Big is my surprise today that although my wife is a British citizen could not go through the process of registering with the immigration here in Norway because I did not bring proof that I had resided in the UK with her. What does that have to do with it? Surely as a British citizen no questions should be asked about her right to be in this country, other than checking her passport?

So, after waiting for almost 4 weeks for a 15 minute meeting with immigration, we were turned around without getting anything done. At the same time we were told, opposite to what we were told 4 weeks ago by Folkeregisteret in Bærum, our kids do not have to go through this since I am Norwegian. We should have been able to just get this sorted by showing the birth certificates and my passport.

Every single turn in the process of getting my wife and the kids legal and registered and issued with a “person nummer” (national identification number) have been full of wrong information or complete lack of information. Today when I pointed this out to the immigration official it was said that it was “too much information”… Let me decide what is too much, rather than wasting my time and energy to run around various offices to get this sorted.

I have a few foreigners working for me in the business I work for here in Oslo. They are enjoying the fact that I am given the same, bad experience that they had when they (as EU citizens) tried to get their paperwork sorted.

Infuriating, embarrassing, mind-boggling, disappointing…

Getting legal…..

How hard should it be? Married for 8 years, 2 kids who are 6 and 3, citizens of Great Britain and married to a Norwegian. Immigrating to Norway should be a doodle and a simple formality! Right?

Before Jane and kids arrived I hpad a chat with Folkeregisteret og Skatt Øst (this is where you get your National Insurance number and the tax office). Was told just to bring them with me together with necessary documentation (passports, marriage certificate, birth certificates). Also had a check on the website, but nothing more there….

Turned up at their office and was quickly shot down in flames by a grumpy and not very service minded bureaucrat manning the desk! Fair enough, late Friday afternoon and she was probably thinking abhome more fun things than helping us through the process. She did not appreciate my views about lack of and wrong info on their website either….

Got a piece of paper with a website address and was told to register. We, of course, went home and did as told. We registered Jane and chose a date for her to meet the Police to get registered. Website said nothing and did not ask about kids though…. Hence we called when office opened that Monday. Oh yes, kids (even if 3 and 6) needs to be registered separately and appointments made. Problem; no more appointments available same day as first appointment for Jane, so now we will travel back and forth to the police station… What makes it even worse is that it takes over 3 weeks to get one….

One thing is the delay it is all causing. Another thing is the frustration accused due to missing/wrong information. The worst however is the complete lack of service combined with the lack of empathy and smiles…. Not a reason to be proud of being Norwegian!