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Case Processing times for applications in the Philippines

Since the case processing times for us Filipinos are slightly different than most applications from other countries, i decided to start a thread dedicated for this topic. this will be a really long post, so please bear with me :)

we all know that the Norwegian Embassy in the Philippines have the power to make decisions on family immigration cases provided that certain conditions are met. This means that we can get decision at a faster waiting time, unlike when an application is forwarded to UDI which can take up to 9 months (or more) which is what normally happens to applications submitted in other countries. Most norwegian embassies in other countries dont have authority to make decisions, so applications are automatically forwarded to UDI..

a change had also happened when starting Feb 2015, the embassy had outsourced screening/accepting of documents for visa applications to VFS global.. that means that applicants no longer meet the case officer for submission of documents, which in my opinion, makes the decision making part more objective since there will no longer be an "interview" of sort and they will just be looking at our papers (which basically what happens at UDI).. this also gives a day or two delay for the embassy to receive the documents from VFS..

i had started a thread about getting married in Norway while on a Visitor's visa... feel free to browse thru it if u need some info about that topic..

moving forward, previous posts had proved that some residence permit application (under family immigration) received a decision after 2-3 weeks of submission.. some took more than a month.. some cases had received an email from the embassy within the first week of submission, that their case will be forwarded to UDI.. I had read someone received the UDI email after 2 months... these are all Filipinas who submitted applications in the Philippines..

for my case, i had applied with my daughter (from previous relationship) and it had been 2 months now since i had submitted our documents.. after 6 weeks of waiting, i decided to call the embassy for a follow-up.. they said that they received my application 2 business days after i submitted to VFS, and its still under processing coz they are still waiting for information from the police. what it is, they cant tell me coz its an internal process..

on the 8th week of waiting, my husband decided to call UDI to know if we had already been forwarded to UDI.. they said that a month ago, the embassy needed information from UDI, and UDI already returned the case back to the embassy... and it is up to the embassy now if they will make a decision or forward it back to UDI if it turns out to be a more complicated case..

a friend here on expat-blog had an observation that it seems like those who had been to norway dont get a decision in under a month, she too had been told about the pending info from the politi... so i decided to do some research in the webiste of  Norwegian Directorate of Immigration - UDI which is the website for updates coming from UDI.. i did some further digging about the "info from the police",  and here's what i found:

Section 17-7f The police
At the request of a Norwegian foreign service mission, the Directorate of Immigration, the Immigration Appeals Board or the Ministry, the police shall provide information on the conduct, of a foreign national .....
.... Information on conduct in accordance with the first paragraph includes information about whether the foreign national has been sentenced to a penalty or other criminal sanction or other measures as a result of committing an offence, or is the subject of a criminal prosecution; see also section 36, first paragraph (1), of the Police Register Act. In cases under the first paragraph (m), information may also be collected about identity.
At the request of the Directorate of Immigration or the Immigration Appeals Board, the police shall provide information about whether the applicant is being investigated for a criminal offence that may have a bearing on the application, in cases concerning suspension under section 62, second paragraph, of the Act and cases concerning expulsion under section 122 of the Act. The duty of the police to provide information under this paragraph only applies where the interests of the investigation do not argue against providing the information.

source: Immigration Regulations - pdf file

my assumption is that for those who had been to norway for a longer period of time or given number of times, part of their requirements is a "Certificate of Conduct" (vandelsattest/politiattest) of the applicant from the police.. the certificate can take up to 4 weeks to get from the politi/police.. so i suppose those who submitted their application in the Philippines, can take more than a month for a decision because of this particular requirement.. i had been to Norway for a total of 5 months divided into 4 vacations.. my theory is that those who had been to Norway for more than 3 months OR been going there more than once will need a certificate of conduct from the police.. this is just my assumption tho, based on what the embassy told me what part of the process my case is still "pending" and after reading the immigration regulations..

so i believe that those who get decisions in under a month, did not need a politi certificate of conduct (those who had never been to norway, or been there in under 3 months)... but for us who need them, need to add another month of waiting, or maybe less depending on how busy the politi is..

so until now, we are still waiting... :( its been 2 months..

please feel free to discuss your waiting times after u submitted ur application in th Philippines... :) i maybe wrong for my assumptions so feel free to discuss your experiences on this matter... thank you and i wish us all the best  :thanks:
:)

please feel free to contribute on this topic.. those who had received a decision, feel free to share your experiences as well... kindly give a brief introduction of yourself.. here are some information you can share, if u wont mind.. :) this can greatly help others wondering about case processing times...

- what family immigration visa did u apply for? (spouse or fiancee)
- how long have you been waiting since u submitted your documents? or for those who got an approval, how long was the waiting time for you?
- have you received any emails (either from the embassy or UDI)? if yes,  after how many weeks since application did you receive these emails?
- where did u submit ur applications? VFS manila or Cebu?
- have you been to norway before? how many times and for how long?

thanks :thanks:

Hi!
I have applied fiancée visa last March 31,2015 at VFS. My application was being registered on 1st of April. Two weeks after my submission of documents I received an email from embassy that my application was sent to UDI. The next day I received an email from UDI stating that they received my application. I've been waiting for 4 months now and every 1st of the month I received email from UDI that my case is still waiting for processing. We really don't know why embassy need to forward our case to UDI though we have all the requirements needed. I've been in Norway 4 times under tourist visa and I stayed in Norway good for 90 day's everytime I visit there.
Hope to have a good news very soon..

thank you for the response joy.. im sorry to hear about ur waiting time.. i wish u get a response faster than the expected processing time..  :)

i heard age is one of the embassy's conditions... is any of u or ur fiancée under the age of 25yo when you applied?

I'm 23 yo. My fiancé told me there's no problem about age. He called UDI and the man told him that my case staying in the place which is easy to handle. But until now no result yet.

i believe that a marriage with someone under 25yo is subjected to interview... :( i cannot be 100% sure tho, but a couple of filipina applicants we talked to here had mentioned they are under 25yo and are forwarded to UDI...

i am so sorry that you had been waiting that long, ove_joy... i just checked the UDI site now, the waiting time for us filipinas had been changed from 9 months to 13 months... :( 18 months if you will be invited for an interview... i remember, this is what the embassy told me when i called them a couple of weeks ago.. source (update as of August 17, 2015): Guide to case processing times in family immigration cases

does the monthly email from UDI says the processing time had been changed?

Hi pheebz!

This is the content of the monthly email from UDI.

Dear applicant

Your application for a residence permit is still waiting to be processed

You will receive monthly updates until your application is processed.

Please note that the case processing time may have changed since you submitted your application. You will always find an up-to-date case processing time for your kind of application on udi.no/time.

If we need any information not mentioned in the check list for family immigration, we will notify you or your family member (the reference person).

Are you in Norway now?

hi joy.
i guess they all direct the case processing time queries to the UDI website,  which i think they  update every month.. tho it doesnt have any information when the case is processed by the embassy..

no,  i am in philippines now.. still waiting for the residence permit.. :(

i just got an email from UDI today regarding the follow-up request i sent last week.. they said that as of now,  they have not received our application yet and i should contact the embassy since the application is still with them...

still hopeful and waiting :(

I think you don't need to wait so long same me cuz your case still in embassy. I will pray here that you will receive yours very soon.
By the way I'm from northern Cebu. How about you?

thank you for your prayers :) i am from cavite..

Hello....

Sorry I dont understand what you mean by this ". my theory is that those who had been to Norway for more than 3 months OR been going there more than once will need a certificate of conduct from the police." 
I've been in Norway 2 times under tourist visa, so it means that I need to have certificate of conduct from the police? We applying fiancee visa next month. So I want to make sure I have all the papers I need.


Thanks

hi tomrain..

sorry if i got u confused.. the certificate of conduct from the police is not part of the requirements... it was just an assumption that the embassy ask for this from the politi for some cases (not all)... its an internal process... nobody said that it is real,  its just my assumption as to why some cases gets approved only after more than a month... since most applications in the philippines gets approved within 2-3 weeks, i assume those cases dont need any info from UDI or politi so the embassy decides about them right away after philippine documents had been validated...

dont worry about that part... u wont have to do anything for it.. just follow the checklist of requirements from UDI site and embassy... but i would really appreciate it if u could inform us here how long you will be waiting after u applied for a visa..  :)  thanks

I applied April 08, 2015 for an engagement/fiance permit. After submitting my application at VFS Manila, I got an email 3 weeks later that my application has been forwarded to UDI. Every 8th of the month I get a standard email from UDI that my application is still waiting to be processed. My fiance is under 25yo and I've been to Norway 3 times for a total of about 4 months. It's absolutely ridiculous how long it takes for UDI to process applications. But anyway, I'm just being patient and hopeful that we'll get an answer soon. Good luck ladies! :)

Hello everyone!  :)  :D

As for my case, i have submitted my application at VFS Global last Aug. 17, 2015 then I received an email from the embassy the next day 18.08.15 that my application has been forwarded to UDI Norway, then the next day 19.08.15 I received an email from UDI that they have received my application. So the waiting game has begun and good luck to my patience as i will wait up to 12 months according to the embassy. Haha  :lol:
(No choice but to laugh on my situation)  :dumbom:

Anyways, goodluck to us applicants and hope that we will be able to receive a good news soon!  :top:  :cheers:  :one

Hi Shelly

Is your fiance have a work in Norway?

Hi there

Me(46) and my fiancee(30) hooked up in desember 2014.

I went to the Philipines in march 2015 and stayed with her for 3 weeks.

I called UDI and asked some questions in may and got >2/3 weeks prosessing time.

I made the application online and my fiancee delivered the papers at application center Manila in may.

Then we got an email that stated prosessing time at 1 to 9 month from the Manila Embassy.

Got email of them sending papers to UDI and email from UDI stating that they have recieved the papers.

We have gotten email every month stating that the application is waiting in line for prosess.

The prosess time is stated at 13 months on UDIs webpage, and is renewed every month.

Have been waiting over 3 months now.........................

Hi...I have applied fiancée visa last July 10, 2015 . Still dont receive email or sms from embassy or UDI.i have tried to phone them and send mail but they say its still in process.  Is somebody applied same time with me? Do you have some news from Embassy?


When ive send them email. This is what they response from embassy visa section

"Your application is still being processed, rest assured that you will be notified once a decision has been made on your case.

Kindly expect your application to be processed anywhere between two and thirteen months."

Kind regards

I am not sure where my papers is... Is it still at the embassy or is it in UDI...  Dont received any mail from UDI...

hi nelly.

like you,  i havent received any email from UDI..  but the embassy told me that they will send the applicants an email if they have to forward it to UDI for decision.. so i believe like me,  ur case is still in the embassy.. tho they cant tell me how much longer i need to wait, instead expect that it can be anytime within 13 months.. it can be earlier or longer..

if you dont mind me asking,  can u share any info about these questions:
- where did u submit ur applications? VFS manila or Cebu?
- have you been to norway before? how many times and for how long?

thanks :)

Hi pheebz

I submitted my application at VFS MANILA...

I have been to Norway last DeC.2014 and went back here in phil. Last feb.

hi tanyersss,  shelly, texthenorse.

thank you for sharing your waiting experiences and i am sorry to hear about your case being forwarded to UDI. :( as far as i know,  the embassy can make decisions on cases if certain conditions are met.. what they are, i have no idea :( based on a lot of reading around the forums, some filipinas who are under 25 years old who applied had been forwarded to UDI for decision.. this is possibly one of the conditions, just an assumption tho..  aside from this,  i dunno what other conditions exists.. 

i dunno if this can help,  but u can try read some circulars from UDI.. maybe you can find some info there that relates to ur case:
- Permit to enter into marriage – the Immigration Act section 48, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 9-5
- Guidelines for preparing applications for family immigration – the Immigration Act chapter 6, cf. the Immigration Regulations chapter 10

hi nelly.

thank you for sharing that..  :)

some filipinas who applied for family reunification permit with Fiancé get approved after a month and a couple of weeks... as of today, its been a month and 20 days for u... maybe you will get good news soon.. have faith :) and also,  i hope u can let us know when u get approved :)

Hi guys,

I applied fiancee visa last Feb. 19, 2015 at VFS Global Makati, and after 3 weeks I got an sms and email from the embassy that I have been granted residence permit.  Here's our story....

I first know my fiance (husband now) online Sept. 2013. June 2014 we first met personally in Manila, I was working in HOngkong before so we had the same day arrival and our first meeting place was at the airport. We hit it off straightaway. It's like we had known each other for a very long time. We were so very comfortable with each other. (This were written on my description of our relationship) He spent 3 weeks with me and my family. Then October 2015, he went to Hongkong for a week and their he proposed with a tiffany engagement ring.

When I submitted my application, I included 10 pages of pictures of us together, us with friends and family. VFS took them all. I wrote my description of our relationship quiet long, maybe around 3 pages and everything was written there( our love story, wedding plan, honeymoon plan, future plan). My husband has stable job, he has his own house, he is 47 yrs old and am 35, and both our first marriage. Dunno what are really the basis why some got approved in 3 weeks and why some needs to wait longer so I just said everything.

Hope this helps.

And I have never been to Norway as a tourist to visit my fiance before I submitted my application.

From UDIs home page:

In some applications for family, we will request an interview with the sponsor and / or applicant for more information.
    This applies
        All applications where the applicant has established a relationship with a Norwegian person under 25 years or a person under 25 who already live in Norway
       
    If this is news to you, we will notify you by email or SMS, and you will get called for an interview by the police or embassy. Sometimes the applicant will be interviewed when he or she delivers its documents at the embassy.
    The police are conducting interviews in Norway. How long it takes before the police summon you for an interview depends on the capacity of the police where you live.
    In the interview you will among other things be asked about their relationship.
    If you do not speak Norwegian, you must have with you someone who can translate for you.
    After the interview, send the police your case back to UDI. You will be notified by email or SMS when the case returned to the UDI.

Hi anne2510

when you applying for a fiancee visa did the embassy get your passport or just a photo copy?
Coz I apply a fiancee visa this month... and me and my fiance have plan to go to Thailand by October...actually he already booked the airplane ticket. Im worried, what if they dont approved my visa so fast, and it takes longer time..so it means that they still handling the passport?

Hi,

They took my original passport. I had email the embassy before regarding that matter as I was also planning to use my passport after the submission of my papers. Here is what they said : --- "the Norwegian Embassy Manila processes residence permit cases in 1 month, more or less. To meet this timeline, we usually keep all documents submitted by the applicant, including the original passport. If you will be using your passport for travel or any other matter, we can release it to you anyhow. Just advise the visa officer of your scenario so we could also take note from our side."

I have tried to ask VFS an update for my application and this is what they replied:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings from VFS Norway Visa Application Centre!

Thank you for your email.

As per records, your application is currently under process at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila. The estimated processing time is 30 working days.

However, processing time depends on each individual case.

What make me confused was the "30 working days processing time"

So confusing that they send different processing time ... From 1-6 months, to 2-13 months and now 30 days 😓

So confusing so i plan to phone them sept.10 which is exact 2 months time of waiting for me...

Hope we all received good news soon...
Happy ...ber months everyone. :-)

thank you for that info anne... then now I dont have to be worry

thanks a lot

Hi tomrain, yes my husband is currently working in norway. As far as we know we met all the requirements for the family reunification visa with spouse, but still we were forwarded to UDI.  :sosad:

mabilis lang makuha visa sabi nila 9 months pero 2 months lang nakuha ko na yung visa...lalo na pag may anak .inuuna nila i process

hi miraian.

thank you for sharing in this thread, but please keep in mind that despite this is a thread for Philippine visa applicants,  forum moderators encourage us to post in english so others can benefit from ur info :)

if u dont mind me asking,  can u share some info about these questions below:
- what family immigration visa did u apply for? (spouse or fiancee)
- have you received any emails (either from the embassy or UDI)? if yes,  after how many weeks since application did you receive these emails?
- where did u submit ur applications? VFS manila or Cebu?
- have you been to norway before? how many times and for how long?
- is ur child a "joint-child" (child with the norwegian sponsor/reference person)?

this can help us a lot,  thanks in advance
:)

Hi There Pheebz!

Thanks for this info. By the way, I want to ask how good are my chances to have my tourist visa approved if i would like to visit my husband in norway? U see, I haven't had time to visit him because of my job here in Ph and he has a special case being processed with his job under Nav. So I'm thinking of visiting him instead of him going back and forth here every 6 mons for a change.. I have read the requirements and it looks a lot easier compared to boyfriend/girlfriend since we are married.
However, I'm just not sure that it gets approved but of course I have my job as proof I am going back.

Thanks in advance for your response. :)



Cheers!
Kea

@kea

tourist visa is usually easy to get and it takes 2- 5 days to receive results (i got mine in 2 days only).

I think you will not have any problem obtaining this visa especially you are married already which establishes your relationship and second is that you have a job as proof of going back.

If in the case that he has a situation under NAV that he may not be able to provide you the complete documents for the guarantor's form you may provide some proof of funds, other than that as long as you completer their requirements i don't see you having any problem.

Have a nice day and I hope you won't have any problems in applying :)

Hei..

I got here in norway with my tourist visa which took me 2 working days granted by vfs in makati Philippines last june. I arrived here in oslo last august 5. 12th of august i went to skatt øst to apply for our marriage it took like 17 working days before the skatt (like tax office-bir) granted our application to get married then i applied it at the office where we can get civil wedding.(i forgot what you called this place but it is Huset something) then now were married. By the way my husband is not norwegian, he is swedish citizen. So we gonna apply for residence permit under spouse. Right now im still adjusting life here and learning the language. And i feel bored :( i dont have friends. Its so sad to be left home alone when my husband is at work... I think this feeling is always the saddess part moving here...  my fellow filipinas. NUMBER ONE TIP BEFORE YOU MOVE HERE IS TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE WHILE YOUR STILL IN PHILIPPINES. Bec i feel shy and awkward whenever my husband and i talking english in public since everybody speaks norwegian. SO LEARN LANGUAGE FAST!

Don't feel shy and awkward, just be yourself. Most norwegians understand and talk english, so don't stay at home alone. Go out and meet people, and then you also learn the language faster, when you practise on total strangers ;)

Get yourself a small job in sales(then you really learn the language fast), or do as I have done. I made a web shop(fpa.no) for my fiancee, so she can have something to do in the start when she gets here.

@Stephy25

Thanks a lot! His situation with NAV is a bit complicated tbh..he is like under the disability program. I hope it works well because even if i have a job, the big factor to consider is him guaranteeing for my stay.   I pray it works just fine. Thanks a lot.






Cheers,
Kea

@Anne2510


Thanks for this info. I have been planning to do this before I apply for resident permit. Nice tips! :) That is a lot of writing that I  have to do :)

hi kea.

like stephy said,  visitor's visa (Schengen visa type C) is the easiest visa to acquire.. if u have an established relationship, which i think u have since ur already married and he had been coming to the Philippines lots of times, and as long as you can provide all the necessary documents in the checklist (especially the UDI guarantee form) then you're good to go ;)

btw,  there was an additional requirement in applying for this kind of visa,  as stated on the norwegian embassy site in the Philippines: Changes in the Requirement for Visa Type C - Norway.ph
based on the link,  you need to present proof of strong ties to your home country.  this can be a stable job or properties in th Philippines. since u have a job,  u can submit a Certificate of Employment, that indicates approved vacation leaves..  altho this is not part of the required documents to be submitted,  this can strethen your case... when i applied for this type of visa 3yrs ago,  back when the Philippines was in the yellow group, employment documents were actually part of the checklist, but now it isnt. so i guess you can try submit employment proof to strengthen your case... i had discussed this change further in a separate thread,  you may find it a good read: UPDATE: Schengen Visa Practice Memo - Philippines...

but since you are already married, based on the UDI circular, a spouse generally gets approved if an established relationship can be proven, which based on the frequency your husband had visited you is pretty much established ;)

in summary, if your husband can get a guarantee form from the politi, you got nothing to worry about.. wish you all the best :)

Hi Pheebz!

Thanks a lot! That is what I'm thinking but of course we want the documents to be right and complete. Can I go back and forth  even if i applied for a single entry visa? Say after 90 days, I go back again but within the 180 days period? Say i stay there only for 2 weeks for first visit and it means that I have not consumed the 90 days allowable time and then decide to go back again for 2nd visit using the same visa.

Oh this is so confusing! hahahaha.. I more confused myself!


Cheers!
Kea

hi Kea.

yes,  u can as long as u follow the 90 days within 180-day period rule:

If you have been in the Schengen area in the last 90 days, you must check when it is possible for you to re-enter, and how many days you can stay in Schengen. Please use the visa calculator to check this (ec.europa.eu)

source: Visitor's Visa - UDI.no

but since this thread is for case processing time for family immigration applications, i would like to direct you to other threads about Schengen Visa Type C applications. below are some threads:

- Schengen Tourist Visa
- getting married in norway on tourist visa
- Getting married with tourist visa in Norway

some of those threads discussed getting married in Norway on a tourist visa,  but there are lots of discussions there as well about visitor's/tourist visa you may find useful. or you can also start a thread if u dont find the info you need.

thanks :)

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