Various measures have been introduced in order to achieve integration for immigrants into Norwegian society. One important measure is language training.
The Introduction Act of 2003 is the act governing Norwegian language training for newly arrived immigrants. It states that refugees, persons granted humanitarian status and persons who have collective protection are to be offered a two-year introductory programme. This arrangement also applies to persons who immigrate in order to be reunited with family members.
In 2005, the Introduction Act was amended. A number of non-EU immigrants who got their residence permit after 1 September 2005 got a right and/or an obligation to complete 300 hours of tuition. 250 hours of this total had to be Norwegian language training, and the remaining 50 hours were set aside for social studies in a language the participants can understand.
From 1st of January 2012 immigrants with a right and an obligation have to complete 600 hours of tuition, including 50 hours with social studies. Immigrants with an obligation still have to complete 300 hours.
The participants can apply for further training up to 3,000 hours if they need more time to reach a final level. Immigrants with a right and an obligation must have completed 600 hours of tuition or document sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami to be eligible for a residence permit and, subsequently, citizenship.
Who gets free language training?
Newly arrived refugees and persons who have been granted family reunification with a Norwegian or Nordic citizen are given classes free of charge.
EU citizens, students and au-pairs have to pay for their tuition.
Persons who come from outside the EEA-/EFTA area with a work permit are entitled to take part in 300 hours of tuition, but they have no legal right to get the courses free of charge.
The obligations of the municipalities
The immigration and integration policy responsibilities lie with the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion and its directorates, but it is the municipality where the refugee/immigrant settles down that has the obligation to provide language training within three months after settlement.
Vox is in charge of curricular and pedagogical issues relating to the teaching of Norwegian and soci...