On October 7th, a case-based article, published by Universitas, presented an actual problem for a large number of international students, mainly the issue of control over own money for students coming from a country outside the EU/EEA-area.
The existence of a «maintenance requirement», which obliges students coming from countries outside EU/EEA-area to have deposited a certain amount of money in a Norwegian bank account, is self-contraddictory, because it requires them to have already opened such an account, which cannot be done before acquiring the D-number (which practically means a waiting time period of approximately two months).
The existing arrangement should not – in any way – be considered a solution. Apart from restricting the owner of the sum from having full control of his own money, it could also be either potentially unsafe – when large amounts of cash are being paid once in a while – or stressfull, when smaller amounts on a more frequent basis are being advanced to the student.
UDI’s surprising explanation that authenticity and trustworthiness of the content of bank records of financial institutions found in countries outside EU/EEA-area is often not to be trusted, can not be considered convincing, since it is based on the immigration authorities’ lack of confidence rather than on real facts.
I conclude by stressing the need for more and effective cooperation between all relevant bodies (Ministry, immigration and tax authorities, University, student body). If Universities’ efforts for more internationalization are meant to be successfully effectuated; towards such direction, International Students Union (ISU) University of Oslo (UiO) will always be happy to provide its assistance and contribution.