Norway's right-leaning government on Tuesday proposed tougher asylum rules for family reunification and permanent residency, in its bid to make the country "less attractive" for those not in "real need" of protection.

Sylvi Listhaug, the new immigration and integration minister, said the measures, totalling "40 minor and major changes," were necessary.

She cited projections by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration that the Scandinavian country could receive between 10,000 and 100,000 asylum bids in 2016.

"If the bids reach the latter number, that could have extreme effects on our welfare system," she told a news conference.

Norway has registered about 30,000 asylum bids this year, she said.

Listhaug said one of the proposals was to extend the period for applying for permanent residency from three to five years.

An applicant wishing to reunite with family members, and bring them to Norway will be required to have a higher annual income. The  minimum requirement would be 305,200 kroner (35,000 dollars) a year, compared to the current level of 250,000 kroner, according to the proposal.

Consideration will also be made whether other family members have stronger ties in another country. For instance, if an applicant's family has fled from a neighbouring country and settled in Turkey, it might make more sense for the reunification to take place in Turkey rather than that the family comes to Norway, Listhaug said.

Unaccompanied minors who have been granted protection will be reassessed when they become adults, Listhaug said.

Norway was also to review its refugee definition that was widened in 2008 compared to more strict UN definitions, for instance offering refuge to individuals who risk the death penalty or torture if sent back to their home country.

Other government agencies, political parties and non-government organizations have until February 9 to comment on the proposals before the government prepares a bill.

Listhaug said she hoped the bill would be passed in the spring of this year, which is when asylum flows typically rise.

She said some of the proposals were based on a parliamentary agreement reached in November with the main opposition Labour Party and two centrist parties that provide backing for the right-leaning minority government.

Listhaug is a member of the populist Progress Party, a junior partner in the coalition led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Conservative Party.

The initial reactions were critical from, among others, the leader of the Christian Democrats, one of the two centrist parties that supports the government in parliament.

A spokesman for the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers said the moves could also violate international conventions if people are denied the right to apply for asylum, news agency NTB reported.

Related stories

Norway extends tighter border checks

Norway stops deportation of asylum seekers to Russia

Norway to check asylum seekers' mobile phones

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.