This article discusses the regulation of marriage migration to Norway through an analysis of the subsistence requirement rule which entails that a person who wants to bring a spouse to Norway must achieve a certain level of income. Policy-makers present two main arguments for this regulation. First, the subsis- tence requirement is a means to prevent forced marriage. Second, its aim is to prevent family immigrants from becoming a burden on welfare budgets. The major concern of both these arguments is that of dependency, either on the family or on the welfare state. The article investigates the representations of the “problems” underpinning this specific policy proposal and argues that the rule in question, and immigration policy more generally, needs to be analyzed with reference to the broader concerns and aims of welfare state policy and gender equality policy.