The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is the central agency in the immigration administration in Norway.
The UDI has the overall responsibility for coordinating the immigration administration. For this work to be successful, the UDI depends on a well-functioning cooperation with the rest of the immigration administration, other public departments, voluntary organisations and the immigrant population’s own organisations. During 2005 several organisational changes took place in this field.
Who is responsible for what in the field of migration?
The Ministry of Justice and the Police (JD) has the overriding responsibility for formulating and coordinating the state’s policies on refugees and immigration. The Ministry supervises the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board (UNE).
The UDI shall ensure regulated immigration through processing of applications for various types of residence and work permits, and ensure that refugees receive protection through the processing of asylum applications. The UDI also gives professional input as regards the development of policy and rules.
The national Police Immigration Service and the 27 Police Districts are responsible for a range of tasks in the field of immigration, both in asylum cases and in other cases. Important tasks are the receipt and processing of some residence cases, registration and identity checks in asylum cases, border control and work against illegal immigration and illegal residence. The Police also handle the deportation of asylum seekers who have had their applications rejected, and other illegal aliens. The Police are placed under the Ministry of Justice and the Police (JD).
UNE is an independent administrative agency established along the lines of a court, which considers complaints lodged against the UDI’s decisions in accordance with the Immigration Act and immigration regulation.
IMDi was established on 1 Janary 2006, and the integration area of expertise was transferred from the UDI. IMDi’s tasks include helping increase participation in the labour market for persons with immigrant backgrounds, to implement government policy for the settling of refugees and to follow up the Introductory Act, the scheme of rights and obligations to receive tuition in the Norwegian language, and White Paper No. 9 (2003–200 ) Diversity through inclusion and participation – responsibility and freedom. The Directorate og Integration and Diversity is adminstred by the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion.
Norway’s foreign service missions play an important role as a first-line service for foreigners who wish to visit or move to Norway. Information about rules and procedures, processing of applications and visitor’s visas and receipt and preparation of applications which are to be processed by the UDI are among the tasks assigned to the foreign service missions. In total, Norway has about 90 foreign service missions (embassies and professional consulates). The foreign service missions are placed under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD).
Landinfo’s task is to obtain and analyse information regarding social conditions and human rights in countries the UDI, UNE and AID require knowledge about. The unit is professionally independent, but administratively connected to the UDI.
International obligations and cooperation
International conventions such as the UN refugee Convention, the European Convention on human rights, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child have an influence on Norwegian policy and practice in the UDI’s field of work. Norway cooperates closely with the EU through the Schengen Treaty and the Dublin Convention. Important international partners for the UDI include the UN High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).