A total of 3,430 persons were expelled in 2010. This is an increase of more than 30 per cent from 2009, and more than 50 per cent from 2008. Much of the increase is due to the fact that we gave high priority to these cases and allocated resources in order to reduce the number of unprocessed cases.
Several reasons for expulsion
There are two main reasons why people are expelled from Norway: violation of the General Civil Penal Code and violation of the Immigration Act. Violation of the Penal Code means that the person has committed a criminal offence, while a typical violation of the Immigration Act could be providing incorrect information in connection with an application or having stayed in Norway without a permit.
The increase in the number of expulsion decisions can, among other things, be explained by the UDI having given high priority to the processing of expulsions cases. In 2009, the UDI also started making expulsion decisions in asylum cases where the applicant has failed to inform Norwegian authorities that he/she had previously applied for asylum in another country, at the same time as we decided that the asylum application was to be processed in that country (a so-called Dublin decision). This resulted in more expulsion decisions. In addition, the big increase in the number of asylum applications in 2008 and 2009 led to more expulsion cases in 2009 and 2010.
More than 15 per cent of all expelled persons were Iraqis. Other large groups were Afghans, Somalis and Eritreans. These are nationals of countries from which we receive many asylum applications.
EEA nationals have extended protection against expulsion. Nevertheless, almost 500 EEA nationals were expelled in 2010, the majority from Lithuania, Poland or Romania.
The Returns Directive will result in more expulsions
In December 2010, the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, decided that the EU's Returns Directive will apply in Norway. This means that all foreign nationals who do not leave Norway within a given deadline for leaving the country shall be expelled. The expulsion decision entails a prohibition against entry, which means that the expelled person cannot enter the Schengen area again before the expulsion period has expired. The expulsion period can be one, two or five years.
Fewer rejected on entry
A total of 690 persons were rejected on entry in 2010, a little fewer than the previous year. Nigeria and Russia topped the rejection statistics. Most Nigerians were rejected at the Norwegian border because they did not have enough money to support themselves during the stay, while most Russians lacked a residence permit, visa or passport.