All those who need protection in Norway shall receive it. That is why the UDI gives every application for asylum careful consideration. This is what is called the asylum process. It is intended to ensure that all those who really need protection are allowed to stay, while those who do not need protection must leave Norway.
The asylum process
The UDI considers each application individually to make sure that everyone is treated fairly. Your application will be treated in the same way and in accordance with the same laws regardless of who you are. When you apply for asylum in Norway, you are asking the Norwegian state to protect you. The Norwegian state can say yes or no to your application. Many asylum seekers have their applications rejected and must return home. The UDI interviews each applicant and uses the results from this interview along with other information to decide whether you qualify for asylum. The UDI also has a great deal of knowledge about the conditions in your home country.
Women may be granted asylum if they are the object of persecution that is aimed principally at women. Persecution because of sexual orientation – being a homosexual, for example – may also constitute grounds for asylum. The UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees contains further details.
If the authorities in your home country can protect you against your persecutors, you will not normally qualify for asylum in Norway. Nor is it usual to grant asylum to persons who would be safe in other parts of their homeland.
You may still be granted a residence permit in Norway even if the degree of persecution you experienced was not enough to qualify you for political asylum. This could be because there is a war going on in your homeland or because you risk being subjected to inhuman treatment. If your application for asylum is rejected, the UDI will always look at whether you may still be allowed to stay in Norway.
In certain, special cases you may be allowed to stay in Norway if you or your children are suffering from a serious illness for which there is no treatment in your home country.
You will be notified by the police if you have been granted a residence permit in Norway. Then the preparations for your new life in Norway will start.
How long does it take?
The length of time it takes for an application for asylum to be decided varies from case to case. If it takes a long time, it could be because the UDI is investigating whether the information you have provided is correct. It could also be because the UDI is looking into the current situation in your homeland. If your application has been refused, you may lodge an appeal. Your appeal will be considered by the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE). It normally takes at least 10 months for the UNE to arrive at a decision.
Refusal by the UDI
If the UDI refuses your application for asylum, an attorney will be appointed to help you. The UDI sends the refusal notice to your attorney. The attorney will inform you that your application has been refused and will tell you why. The attorney will arrange for an interpreter if you do not speak the same language.
You have the right to appeal against a refusal by the UDI. Your attorney must lodge your appeal with the UDI no later than three weeks after you have received notification of refusal.
Your attorney will help you formulate your appeal. If the UDI continues to uphold its refusal despite your appeal, your case will be sent to the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) for a final decision. The UNE is a separate body which deals with immigration appeals.
While your attorney is preparing your appeal, he/she will also request that you be allowed to stay in Norway until your appeal has been considered. The UDI will decide if you are allowed to stay in Norway while your appeal is being considered. You may therefore be required to leave Norway before you have received a final decision.
Rejection by the UNE
If the UNE also rejects your application, you will normally have to leave the country within a period of two weeks. A final rejection by the UNE may be appealed to the courts. If you do so, however, you will have to pay your own legal costs. You can ask the court to order the UNE to reconsider your case (Petition for Review). You will normally not be allowed to remain in Norway while the UNE considers your petition for review.
If your application for asylum is rejected, you must leave the country. You can apply to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for assistance with your return journey. The IOM will pay your travel costs and provide other practical assistance if you travel home with them.
Children under the age of 18 who are applying for asylum together with their parents will be included in their parents' applications. Parents can say if they do not want their children to be interviewed by the UDI. The situation of the children is an important factor in the UDI's consideration of the family's application for asylum. If the parents are granted a residence permit in Norway, their children under the age of 18 will also be allowed to stay. In general, the same principle applies if the parents' applications are rejected. However, each child's application is also considered on its individual merits.
Transfer to another safe country
If you have stayed in another safe country before arriving in Norway, or if you have a visa from another safe country, your application for asylum will be considered by that country. You may therefore be sent there. This is called the Dublin Procedure. All EU countries as well as Norway and Iceland belong to this scheme. If you have a Dublin case, you will normally complete a self-declaration form and be interviewed, but the Norwegian authorities will not consider your application for asylum. Nor will you be given permission to work in Norway while you are waiting for a decision to be made.
Circumstances that affect the treatment of your asylum application
1. Crime: If you break the law in Norway your application can be quickly rejected and you can be sent back home. You will have difficulty entering Norway and a number of other European countries at a later date.
2. Additional information not provided during the asylum interview: If, after your asylum interview, you feel that you have additional information that might be of importance to your application, you must let the UDI know as quickly as possible. You have a right and a duty to reveal such important information as quickly as possible.
Temporary work permits
People who are applying for asylum in Norway may also apply for a temporary work permit when they are interviewed by the UDI. If you satisfy the conditions for such a permit, you will be granted one while you are waiting for your application for asylum to be processed.