UNE and UDI suspend returns to Gaza
On 18 October 2023, the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) decided to temporarily suspend the duty to return to Gaza. The duty to return to Gaza has been temporarily suspended for up to six months, until 17 April 2024, for persons with a final decision which involves a return to Gaza.
This is due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the worsening of the security situation and the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The West Bank is not covered by the suspension.
Who is covered by the suspension?
The suspension of the duty to leave means that those who have previously received a final decision which entails a return to Gaza are, for the time being, not obliged to comply with the decision to leave the country. The decision applies both to former asylum seekers and to persons who have a duty to return following the rejection of an application for residency pursuant to other parts of the regulatory framework.
UNE will not suspend work on cases covered by the suspension and will continue to process cases as usual.
UNE is monitoring the situation
The suspension will last for a period of up to six months so that UNE can follow the development of the conflict and gain a necessary and detailed overview of the situation. Within four weeks before the suspension ends, UNE will assess the return situation to Gaza, and decide whether the suspension should be prolonged or lifted.
Dublin cases are not covered
Persons with cases covered by the Dublin III Convention or the first asylum country rule are not covered by the suspension. They must still return to the first European country in which they applied for protection, which will process the case and assess whether they need protection.
The National Police Immigration Service has been notified
UNE does not have an overview of the total number of citizens from Gaza who are currently in Norway without legal residence. UNE has about 20 cases pending that may involve assessment of return to Gaza.
The National Police Immigration Service (PU) has been notified that no persons covered by the suspension are to be forcibly returned to Gaza now.
Read UNE's statement (external website) here.