Who does what in the return process?
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)
UDI processes applications for residence in Norway. If an application for residence is rejected, and the applicant wishes to appeal the decision, the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) is the appellate body (external website).
Most people receive legal assistance to appeal to UNE. If your application is rejected again, you are obliged to leave Norway. You can then apply to UDI for assisted return, i.e. receive practical support and a financial grant in connection with the return.
UDI cooperates with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (external website) on the implementation of assisted return.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM)
International Organization for Migration (IOM) is UDI’s biggest partner on assisted return. The organisation is responsible for providing information to and advising people who wish to return to their home country. The IOM implements most assisted returns from Norway.
The IOM should therefore be contacted for more information about returns (external website). The IOM assists with practical travel arrangements. This includes help to obtain travel documents, a transit visa and plane tickets, as well as assistance during transit and on arrival in your home country. The IOM will obtain tickets for your return journey. You cannot book the tickets yourself if the expenses are to be covered by the Norwegian authorities.
Read stories and experiences from people who have returned home with the assistance of the IOM on their website (external website) and contact the IOM if you would like more information.
The Immigration Appeals Board (UNE)
UNE considers appeals concerning rejections to applications for residence. If UNE does not overturn a rejection by UDI, the person is given a deadline for leaving Norway, by which they must abide. The police often set the deadline to three weeks after UNE's rejection of the appeal.
It is important to leave Norway by this deadline. After the deadline expires, the person is staying illegally in Norway and can be expelled and/or deported by the police.
The National Police Immigration Service (PU)
In some cases, it is the police that implements the assisted return in cooperation with UDI. The police then escorts the person home.
Read more about what the police do in the work on return here. (external website)
PU implements forced returns to the home country (external website). If a person whose application for residence in Norway has been rejected is still in Norway after the deadline for leaving the country, he or she is staying illegally in the country and can be sent back home by force.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has the overall responsibility for returns.
The Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS)
NOAS works for asylum seekers’ rights in Norway. The organisation is not part of the Norwegian authorities. NOAS provides free legal aid in asylum cases.
NOAS also provides information about the options for returning to the home country. If you would like more information, read more on the NOAS website (external website).
The asylum reception centre
If the person is living in an asylum reception centre, the people working there can help them find more information about assisted return and how to apply for it. It is important to inform the residents that their application can be rejected, and that if their application is rejected, they have to return to their home country. It is important to provide information at an early stage about the return options.
Everyone who receives a final rejection of his or her application for protection (asylum), will be assigned a lawyer. The lawyer will inform their client about the duty to return to their home country and the option of applying for assisted return. UDI processes applications for assisted return and assesses whether the applicant meets the requirements for receiving practical and support and a financial grant in connection with the return.