Sources of information we use to assess your identity include your asylum interview, language test, information provided to other agencies and information on social media, for instance on Facebook.
All persons who arrive in Norway are obligated to provide correct information about who they are. We believe that your name, when you were born and where you come from are the most important details about your identity.
In many cases, your passport is the most reliable documentation of your identity. Although Somali passports have been accepted by the Norwegian authorities since 2018, they are not reliable enough to serve as the only proof of identity. For many years, Somalia has had a lack of public authorities available to confirm a person's identity and issue identity documents. Consequently, Norwegian authorities cannot know if the information contained in a passport, such as name and age, is accurate. Although the information might be correct, we cannot be certain that it is.
Since the reliability of a passport’s information is uncertain, we must turn to other information we have about you. We always use multiple sources to assess the probability that you are, indeed, who you say you are.
For instance, the asylum interview is an important source of knowledge about you. Among other things, we ask about your name, how old you are, who your family is and where you come from.
We also ask which clan you belong to, because we believe that your clan is part of your identity and might tell us something about where in Somalia you come from. We believe that all persons with a Somali background know something about their clan. Sometimes circumstances make us doubt that you are the person you say you are.
If we are unsure about whether you come from the place you say you come from, you might have to take a language test. This means that we record you while you speak. The audio recording will be sent to a language expert who assesses your dialect.
Age is also a part of your identity. In Norway, all persons under the age of 18 are considered children. Children have other rights than adults. If you say that you are under 18, and we are unsure whether that is correct, you may be asked to undergo a biological age examination. An x-ray will be taken of your hand and teeth, and a doctor and dentist will estimate your age based on the x-rays.
UDI may also draw on information from social media, for instance Facebook, when considering your case. We do this not only with people from Somalia, but in cases from all countries. The information on social media might correspond to what you have told us, but there might also be something that makes us doubt whether the information you gave us is correct. We know that not everything that is shared on Facebook, etc. is correct or true. Information on social media is therefore only one of many sources we look into.
As part of processing your case, UDI might also look into information provided to Norwegian authorities by your family members. In addition, we can use information about you from other agencies, for instance the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) and the police.
If the language test, age examination, information on social media or other circumstances make us doubt whether the identity you have provided is correct, you have the right to comment on our assessments.
The requirements for proof of identity when applying for other residence permits and citizenship are more stringent than when applying for protection (asylum). If you need protection, you have a right to a permit, even if we are unsure of your identity. But you might have to renew your permit more often and you may not be issued a Norwegian travel document.
Providing incorrect information about your identity could have major consequences for you. Your permit may be revoked, you may be penalised and you may be required to leave the Schengen area.
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