The asylum interview, language test, information given to other agencies and information on social media, for instance on Facebook, are examples of sources we use to assess your identity.
All persons who arrive in Norway have a duty 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 who you are, but even though Norwegian authorities have accepted Somali passports since 2018, they are not reliable enough to be the only proof of identity. The reason for this is that, for many years, there has been a lack of public authorities in Somalia that can confirm a person's identity and issue identity documents. Norwegian authorities therefore do not know if the information on the passport, such as name and age, is accurate. The information might be correct, but we cannot be certain that it is.
Because you do not hold a passport with reliable information about who you are, we must also look into other information we have about you. In order to assess whether it is probable that you are who you say you are, we always use several sources.
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 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 the age of 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.
The UDI may also use information from social media, for instance Facebook, when considering your case. We do this in cases from all countries, not only for people from Somalia. The information on social media might correspond to what you have told us, but there might also be something that makes us doubt whether you have given us the correct information. We know that not everything that is shared on Facebook is correct or true. Information on social media is therefore only one of many sources we look into.
In the case processing, the UDI might also use 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.
There are more stringent requirements for proof of identity when applying for other residence permits and citizenship than when applying for protection. If you need protection, you have a right to a permit, even if we are unsure about 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 can have major consequences for you. Your permit can be revoked, you can be penalized and you can be required to leave the Schengen area.