Relocation of asylum seekers to Norway


Relocation gives asylum seekers the opportunity to have their application for protection processed in another EU / EEA country or Switzerland.

The government decided in september 2020 to relocate vulnerable Syrian families with children from Greece, who in all probability qualify for a residence permit where there is no reason to believe that there are grounds for exclusion, or other circumstances that affect fundamental national interests. This means that 50 people who meet the criteria must be offered relocation to Norway.

Norway's voluntary contribution to the EU's ad hoc relocation from Greece

UDI received instructions from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security on 9 September 2020, to prepare and implement Norway's voluntary contribution.

  • Relocation from Greece is the EU's Relocation Programme to ease Greece's situation, and is not to be confused with the UNHCR resettlement scheme.

EUs voluntary Relocation Programme

EU Relocation Programme allows asylum seekers to have their application for protection (asylum) processed in another EU / EEA country. The purpose of the arrangement is to support vulnerable groups.

Greek authorities decide to which country they want to promote an asylum seeker as a candidate for relocation. That country then has the opportunity to accept or decline the proposed asylum seeker. 

If the country accepts that the asylum seeker can be relocated there, the asylum seeker will have the trip organized through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). When the asylum seeker arrives in the country to which they are relocated, the application for protection is processed according to this country's standard procedure.

Questions about participation in the arrangement must be directed to the Greek authorities.

Previous Relocation Programme

In 2016 and 2017, there was a Relocation Programme were persons who had applied for protection in Greece or Italy could apply for transfer to another European country to have their application processed there. This was called relocation.

Norway's obligations in the EU Relocation Programme

The Norwegian Parliament decided in December 2015 that Norway was to receive a total of 1 500 asylum seekers who were staying in Italy and Greece during 2016­ and 2017.

The Relocation Programme

In the EU Relocation Programme, asylum seekers got the option to have their application for protection (asylum) processed in another EU/EEA country.

Italian and Greek authorities could decide which country they would present an asylum seeker as a relocation candidate. That country would then have an opportunity to accept or decline the asylum seeker presented to them.

If the country accepted that the asylum seeker would be relocated to that country, the asylum seeker would have his or her travel organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). When the asylum seeker arrived in the country he or she was relocated to, the application was being processed according to standard procedure in that country.

You can find more information about who could qualify for the arrangement and what requirements the asylum seeker had to fulfill at the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) website (external website).

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