Norway: Follow-up to NOR42170.E of 19 December 2003 on the refugee protection/asylum process, including the application and hearing procedure, appeal provisions and whether the claimant would be provided with a copy of the decision in cases where his/her claim was rejected
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||26 February 2004|
|Citation / Document Symbol||NOR42445.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Norway: Follow-up to NOR42170.E of 19 December 2003 on the refugee protection/asylum process, including the application and hearing procedure, appeal provisions and whether the claimant would be provided with a copy of the decision in cases where his/her claim was rejected , 26 February 2004, NOR42445.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/41501c417.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The following information on the asylum process in Norway is taken from correspondence sent by the Royal Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development of Norway to the Research Directorate (30 Jan. 2004).
When an individual applies for asylum in Norway, he/she is registered by the police as an asylum seeker and then sent to a transit reception centre. Upon arriving at the centre, a health examination is administered. A tuberculosis examination is obligatory as part of the examination, but an examination for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis is voluntary.
On the second or third day at the transit reception centre, the claimant is required to complete a personal declaration form on the centre's premises, which must be submitted the same day. This declaration can be completed in Norwegian or in the claimant's native language, and must include information on the claimant's background, including information on relatives, the claimant's reasons for leaving the country of origin, an explanation of why the claimant fears returning to the country of origin and how the claimant fled the country of origin, including information on the travel route taken.
While at the transit reception centre, a lawyer is assigned to the claimant by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. The Norwegian government pays the lawyer for three hours of work, which includes a consultation with the claimant at the reception centre before the asylum interview. A claimant may change lawyers but not during the first month, and may risk having to pay for the new lawyer.
"After a few days at the first transit reception centre, [the claimant is] transferred to another transit reception centre" where he/she is interviewed by the Directorate of Immigration. During the interview, which takes approximately half a day to complete, an interpreter who speaks a language that the claimant understands is provided.
Following the interview, the claimant may be transferred to an ordinary reception centre where he/she will stay until the claim is processed (ibid.). The claimant may live in a private residence, but by doing so, he or she forfeits his or her "right to economic support."
The average processing time of asylum claims in Norway is seven months, although depending on the claim the time can vary from several weeks to a year.
During the processing period, claimants may be granted a temporary work permit after the asylum interview provided that the claimant is above 18 years of age, there is no doubt concerning the claimant's identity and a decision has been taken not to transfer the claimant to another safe country. However, if granted, the processing time for the issuance of a work permit is approximately six months.
If the application for asylum is rejected, the claimant has the right to appeal the decision, but must do so within three weeks after the claimant's lawyer receives the decision of the Directorate of Immigration. The lawyer will be paid for an additional three hours in cases where an appeal is lodged. The claimant is permitted to remain in Norway during the appeal process, except in instances where it is "obvious" that the claimant is not in need of protection.
The appeal is first processed by the Directorate of Immigration, which decides whether there are new facts in the claimant's case. Where the Directorate does not find any reason for reversing its negative decision, the appeal is forwarded to the Immigration Appeals Board. In cases where there are "material questions of doubt," the appeal is decided by three persons (a Board leader and two Board members) with whom the claimant may be requested to meet. In cases that are without "material questions of doubt," the appeal is decided by one Board leader or by the Board's secretariat. Decisions by the Board can be made with the claimant present or at "ad hoc appeals board hearings" without the presence of the claimant. Decisions on the method by which the Board processes the appeal are made by a board leader and can be appealed.
When a negative decision is rendered by the Immigration Appeals Board, the claimant is required to leave Norway, usually within two weeks. If the claimant fails to leave, the police will transport the claimant back to his/her country of origin "forcibly if necessary" and the claimant will be responsible for reimbursing expenses incurred by the Norwegian government in such a removal.
A negative decision by the Immigration Appeals Board may be appealed to the Norwegian courts.
In instances where new and important information surfaces, the claimant may request that the Immigration Appeals Board take up his/her case again, but the claimant must finance an attorney him/herself and may not remain in Norway while the Board processes the case.
On the issue of whether the claimant would be provided with a copy of the decision in cases where his/her claim was rejected, in correspondence addressed to the Research Directorate, the Royal Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development indicated the following:
According to section 27 in the act relating to procedure in cases concerning the public administration (Public Administration Act), the administrative agency that has made the administrative decision shall ensure that the parties are notified of the decision as soon as possible. UDI [Directorate of Immigration] and UNE's [Immigration Appeals Board's] decision in asylum cases are sent to the applicant's lawyer. The lawyers are responsible for notifying the applicant. This takes normally less than one week.
This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Norway. 30 January 2004. Royal Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Correspondence.