|New Measures in Norwegian Immigration Policy|
| [07.07.2009, 08:07am, Tue. GMT]|
|The Government has introduced new measures in the immigration policy that will ensure that the Norwegian practice in areas of importance differs as little as possible from other European countries. This is a continuation of the tightening measures from 2008, where SV dissented. The aim is to limit the number of asylum seekers who are not in need of protection, and furthermore to prevent that Norway receives a disproportionate amount of the asylum seekers coming to Europe, says Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion Dag Terje Andersen. |
The majority of the tightening measures from 2008 have been implemented and have had an impact. The so-called Torshov project, with a fast and coordinated registration and processing, has contributed to a substantial reduction in the number of Iraqi asylum seekers to Norway in the last six months. Nevertheless, the total number of asylum seekers is increasing.
- The measures appear to have contributed to decrease the significant spike in the asylum claims submitted in Norway from the summer of 2007 to the summer of 2008. This is very pleasing. It is important to note that a higher amount of the new arrivals to Norway are in need of protection, says the Minister.
More than 8,000 people have sought asylum in Norway during the first half-year of 2009. This is 2,500 more compared to the same period last year. More than 1,100 claim to be unaccompanied minor asylum seekers, of whom 70 percent originate from Afghanistan.
- The fact that such a large percentage of the applicants claim to be unaccompanied minors is an additional challenge, says the Minister.
The prognosis for the rest of the year shows that the arrival figure will be at 18,000 or more, if tightening measures are not applied.
These are the Government's new measures:
1) The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration is to be instructed to start applying the Dublin II Regulation to return families with children to Greece. It is no longer sufficient in itself to be a family with children to avoid return to Greece. A concrete and individual assessment should be carried out in each case.
2) Establishment of a separate procedure with more efficient interview and age assessment for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.
3) Expanded age assessment of the unaccompanied minor asylum seekers; dental, wrist and physiological examination will be carried out.
4) Unaccompanied minor asylum seekers who are not in need of protection nor fulfill the conditions for residency on humanitarian grounds, will as a main rule be rejected.
5) The Government will establish care and education centers for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in their countries of origin.
6) Asylum seekers whose identity is not documented identity will, as a general rule, not be granted a temporary work permit during the processing of his or her application.
7) The Government plans to create a national identity and documentation center.
8) A general reintegration program will be created.