Measures to address the refugee crisis

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has drawn up a range of measures to tighten the immigration rules and make it less attractive for people to seek asylum in Norway. These have now been distributed for comment.

The 150-page document contains a total of 40 major or minor amendments to the current legislation. There is a six-week deadline for commenting on these proposals.

Read the proposals here (Norwegian only)

‘We are giving top priority to tightening the immigration rules. Although we are now seeing a reduction in the number of people entering the country, we must ensure that our Immigration Act is adapted so that we are able to address large-scale migration challenges,’ said Minister of Immigration and Integration Sylvi Listhaug (Progress Party).

‘All the proposals take into account our commitments under international law. The restrictions apply to rights under Norwegian law that extend beyond the provisions of the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights,’ Ms Listhaug continued. 

The Government’s proposals have been drawn up in response to key aspects of the broad agreement reached in the Storting (Norwegian parliament) on tightening up the immigration rules. They include:

  • Restrictions on the right to family reunion.
  • Integration criteria for permanent residence.
  • Greater opportunity to return people whose applications for asylum are clearly unfounded.
  • Deadline for lodging an appeal following rejection of an application for asylum reduced from three weeks to one week for applications that are clearly unfounded.
  • Effective ID clarification.    
  • Simplification of processing routines when an application can be refused individual consideration.  
  • New categories of temporary protection.
  • A new category of protection that differentiates between refugees as defined in the UN Convention and others who cannot be returned to their country of origin due to other obligations under international law.

The Government has also presented proposals for reducing the influx of asylum seekers:

  • Unaccompanied minors to be given protection on a temporary basis until the age of 18.
  • The legal basis to decide not to consider individual applications from asylum seekers who enter Norway directly from a neighbouring Nordic country.

‘We are presenting these proposals in order to reduce the number of people arriving in Norway who are not entitled to protection. This will enable us to deal with the large numbers of asylum seekers in a responsible manner. I consider these proposals to be in line with several of the points agreed on by the Storting,’ said Ms Listhaug.