UNE considers whether there is a real risk that the asylum seeker will be persecuted in future. Even if an asylum seeker has experienced abuse or threats in his/her home country, we may find that it is safe for him/her to return.
In the majority of asylum cases we process, we uphold UDI's decision. In 2020 UNE granted a permit in 16 % of the cases. Many cases are rejected because we do not believe in the asylum seeker's statement, other cases are rejected because we believe it will be safe to return to the home country.
What do we consider?
An asylum seeker can be granted protection in Norway if the Norwegian authorities believe that it will be dangerous for the applicant to return home. The applicant will then be granted refugee status and asylum. When we consider whether an applicant should be granted protection (asylum), we consider the risk of him/her being persecuted or subjected to other serious violations in future. Examples include serious acts of violence or random and long-term deprivation of liberty. Even if an asylum seeker has previously experienced abuse or threats in his/her home country, we may find that it will not be dangerous for him/her to return.
To be granted protection, the applicant must have a well-founded fear of being subjected to serious abuse or other forms of persecution due to:
- skin colour
- membership of a particular social group, or
- political opinion
This follows from the UN Refugee Convention and the Immigration Act. It is a condition that the authorities in the home country do not want to or are unable to protect the applicant. Norway can also grant protection is the applicant ‘faces a real risk of being subjected to a death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ in his/her home country. What the applicant risks does not have to have a connection with his or her political opinion, religion or any of the other reasons mentioned in the UN Refugee Convention and in the Immigration Act.
If we believe that the applicant is persecuted, but that parts of his/her home country are safe and possible to travel to, we will not grant protection. We then believe that the applicant can live there. This is called internal flight. The rules of internal flight are founded on the principle that the asylum seeker does not have the right to protection in Norway, or in other countries, if he or she can be granted protection in his or her country of origin. We refer asylum seekers to internal flight in several cases, for example asylum seekers from Iraq.
If an asylum seeker is guilty of a serious crime, he or she can be denied the right to asylum. This is called exclusion. No one shall be sent back to torture and abuse, including persons who have been excluded. Such protection against refoulement is a fundamental principle in Norwegian and international law and something we always consider.
We always consider whether an applicant who is not granted refugee status should be granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds.
UNE rejects many asylum cases because we do not believe the asylum seeker’s statement. When we consider whether a statement is credible, we make an overall assessment of the case. Among other things, we consider whether the statement is coherent, consistent and logical. We also consider the statement in relation to other information in the case, such as information about the country the applicant comes from.
UNE also rejects some cases because we believe the applicant does not risk persecution or other serious violations in the home country. We base our considerations on several sources, such as reports from The Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo) (external link), UNHCR (external link), different organisations and reports from other countries’ migration authorities.
Other cases are rejected because the applicant does not need protection, but wants a better life in Norway. These cases do not fall under the law and the Refugee Convention’s definition of what it means to be a refugee.
People apply for asylum for various reasons. In many of the cases, the applicants say that they fear the authorities in the home country. Many state that they are members of the political opposition or belong to an at-risk minority, for example that they are gay or have a different faith than the majority in their home country. Some fear certain groups in the country, individuals or their own relatives. Others say that they are afraid of going back to their home country because the general security situation there is so poor.
UNE can grant protection or a residence permit on humanitarian grounds even if the UDI rejected the application. The most common reasons are that new circumstances have emerged after the UDI decided the case, or that our assessment of the asylum statement or the risk situation differs from that of the UDI. The consequences of a rejection for children can also be a decisive factor for UNE.
You should always explain why you disagree with the UDI. If the UDI says that your statement is not credible, you can clarify any misunderstandings and give more detailed information about the case. You should then also write why you did not give a more thorough explanation in for example the asylum interview. If the UDI believes that you do not risk serious violations in future, you can elaborate on why you believe that you do risk such violations.
If you have new information or new documentation that has a direct bearing on the case, you can send us this as soon as possible. At the same time, you should explain why you have not provided this information or obtained the documents before.
If a completely new situation has arisen, you must document this. If, for example, you have developed serious health problems, we need an updated medical certificate.