Fear of terrorist groups and militias is the most common reason given by Iraqis applying for protection in Norway.

Few appeals are granted. In many cases, appeals are rejected because we do not believe the applicants’ statements. In other cases, the applicants can obtain protection in other parts of Iraq than the area they come from. 

What do we consider?

Many of those who apply for protection in Norway refer to the security situation in their local area. They may be afraid of the ISIL terrorist group or Shia Muslim militia groups. Their fear is due both to such groups having seized control of local areas and the risk of terrorism elsewhere. However, most of the country is not so dangerous that everyone who comes from those areas need protection in Norway.

Many people say they are at risk because they belong to an ethnic/religious minority. In such cases, UNE will consider whether the applicants can obtain protection in other parts of their home country.

Private conflicts and honour-related violence are also given as reasons for Iraqis applying for protection in Norway. In many of these cases, we do not believe the applicant’s story.

Applicants often have ID documents, such as a national ID card, nationality certificate or passport. Iraqi documents alone are not credible enough to document the applicants’ identity. They may help to substantiate the applicant’s claim that he/she is from Iraq, but they are not sufficient as documentation.

The authorities issue biometric passports. Iraqis in Norway can apply for a passport via the embassy in Stockholm. We believe that people who hold passports are probably Iraqi citizens, but it is uncertain whether the information in the passport is correct. Therefore, we cannot conclude that the identity has been clarified even if the applicant has a passport.

Everyone who applies for asylum in Norway is obliged to assist in clarifying their identity. Applicants who have a passport must hand this in. Other documents may also be accepted as proof of identity. Applicants who do not have ID documents are obliged to do their best to obtain such documents.

We conclude that an applicant's identity is either substantiated or not substantiated:

Substantiated identity: We believe that it is probable that the applicant is who he says he is. Documents and the applicant's statement can help to substantiate their identity. As a rule, the identity of the applicant must be substantiated before a residence permit can be granted.

Not substantiated: We believe that it is not probable that the applicant is who he says he is. This is the case when the applicant has not helped to establish who he is and where he comes from, by, for example, providing incorrect information. The reason we believe the identity has not been substantiated must always be included in the decision.

Søkerne har gjerne id-dokumenter, som nasjonalt id-kort, statsborgerbevis eller pass. Irakiske dokumenter alene er ikke troverdige nok til å dokumentere identiteten til søkerne. De kan være med på å sannsynliggjøre at søkeren er fra Irak, men ikke dokumentere det.

Myndighetene utsteder biometriske pass. Irakere i Norge kan søke om pass ved ambassaden i Stockholm. Vi mener det er sannsynlig at de som har pass er borgere av Irak, men det er usikkert om opplysningene i passet er riktige. Derfor kan vi ikke si at identiteten er avklart selv om søkeren har pass.

We rarely grant protection in cases where the UDI has rejected an application. We reverse decisions in a small number of cases because we believe that the applicant cannot obtain protection elsewhere in their home country.

Sometimes, we grant a permit on grounds of strong humanitarian considerations, normally children’s attachment to Norway.

We use many different sources. Much of the information we use has been collected by Landinfo, a unit that prepares reports on topics that are important for the UDI and UNE. In addition, the UNCHR’s recommendations are important. We also read reports from UNAMI and the Institute for the Study of War, and keep up to date with reports in the media and from other organisations.