The information on this page will be up to date at all times, which means that any and all guidelines from UNE to the National Police Immigration Service (NPIS) in relation to the implementation of negative decisions will be published on this page.

When the duty to return is temporarily suspended for a defined and limited group, it is called a 'suspension of the duty to return'. One example is if events in an appellant's country of origin indicate that new information should be obtained or that restraint should be shown pending developments. A suspension of the duty to return will then apply regardless of whether a request for reversal has been submitted following a previous rejection, meaning that it covers more factors than just the question of whether to grant deferred implementation in connection with the consideration of submitted requests for reversal.
 
When UNE refrains from making a decision in a defined and limited type of cases, it is called to 'put on hold'. A case can be put on hold pending new or updated information, or because the Government has issued instructions to that effect because it is considering whether to make changes to rules that may have a bearing on this type of cases.
 
People who are not obliged to return voluntarily will not be forcibly returned. The opposite is not always true, however, because it may be inadvisable to implement forced returns even if the duty to return voluntarily has not been suspended. 

Unreturnable asylum seekers:

Pending suggested changes in the law for asylum seekers who have been in Norway for a long time, and who are considered unreturnable, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security has 24.02.2020 instructed UDI and UNE (external link) to defer implementation of such decisions.

This applies to cases where:

  • by 1 October 2021 it will have been at least 16 years since the person applied for asylum in Norway
  • and the person, by 1 October 2021, will have reached a combined age and time in Norway of at least 65 years.

Until further notice the Police will not make forced returns in the cases where the instruction applies. The obligation the individual has to return after a rejection of an application is also temporarily suspended. You can read the statement here (in Norwegian only).

Russia: For persons who crossed over Storskog

The suspension of returns applies only to foreigners who in 2015 came over the Storskog border crossing to seek protection in Norway. The suspension only applies to those who live at a known address in Norway and have a multi-entry visa or residence permit in Russia that has expired. Read the statement here.

Libya (suspension of returns to other parts of Libya except Tripoli)

The suspension of return applies to all parts of Libya, except Tripoli. The suspension of the duty to return for persons from Tripoli in Libya was reversed on 15 September 2015; read the statement here. This means that all persons who have previously received, or who from now on receive a final decision requiring them to return to Tripoli are obliged to leave Norway. The police can resume the implementation of forced returns to Tripoli.

Yemen:

On 15 April 2015, UNE decided to suspend the duty to return to Yemen. This was due to the escalating conflict in the country (read the statement here (in Norwegian only) Since the conflict in Yemen has not ceased, UNE uphold the decision to suspend the duty to return. The decision applies both to persons who have previously applied for asylum and to persons who are obliged to return after having received a rejection of an application for residence pursuant to other parts of the regulations.

Immigration cases concerning nationals of Syria:

On 28 April 2011, UNE decided to suspend the duty to return for nationals of Syria who have applied for protection in Norway.

On 26 June 2012, it was decided to resume the processing of asylum cases and other immigration cases for nationals of Syria. The suspension of the duty to return was upheld for previously decided cases. This means that citizens of Syria who have received a final decision from UNE are not obliged to return to Syria. 

Dublin returns to Greece:

UNE has resumed the return of asylum seekers to Greece pursuant to the Dublin Procedure. The decision is based on updated country information for asylum seekers in Greece, and on the result from several board meetings where the situation in Greece was the topic. UNE is of the opinion that both the reception system for asylum seekers in Greece, and the asylum system itself, have improved sufficiently compared to the situation in 2010 when we suspended the returns to Greece.

In order for UNE to make a decision to reject an application several aspects need to be in place. Greece must accept the responsibility of the asylum seeker in question and guarantee that the asylum seeker will have access to a place at a reception centre, and to the asylum procedure itself.

Vulnerable people, such as unaccompanied minor asylum seekers, will not be returned to Greece. They will have their case assessed in Norway.

UNE is regularly updated on the situation for asylum seekers and migrants in Greece, and assesses each case individually.

Background information on the former decision to suspend returns

Norway stopped the return of asylum seekers to Greece back in 2010 due to the uncertainty of the reception system and the asylum procedures in the country. The decision was based on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case of M.S.S versus Belgium and Greece.

The European Commission (EC) recommended in 2016 its member states to gradually resume returns to Greece. In its recommendation the EC pointed to the fact that the situation in Greece had improved considerably since the above mentioned ECHR case.