Persons who have committed a crime under Norwegian law can be expelled from Norway. The expelled person must leave Norway and normally also the Schengen area for either a specified period or permanently.
We agree with the Directorate of Immigration's (UDI) decision in most cases. This means that we do not reverse many decisions. The most common reason for us reversing a decision is that we believe that more importance should be attached to the best interests of the child than to the crimes that have been committed. It could also be that the situation has changed a lot since the case was considered by the UDI, and we may reverse a decision because we have other information than the UDI had.
What do we consider?
The first thing we examine is whether you have committed a crime under Norwegian law. This could for example be a breach of the Immigration Act, the General Civil Penal Code or the Medicinal Products Act. You can also be expelled for a crime comitted abroad and violation of foreign law.
We also consider how serious your crime is. For example, it is a serious offence to provide false information about who you are or present false documents. Being sentenced for a crime is also a serious matter. Drug offences, domestic violence and sexual offences are particularly serious examples. We normally agree with the UDI about how serious an offence is. We rarely reverse a decision if you have committed a particularly serious offence.
We consider the consequences expulsion will have for you. If you have family in Norway, we will also look at what consequences it will have for the family. We weigh these consequences against how serious your offence is. This is called a proportionality assessment.
We start by assessing your attachment to Norway, for example, by considering how long you have stayed here, if you work, have friends and are active in the local community. If you have stayed in Norway illegally, we will not place importance on the attachment you developed during this period. This means that even if you believe you have an attachment to Norway, we will not place importance on this because you have stayed here illegally. Neither do we place importance on legal residence that you were not entitled to, for example if you were granted a permit on the basis of false information you gave when you applied. It takes a lot for us to conclude that your attachment to Norway is so great that you cannot be expelled.
We also assess your attachment to Norway through family. We only place importance on this if your family is staying in Norway legally. It takes a lot for your attachment to Norway through your family to be so great that you cannot be expelled.
We also consider the consequences expulsion will have for your family. As a rule, only spouses or cohabitants and children under the age of 18 are considered family in expulsion cases. When you got married or became a cohabitant is significant. If this took place while you were staying in Norway illegally, or after you had committed a crime under Norwegian law, we will place little importance on the consequences expulsion will have for your spouse or cohabitant.
If you have children, their best interests are a very important factor in our assessment. In nearly all cases, we believe that it is in the child's best interests not to expel one of the parents. We particularly consider whether the child will be well cared for even if one of the parents is expelled.
You can be expelled even if this will have consequences for your children. The seriousness of your offence is significant for how much importance is placed on the consequences your expulsion will have for the children. This means that the more serious your crime, the more it takes for us to not expel you out of consideration for the child. When we consider the consequences this may have for the children, we place importance on factors such as the child's attachment to you, whether the child is particularly vulnerable and whether the child can travel to your home country. It will normally take more for us to not expel you than the normal consequences of a family being separated for a period. In these cases, it is important that UNE receives all information about the children's situation.
If you are expelled, you will be subject to a prohibition on entry. This means that you cannot return to Norway, and usually not to the Schengen area, for either a specified period or permanently. The prohibition on entry can have a duration of one, two, five or ten years, or it can be permanent. Permanent means that the prohibition on entry lasts forever.
How long your prohibition on entry lasts depends on how serious your crime is and the consequences for you and your family if you cannot return.
You can apply to have the prohibition on entry lifted. If the prohibition on entry is lifted, you can apply to return to Norway. You can only apply to have the prohibition on entry lifted from your home country.
If you are citizen of a country outside the Schengen area, you will normally be registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) when you are expelled. The registration lasts as long as the prohibition on entry. As long as you are registered in SIS, you can be denied entry and residence permits in other countries in the Schengen area.
We always assess whether it is safe for you to return to your home country when you are expelled. Those working on the expulsion case are assisted by a case officer who works on asylum cases from your home country when making their assessment.
Not many decisions are reversed by UNE. The most common reason for us reversing a decision is that we attach more importance to the best interests of the child than to the crimes that have been committed. In some cases, we also reverse a decision because our assessment of the case differs slightly from the UDI's assessment, or because we receive new documentation that the UDI did not have. This could be information about children or health matters.