The main topic of the memo is UNE’s assessments of the best interests of the child in expulsion cases for breaches of Section 66 of the Immigration Act.
The best interests of the child are taken into consideration in expulsion cases when the proportionality of the measure is assessed. See Section 70 of the Immigration Act where this is expressly stated. This consideration is also relevant when determining the duration of the prohibition on entry cf. the Immigration Act Section 71 second paragraph and the Immigration Regulations Section 14-2, and in assessments in relation to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 3 when considering a request for reversal of a final decision by UNE.
The memo also sets out how children’s right to be heard is facilitated (the Immigration Regulations Section 17-3, in order to elucidate the case ‘as thoroughly as possible’ with regard to what is in the best interests of the child).
The memo reviews decisions from July 2018 until June 2019. It discusses decisions on upholding, and reversing in part or in full the UDI’s or UNE’s decisions in cases where UNE, following a request for reversal, has not reversed its decision. See section 3.2 for the bases and assessment of the best interests of the child when UNE considers requests for reversal.
In order to limit the scope of the memo, it only addresses cases where the appellant and child have established a form of family life (or had one before the appellant left Norway). Cases where the child/family are already subject to a duty to leave the country are not included. The best interests of the child are then considered in the child’s case without the child having been granted a permit, and the child does not give the appellant a connection to the realm. Decisions in which the child has been granted a permit on the basis of Section 38 fifth paragraph and where the expulsion decision for one of the parents is subsequently reversed rarely include a thorough assessment of the best interests of the child. In such cases, UNE largely refers to the decision for the child. Such decisions, which do not include an assessment of the best interests of the child, are therefore excluded from the practice that forms the basis for this memo.
Decisions in a total of 54 expulsion cases have been retrieved from UNE’s internal practice overviews and reviewed. All relevant decisions concerning a full or partial reversal of the expulsion decision have been included, as well as a fairly representative sample of decisions in which expulsion decisions have not been altered.