This memo addresses the right to refugee status on the basis of sur place activity when the primary purpose of the activity is to gain a residence permit in Norway. The question is: In which cases can the appellant be denied the right to refugee status, and what permit should then be granted?
Pursuant to the Immigration Act Section 28 fourth paragraph, the appellant can be denied the right to refugee status if it appears likely that the primary purpose of the sur place activity has been to gain a residence permit in Norway.
That ‘the primary purpose’ has been to gain a permit does not however mean that it has been the only motive. Nonetheless, it must appear to be the most important motive. This will be based on an objective and comprehensive assessment of the appellant’s statement and other circumstances in the case. The key factors in UNE’s practice is whether the appellant started engaging in the activity relatively late, often after receiving a rejection, that he/she increases and adapts his/her activity and visibility in step with negative decisions, that he/she lacks knowledge and reflection, that his/her exaggerated conduct is conspicuous, that his/her credibility is undermined or that he/she has conducted other acts that indicate that his/her primary motive has been to gain a permit.
If the appellant is denied refugee status, he/she will be entitled to protection against refoulement pursuant to Section 73 and will be granted a residence permit pursuant to Section 38 or Section 74.