Crackdown on asylum continues

Anundsen cuts return support for those who do not leave voluntarily

Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner

Asylum seekers refused a residence permit can currently receive NOK 20,000 per adult if they apply within the deadline they are given.

They also get NOK 10,000 per child, plus an extra per child figure of NOK 10,000 as an encouragement to return home of their own free will if they keep to this date.

This means that a family of five—two adults, three children—will receive NOK 100,000. They get NOK 60,000 if they apply for this so-termed assisted return scheme after the deadline.

The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has separate financial support schemes for people from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Somalia.

People applying before the deadline when the new rates come into force will receive the same sums as present, with a NOK 10,000 per child additional sum.

Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen is altering the post-deadline figure, however.

Adults will receive NOK 7,000 each, children NOK 2,000 each, and there will be no extra child payment. This means that a family of five will only receive NOK 20,000.

There will also be changes in rates regarding sums for those from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Somalia. These will be published soon, states the UDI.

This latest move by the government is part of several asylum-related measures announced recently.

Several thousand Eritrean asylum seekers could have their residence permit revoked and have to leave Norway should authorities strike a deal with their government. Some people may not be able to apply for asylum in Norway at all if they are not part of the UN refugee quota scheme.

Moreover, the government proposes granting the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) an extra NOK 11.3 million. This additional funding is to be used for processing cases. Officials argue this is because of an increase in deportation cases. The measure is designed to raise the number of deportations regarding those refused residence in Norway, they say.

About 3,000 people without a residence permit are currently housed in asylum seeker reception centers.

Jøran Kallmyr, Deputy Minister of Justice for the Progress Party states that not enough people apply for voluntary return.

“The current arrangement has not provided a good enough incentive. […] The consequences of failing to apply for voluntary return by the specified deadline are currently too few,” he tells NRK.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit

It also appeared in the June 5, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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