Information for Kurdish Asylum Seekers from Northern Iraq

Information concerning UDI’s decision to reject asylum seekers from Northern Iraq who «are not in need of protection».

Information concerning UDI’s decision to reject asylum seekers from Northern Iraq who «are not in need of protection».
Yesterday, 7 May, the Directorate for Immigration (UDI) made a decision that is important for all Iraqi asylum seekers who have been granted a one-year, non-renewable residence permit (so called «MUF»). We have been contacted by many asylum seekers for information, and will in the following try to explain the content of UDI’s decision.

UDI’s decision

  • Asylum seekers who have been granted temporary rseidence permits («MUF») will not have their permits renewed. Instead, their applications for a renewed residence permit will be rejected by the UDI.
  • New asylum seekers who, according to the UDI, do not have an individual need for protection will also be rejected.
  • Return to Northern Iraq

  • It is still not possible for the Norwegian Government to return persons to Northern Iraq. As far as we know, it is unlikely that this will be possible in the nearest future.

  • However, rejected asylum seekers will be asked to return voluntarily to Northern Iraq.
  • Work permits

    1. If you have applied for a renewal of your residence permit (MUF) before it expires, you are entitled to a continued stay on the same conditions until the application for a renewal has been decided. In other words: You still have the right to work.

    2. For those who have appealed UDI’s previous decision (MUF) to the Appeals Board (Utlendingsnemnda) and asked for asylum or a regular residence permit on humanitarian basis without restrictions, the UDI will not decide on the application for a renewal before the Appeals Board has made its decision.

    3. If the Appeals Board rejects your appeal and the UDI also rejects your application for a renewal, you can again appeal to the Appeals Board (this time against UDI’s decision not to renew the MUF-permit).

    4. If you are rejected by the Appeals Board this time also, you can still apply for a temporary work permit. One of the criteria is that there should be no doubt regarding your identity.

    Obviously, this is complicated. This is our best understanding so far of the position of the UDI.

    Economic support and resettlement in a municipality

  • Asylum seekers living in a reception centre will continue to receive the basic economic support, also after a final rejection from the Appeals Board.

  • Those who are living in a municipality may stay there. There will be no further resettlements.
  • We will follow up with more information (or corrections, if any) as soon as possible. Our web-site www.noas.org will also be continuously updated. For NOAS’ reaction to UDI’s decision, see the enclosed press release. Also, we would like to let you know that we are impressed by the patience you have demonstrated through this difficult period. We deeply regret the outcome of this decision.

    NOAS, 8 May 2001