Updated Information for Asylum Seekers from Northern Iraq

Particularly in regard to rejections on applications for renewal – appeal possibilities.

Particularly in regard to rejections on applications for renewal – appeal possibilities.
On May 7th this year the Directorate of Immigration (the UDI) made a decision concerning all Iraqi asylum seekers that have been granted a temporary residence permit, without the right to family reunification (MUF). The decision is of equal importance for newly arrived asylum seekers from Northern Iraq and for those that the Norwegian authorities believe have a connection to Northern Iraq. We will try and explain the situation at the present time.

Return to Northern Iraq

  • Northern Iraqi asylum seekers whose applications for asylum have been rejected will be asked to return to Northern Iraq voluntarily.
  • It is still not possible for the Norwegian authorities to return people to Northern Iraq and as far as NOAS knows there is little to indicate that this will become possible in the near future.
  • There are no voluntary return programmes for persons from Northern Iraq.
  • Asylum process – work permits

    1. If you applied for renewal before your residence permit (MUF) had expired, you still have a right to work up until your case is finally completed.

    2. For those that have appealed against the UDI’s earlier decision (MUF) to the Immigration Appeals Board and asked to be given asylum or an ordinary residence permit on humanitarian grounds without restrictions, the Appeals Board will handle this appeal first. Only afterwards will the UDI decide the application for renewal of the residence permit.

    3. If the Appeals Board rejects your appeal and the UDI then rejects your application for renewal, you can also appeal to the Appeals Board against the UDI’s new decision.

    4. If this appeal is also rejected then you do not have a right to work.

    5. However, you can apply for a temporary work permit, although it is still unclear what the UDI’s practice will be in this regard.

    Basic financial support and accommodation

  • Those that live in a reception centre will continue to receive the basic amount of financial support, even after the Appeals Board has rejected their appeals.
  • Those that have moved out of the reception centre of their own free will, but are no longer able to financially take care of themselves, can move back into the reception centre where they will again receive the basic amount of financial support.
  • Those that have been settled into a municipality (kommune) through an agreement between the UDI and the municipality will be able to receive social security benefits in the municipality.
  • Application for renewal

    In their handling of cases concerning the renewal of residence permits (MUF), the UDI have stated that they will take into consideration the applicant’s health and family situation.

    Therefore, if you have health problems it is important that you try and document these through doctors certificates. Likewise if you have family here in Norway you should attempt to document their situation, especially the situation of the children.

    Rejection of application for renewal of residence permit

    If your application for renewal is rejected, you do not have an automatic right to free assistance from a lawyer. To get a lawyer to write an appeal there are two possibilities:

  • You pay yourself.
  • You ask the lawyer to apply to get the costs covered by the Regional Commissioner (Fylkesmannen). If the Regional Commissioner rejects the application, you will probably have to pay yourself.
  • Alternatively you can write the appeal yourself. In this case, you should be aware that there is a deadline of three weeks after either you or your lawyer received the UDI’s decision. The appeal should be addressed to the UDI and delivered to the nearest police station.

    Once again it is important that you document any health problems and the situation for any family members in Norway.

    Attached is a standard form which contains the elements that always have to be included in an appeal (in Norwegian only).

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    Postboks 8108 Dep
    0032 Oslo

    Borger av Irak – Klage på Utlendingsdirektoratets avslag på søknad om fornyelse av midlertidig oppholdstillatelse


    Jeg anmoder herved om at UDIs vedtak omgjøres, prinsipalt at det gis opphold på humanitært grunnlag uten begrensninger, subsidiært at den tillatelse som tidligere ble gitt blir fornyet.

    Med vennlig hilsen,