Resettlement refugees (quota refugees)
For many refugees, it is impossible to return to their home country or to be integrated in the country where they are staying. Read more about the guidelines for the work on resettlement refugees at udiregelverk.no (external website).
It is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that submits the applications for resettlement refugees, and UDI decides who gets to come to Norway. We organise the journey for them and decide in advance which municipality they will live in.
The quota is determined by policy
The quota for resettlement refugees is a political decision.
The Norwegian parliament, the Storting, decides how many resettlement refugees Norway will receive per year. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security decides which main groups of refugees we are to receive. Information about the size of the quotas and sub-quotas in recent years is available at www.udiregelverk.no (external website). Use the free text search and search for the term ‘resettlement refugees’.
Selection mission cases
Within the annual resettlement quota, we have different main groups of applicants. Each main group usually consists of applicants staying in the same country. UDI travels to the country where they are and interviews them. These cases are called selection mission cases.
The UNHCR is notified about what profile Norway wishes the applications to have. For example, families and vulnerable women may be given priority. Norway does not influence which individual cases the UNHCR submits.
The UNHCR considers who has the greatest need for resettlement. UDI conducts interviews and further examines the written information we received in the application. The purpose of the interview is to establish
- the applicant’s identity
- the applicant’s need for international protection
- the applicant’s situation in the country where he/she is staying
- other criteria that follow from the guidelines for the work on resettlement refugees
If UDI approves the application, the applicant is issued with an entry and residence permit. The vast majority are granted refugee status.
In selection mission cases, UDI asks applicants to confirm their identity information during their interview. This could be, for example, the spelling of their name, date of birth or marital status. The information about applicants is used to establish their identity.
We also have an open quota that is decided by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
The Norwegian police summon the applicants for a registration meeting once they have arrived in Norway. The police focus on their identity and family relations, among other things. UDI establishes their identity and makes a decision based on the application and the interview with the police. The vast majority are granted refugee status.
Urgent cases and medical cases
In urgent cases, UDI makes a decision within 48 hours. The Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) tries to get a Norwegian municipality to make a decision to accept the refugee within the next 48 hours. UDI asks the relevant foreign service mission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) do to their utmost to ensure that the applicant can come to Norway at the time the municipality has agreed to accept him/her.
About 20 of the resettlement refugees who come to Norway every year have a life-threatening health problem that cannot be treated in the country they are leaving. In these cases, UDI obtains professional health advice from Oslo University Hospital before making a decision.
The settlement municipality’s health service is responsible for all medical follow-up after the refugees have arrived in Norway. Some of the medical cases are processed in accordance with the procedure for urgent cases, for example if the applicant’s life depends on receiving swift treatment in Norway.
The municipal health service and the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes are involved at an early stage when refugees who have been accepted under the medical quota arrive in Norway.
Travel to Norway
The applicant is granted an entry permit that is valid for six months from the decision date. IMDi enters into an agreement with a Norwegian municipality to settle the applicant. The earliest settlement date must be within the period of six months for which the entry permit is valid.
As soon as IMDi has reached agreement with a settlement municipality, UDI asks the Norwegian foreign service mission concerned to issue a laissez-passer and an entry visa (D visa). We also ask the IOM to make travel arrangements for the applicant based on when the municipality can receive him/her. UDI asks the IOM to notify us of the arrival date two weeks before arrival takes place at the latest. In some urgent cases, we will be notified nearer the arrival date.
UDI informs the municipality of the arrival date as soon as we have received confirmation of the travel route from the IOM. We send the confirmed travel route to the municipality by secure email.
Applicants who have been accepted by the selection mission take part in a cultural introduction course in the country where they are staying before their departure for Norway. The course lasts for four days for adults and two days for children, and it teaches them about Norwegian culture and Norwegian society. The teachers are from the same background as the refugees and have experience of living in Norway.
What do the police do?
Applicants are required to report to the police within seven days of their arrival in Norway. That is why it is important that the police summon the applicants immediately after they have received the case from UDI. The applicants are not granted a valid residence permit until the police have acted on the decision, nor can they be issued a personal ID number.
Selection mission cases
In selection mission cases, UDI makes a decision about a residence permit and status before the applicant arrives in Norway. The police follow up on UDI’s decision and do not register the applicant as a new arrival.
In dossier cases, applicants are granted an entry permit that entitles them to stay in Norway until UDI has decided the question of the applicant’s status. The police issue the residence permit and carry out the standard registration of new arrivals.
What does the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes do?
The Norwegian Tax Administration receives confirmation of the applicant's permit type and of the date of arrival to Norway. Because the applicant must report to the police within seven days, the Tax Administration will know when the applicant can be assigned a Norwegian identity number.
In selection mission cases, UDI notifies the Tax Administration of the arrival date, and the Tax Administration checks the immigration administration’s computer system (DUF) daily to see whether the cases have been processed by the police. As soon as the police have completed processing the case, the Tax Administration can issue a Norwegian national identity number.
In dossier cases, UDI notifies the Tax Administration when a decision has been made, and the Tax Administration can issue an identity number.
Medical cases are given priority. In these cases, the Tax Administration issues an identity number on the same day the applicant arrives in Norway.