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Asylum seekers leave Norway over 'unrealistic perceptions'

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A UDI spokeswoman said "unrealistic and erroneous perceptions" were probably why people chose to leave. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix
09:03 CET+01:00
A total of 31,145 people sought asylum in Norway last year. Over 800 of them chose to withdraw their applications and leave the country.
Of the 805 people who withdrew their requests for protection, 137 came from conflict-ridden Iraq, figures that Vårt Land obtained from the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) showed. Additionally, 102 came from war-torn Syria and 63 from Afghanistan. 
 
Katinka Hartmann, head of UDI's returns unit, said little is know about why asylum applications are withdrawn because the agencey does not routinely interview those who drop their requests. But she beleives many asylum seekers leave Norway because the picture they had of the country beforehand did not match up with reality. 
 
“We assume that many of them had an unrealistic and erroneous perception of the types of opportunities they would have in Norway. Probably those who do not have a need for protection release that there is little to gain in having their asylum applications processed here,” she told Vårt Land. 
 
Accordig to Hartmann, the majority of those who withdraw their applications return to their home countries while others choose to return to a different country.

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“That might particularly apply to Syrians, who choose to return to Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan,” Hartmann said. 

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