Norway to limit asylum grants to five years
Norway’s right-wing government is to limit grants of asylum to a five-year term, after which refugees will be automatically sent home if the situation in their country has changed for the better.
“If the war in Syria ends, or conditions in Iraq improve, they will have to prepare for the return trip,” State Secretary Joran Kallemyr, a senior official from the Progress Party in the Ministry of Justice told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK on Thursday evening.
“If there are changes in the country that means you no longer need protection in Norway, you should basically be returned.”
Kallemyr said the government had put the policy out for consultation, and hoped to get it through parliament before Christmas.
He said the policy would also apply to families.
“If anyone gets a family reunion and the asylum applicant who is the reference person can no longer stay in Norway, the whole family will return,” he said.
“What we are obligated to do under international law is to not prevent families being together, but we are not obliged to arrange for the family to come to Norway.”
He said that, unlike Sweden, Norway had already stopped paying the flights and other expenses of those coming to Norway for family reunion.
Kallemyr said that in bringing in temporary asylum, Sweden was following in the footsteps of Germany, which has brought in three year temporary asylum for Syrian fleeing the civil war.
Norway’s immigration department is now expecting over 30,000 new asylum applications to come next year, after receiving a record
5,000 asylum seekers in September.