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Norway prepares for influx of refugees from Ukraine

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway prepares for influx of refugees from Ukraine
The UDI and government have said that they are working to increase capacity to receive refugees. Women and children, refugees coming from Ukraine walk at the Ukrainian-Romanian border in Siret on March 02, 2022. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP)

Norway is preparing for an influx of people fleeing Ukraine and is working to increase its capacity to receive refugees, the government and immigration authorities said Tuesday. 

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The Norwegian government and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) are bracing themselves for an influx of refugees fleeing war in Ukraine and are working to increase capacity.

“Norway is prepared to take responsibility and provide protection to people on the run. We have been working intensely the last few days. As of now, we do not know how big the influx will be, but it (the situation) can change quickly,” Emilie Enger Mehl, justice minister, told newspaper VG.

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Immigration authorities currently have the capacity to receive up to 1,000 refugees at a day’s notice, Frode Forfang, director of the UDI, told VG.

“If it (the influx) came tomorrow, we would manage 1,000 (arrivals) without doing anything extraordinary. But we are in the process of building up and expanding capacity, and we are now preparing to have a much larger capacity than we have at the moment,” Forfang said.

“We do not know how much capacity will be needed. It depends on the pace and how fast this (the situation escalates). We have seen from the past that if there is a crisis, then there are plenty of ways to expand a good deal,” he added.

The Norwegian government has already said that Ukrainians with biometric passports can stay longer than the typically permitted 90 days without a visa until further notice.

The justice minister also said that the government was considering granting Ukrainians in Norway temporary residence for up to three years if they can prove they are citizens.

On Tuesday, the UN said that more than 600,00 had fled Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country.

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Anonymous 2022/03/03 10:19
As a NATO country Norway like others has extra responsibility for taking care of the refugees, it is the least they can do for encouraging Ukraine to join the alliance.

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