Immigration For Members

What happens your immigration appeal is sent to the Immigration Appeals Board?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 23 Jan, 2023 Updated Mon 23 Jan 2023 14:00 CEST
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The Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) is the appellate body for immigration and citizenship cases in Norway. Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

So, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) decided to forward your immigration appeal case to the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE). If you're wondering what happens next, we've got you covered.

If you decide to appeal a UDI decision on your immigration application, you will encounter one of the two possible outcomes.

The first scenario entails the UDI granting your appeal, meaning that your application will be approved – in which case, congratulations, you can now move to or visit Norway!

In the second case, however, things will go differently. In this scenario, the UDI will forward your case to the Immigration Appeals Board– the appellate body for immigration and citizenship cases in Norway – for further consideration.

But what happens when your case ends up at the UNE?

The UNE appeal process

First things first, if the UDI ends up forwarding your case to the UNE, you won't be kept in the dark – you will be notified by email or SMS.

Note that while the UNE is independent of the UDI, nominally, the same rules apply, as both organisations must make decisions in line with Norwegian law and Norway's international obligations.

Once it gets your case, the UNE will reconsider it and either reject or grant your appeal.

When the UNE receives an appeal against a rejection decision made by the UDI, the case ends up being considered by a different body with different staff.

If your UNE appeal is successful, then the UDI's rejection will no longer apply. However, if the UNE also rejects your appeal, you will usually have no other possibilities of appeal in Norway.

What does the UNE do?

As it points out on its website, the UNE's role is to ensure due process protection. The entity reads all appeals thoroughly to check whether there is anything to indicate that the UDI's decision should be reversed.

The UNE also make sure to check whether the outcome of the case is correct in relation to the applicable regulations as well as considerations of equal treatment, which means that it often compares new cases with practice from similar past cases.

The UNE is independent when it comes to reaching decisions in individual cases – politicians cannot intervene in such instances, nor can they overrule UNE decisions (regardless of whether their influence would result in a positive or negative outcome).

There is only one exception to this general rule – authorities can intervene in cases which are considered consequential for "fundamental national interests or foreign policy considerations."

Does the UNE have the necessary expertise to handle complex cases?

As the entity itself points out, its board officials have law degrees and are qualified to serve as judges in a court of law, while a part of them also have court experience.

Furthermore, most UNE case officers have a law degree. Their ranks are also filled by case officers specialising in political science, anthropology, history, and religious studies, as well as human rights and international law.

The UNE's board members are recommended by multiple credible and widely respected organisations in Norway, including the Norwegian Association of Lawyers, the Norwegian Association of Social Scientists, the County Governors, and voluntary organisations.

Additionally, the UNE seeks out country analysts - employed by the Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo) - to get assistance in individual cases.

The said analysts support the UNE by providing factual knowledge about the situation in the different countries, but they are not part of the decisions reached in the cases.

In some cases, the UNE uses discretionary assessments to reach decisions.

What happens once the UNE has reached a decision?

Once the UNE finalises its review of an appeal against a UDI rejection, it's done with the case. In some instances, it reconsiders cases upon request based on new case information. Such instances are called requests for reversal.

The UNE decision letter states what will happen next in your case and which body will be responsible for your case moving forward. It will also contain an overview of your rights or obligations.

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Robin-Ivan Capar 2023/01/23 14:00

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