Checking asylum seekers on social media

asylum seekers july - UDI familyThe Norwegian Department of Immigration (UDI). Photo Norway Today Media

UDI are checking asylum seekers on social media

The Directorate for Foreigners (UDI)  caseworkers have received training in checking asylum seekers on social media to reveal cheating in asylum applications.


The case officers recently got their own guidelines for systematically using social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Aftenposten writes.

Not least in the so-called recall cases where asylum seekers suspected of having cheated to obtain a residence permit or citizenship, does social media play a key role.

The content of the guidelines is excluded from public disclosure, but Hanne Merete Jendal, Head of Department at UDI, confirms that the guidelines exist.

She says that the guidelines shall ensure that caseworkers are within the law in their use of such sources, and that searches in open sources are legitimate.

She says that the information they find can both support the asylum seekers’ explanations and raise doubts.

A selfie can be enough

For example, such searches can be used to investigate whether asylum seekers speak true about travel routes or if they have returned in their home country after they received asylum. A selfie or a check-in may be enough to ruin explanations.

After the number of asylum seekers decreased after 2015, the UDI has been able to free up officers to verify asylum applications more thoroughly.

Thus, several cases of asylum seekers reported that they come from countries other than they actually do, for example, that people who say they are from Somalia are actually from Djibouti or Ethiopia.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today