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The government introduces DNA tests to halt family immigration cheating

Minister of Children and Equality Linda Hofstad Helleland (C).Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

The government will give immigration authorities the right to demand DNA tests by persons claiming that they are related to Norwegian citizens in family immigration cases.


On Tuesday, the government proposed amendments to the Children’s and Citizenship Acts. The changes are designed to prevent cheating with family immigration. The proposals have been under consultation and received broad support.

‘’The legislative amendments we propose are in accordance with Norway’s duty to human rights. Children have the right to protection of their own identity and any citizenship. Failure to use DNA testing when there is an ID doubt can pose a risk of trafficking in human beings,” said Linda Hofstad Helleland, Minister for Children and Equality in Høyre (H).

The Norwegian authorities do not currently have the legal authority to demand DNA testing of potential family immigrants in the declaration of paternity, which is a problem in countries it is not possible to obtain birth certificates or ID documents.

If aperson is a Norwegian citizen, their child automatically becomes a Norwegian citizen with a right to a passport, and permanent residence.

Figures from the Immigration Directorate (UDI) show that 15,500 people came to
Norway as family immigrants in 2016. Half of them were under 18 years. Family immigration has for many years been the most common cause of immigration to Norway from countries outside the EEA.

In 2010, UDI initiated DNA tests of spouses without common children as desired by family immigration. The background was that it was suspected that they were not married, but siblings, which does not provide grounds for stay in Norway. The tests in 2010 showed that in excess of 40% turned out to be siblings.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today