ID clarification program to identify Iraqis

Iraq Kurdistan ID clarification programTucked away in the province of Duhok, hides the gem of a city, Amadiya (also spelled Amedi). Perched atop a tiny plateau, Amadiya is one of the greatest historical, cultural and geographical gems of Iraqi Kurdistan.. Photo: thekurdishproject.org

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Norwegian ID clarification program to identify Iraqis

A group of Iraqis with legal residence in Norway have long been waiting for citizenship. The challenge has been that their identity is not documented. The Norwegian government is now implementing an ID clarification program to verify their information.


“These are persons who live in Norway for a long time. Many of them will qualify for Norwegian citizenship if their identity is clarified. It will give them the opportunity to participate in the community with full rights and duties.” Minister of Knowledge and Integration, Jan Tore Sanner, states.

The Iraqis have a residence permit, but their identity is not verified

about 1,000 Iraqis came from Kurdish areas as asylum seekers to Norway around the turn of the century. They were granted a residence permit on a humanitarian basis, despite the fact that there were doubts about the name and/or date of birth. Because of this, they have not been granted Norwegian citizenship. The Nationality Act requires that applicants have their identity clarified before Norwegian citizenship can be granted.

“Obtaining Norwegian citizenship should not be easy to get. those who participate in the program, are given the opportunity to clarify their identity, They must, however, fulfil the other conditions of the Norwegian Nationality Act in order to be granted one,” Sanner explains.

A program allows for verification

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has for several years been working on creating a program that satisfies the strict requirements of the law regarding identity – and can be applied to a large number of cases. The UDI will now be instructed to implement a time-limited program as of May 1st. The application deadline for participating in the program is December 31st, 2019.

“This is a demanding and challenging issue, which it is important for us to solve. The pilot projects in 2017 and 2018 produced good results. Several persons had their identity verified. It, therefore, provides a good basis for the program we are about to implement. I hope that this will entail that the Iraqis can move on with their lives,” the Cabinet Minister continues.

About the ID clarification program

  • The ID clarification program includes persons who have been granted a residence permit or renewed one by 31 December 2010, despite the fact that the immigration authorities were aware that there were doubts about the identity.
  • The program does not include persons who have provided incorrect information about their nationality.
  • It is a prerequisite that one comes from the Kurdish Autonomous Community or Kirkuk, and is registered with the Kurdish Self-Government (KRG). Iraqis who are originally from outside the Kurdish self-government area, but are registered by the KRG, are included as well.
  • Both Iraqis who have previously been refused a citizenship application and Iraqis who have not yet applied for Norwegian citizenship are covered by the program.
  • The program is time-limited. An application to participate must be submitted by December 31st, 2019. The UDI may consider extending the deadline if needed.

Applicants not fulfilling other requirements for Norwegian citizenship, after completion of verification, will be rejected.


About Norwegian citizenship

A person who is entitled to Norwegian citizenship:

  • Has a clarified identity
  • Is twelve years old
  • Is, and will remain, a resident of the Kingdom of Norway
  • Fulfils the conditions for a permanent residence permit according to the Immigration Act
  • Has a total of seven years’ stay in Norway during the last ten years, with a residence permit valid for at least one year
  • Fulfils the requirements for Norwegian language skills and knowledge in spoken Norwegian and social studies
  • Has no criminal record or similar or has been suspended

The right to Norwegian citizenship does not apply if the consideration for basic national interests or foreign policy considerations speaks against it.


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