The new passport rules, which may lead to tens of thousands ending up being listed with unknown place of birth, will weaken the credibility of the Police Directorate, law professor Mads Andenæs says.
The new rules means more stringent requirements for information to be considered to be credible enough for Norway to put it into the passport. 30 countries – most of them in Asia and Africa – are listed as countries where information on place of birth can not be controlled well enough. This means that people who are born in these countries passports will have the birthplace written on their passports changed to “birthplace unknown,” although today they might have a Norwegian passport with correct birthplace.
The practice was changed after the Police Directorate issued a circular in March.
Andenæs reacts and believe the scheme will be legally tried, the newspaper Klassekampen writes.
– This is so restrictive that everyone understands that it should have been subjected to a public consultation process. It may appear that the Administration Act requirements for procedures was not followed in this case either, the professor says.
Persons listed with unknown place of birth in the passport may have trouble gaining entry to and visas for a number of countries, including China and the United States.
– It is important to know what lead to the change in rules. Has the Police Directorate done this on its own initiative or has it come about as the result of a political process? This is unclear, and it leads to a weakening of the Police Directorate’s credibility, he said.
Those who are not able to provide good enough documentation for their birthplace, will at worst be denied passports, Dagsavisen. The new rules may also have consequences for people born abroad who have been adopted by Norwegian citizens.
– This may affect 20,000 adopted children with Norwegian citizenship, Øystein Gudim, leader in Adoption Forum, says.
– Many of those who have been adopted haven’t got birth certificate from their birthplace, and it is not possible for them to be issued this.
Adoption Forum and the association Children of the World has been contacted by several parents who says that the children have trouble renewing their passports. Although they have previously had a valid passport with information on place of birth and country of origin, they are now being denied getting a new passport issued.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today