Police must clarify passport issue

Norwegian passport, Norwegian citizenshipNorwegian passport. Photo: Norway Today media

The Justice Department has asked the police to clear up practices related to the new passport rules in Norway, by which tens of thousands risk being listed with an unknown birthplace.

The rules can have a “series of unfortunate and unpredictable consequences,” said the Ministry.

The new rules sharpen requirements on what information is credible enough that Norway will enter it into the passport. 30 countries, most of them in Asia or Africa, have been deemed countries where information related to the place of birth can not be controlled well enough.

“Birthplace unknown”

This means that people born in these countries have “unknown” listed as their birthplace – even though they may have a Norwegian passport today where their correct birthplace is listed.

“The Ministry of Justice points out that the change in practice seems to have a number of unfortunate and unintended consequences for many Norwegian citizens. The Police Directorate requested that this issue be addressed as quickly as possible, and will decide on whether to reintroduce the previous practice,” according to a letter from the Ministry of the Police Directorate (POD) Friday.

Passports may be refused

The practice was changed after the POD issued a circular in March. After receiving criticism from several places, the Police Directorate has stated that they regret any uncertainty or problems that the amended guidelines for introducing birthplace in passports has created.

Those who cannot document their birthplace are at worst denied passports, according to Dagsavisen. The new rules may also have consequences for people who are adopted to Norway.

On Thursday, the POD stated that it would revisit the circular.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today