Refugees may be denied travel documents

Supreme Court Church Asylum Travel Documents Mother of sixSupreme Court. Photo:

Refugees with insecure identity may be denied travel documents

The Supreme Court has ruled that it is not unfair to refuse refugees travel documents if there is doubt about their identity.


The travel docyment serves as passport and identity card. Without a travel document, a refugee will neither be able to get a driver’s license, debit card, bank ID, buy real estate, take up loans or travel abroad,writes Rett24 , which refers to the Supreme Court ruling that came Tuesday.

According to the provisions of the Refugee Convention, Norwegian authorities must issue travel documents to refugees who have legal stay. There is, however, an exception to this rule, which means that you can not refuse to issue travel documents “unless compelling national security and public order are at risk.”

Went to court

Three refugees with support from Self-help for Immigrants and Refugees, the Norwegian Organization for asylum seekers and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees went to court against the state to confirm the right to receive such travel documents. Oslo District Court and Borgarting Court of Appeal agreed with their claim. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, has come to the opposite conclusion and believes that the exception in the regulations supports this, but believes this is problematic and therefore throws the ball back to the legislators.

First-voting Judge Knut H. Kallerud writes that the trust in Norwegian travel documents would be undermined if such documents were issued to persons without a probable identity.

One gets travel documents

For one of the three refugees, the Supreme Court found that the identity was probable and that he could therefore get travel documents. The two others, both of whom have operated with a variety of identities since they came to Europe, will still not be able to get this unless the Government changes the rules.

Most of the refugees who come to Norway manage to prove their correct identity. It was reported in the court that among the 23,000 who have been granted asylum since 2014, only 64 were denied travel documents.

– The state however acknowledges that this group has a problem and that this problem must be solved, says Anders Wilhelmsen at the Public Prosecutor’s Office.


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today