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Refugees that want to return to Eritrea


In a letter to the Ministry of Justice, the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) writes that they are experiencing an increase in applications from people who wish to return to Eritrea.

In the period 2010–2018, five refugees in Norway returned to Eritrea. Now, the UDI feels that many people are applying for the same more than before, writes Vårt Land.

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This year, four people have returned to Eritrea, and ten have applied for return. The UDI is also receiving an increasing number of inquiries about the scheme from Eritreans, writes Deputy Department Director Katinka Hartmann of the UDI in the letter to the Ministry of Justice.

Although the country is described as a dictatorship where the media has no rights, more people are choosing to move back than before. People from Eritrea are also among the largest groups seeking asylum in Norway. From 2014 to 2018, 7,520 people applied for asylum in Norway, and during the same period, 7,530 Eritreans were granted asylum on various grounds.

Eritreans who want to return home but no longer have valid travel documents have to pay a special tax. They must pay 2 percent tax on all income while they have been in Norway in order to obtain a new passport. The tax is retroactive to 1992. This can amount to several hundred thousand kroner for many.

Therefore, there is a high threshold for obtaining the documents themselves. If the Norwegian authorities assist them in obtaining travel documents, they will be faced with the requirement to pay the tax only after arriving in Eritrea, Hartmann writes to the ministry.

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