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Norsk

UDI circulars

RS 2010-155
Document-ID : RS 2010-155
Case-ID : 18/03254-1
Last modified : 27.07.2018
Documentdate : 04.01.2011
Receiver :

Chiefs of Police
The Directorate of Police
Police Immigration Unit
Foreign service missions
All personnel at the UDI

Verification in immigration cases

1. Introduction

1.1. Purpose of the circular

1.2. Definitions

1.3. Legislation and agreements

1.4. Other guidelines relevant to verification

2. General rules for verification

2.1. General rules for when a case is to be sent to verification

2.2. General rules for sending cases

3. Area of responsibility in connection with verification

3.1. Landinfo

3.2. The police

3.3. The Directorate of Immigration

3.4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs/foreign service missions

4. Content of the verification work

4.1. Verification of general conditions

4.2. Verification of language

4.3. Verification of documents

4.4. Verification of family relationships when documentation is not available or where documents have low/no "notoritet"

4.5. Verification of age

4.6. Verification of other information

5. Procedure in cases for verification

5.1. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration's contact with/transmission to the foreign service mission

5.2. Information to the applicant and registration in DUF

6. Guidelines for verification work

6.1. Tasks of the foreign service missions related to performing verification

6.1.1. Protection of information

6.1.2. Use of sources

6.1.3. Protection of the source's identity

6.2. Criteria for selection of local source/entry into a contract

6.2.1. Control of sources

6.2.2. Formulation of the verification report

6.2.3. Other

7. Assessment of the information gathered through verification

8. Work after the verification

8.1. Submission of information to Landinfo

8.2. Information that shall be submitted to the applicant for comment

8.2.1. Anonymisation

8.3. Visibility of considerations related to the verification in comments on the decision

8.4. Handling and storage of documents

1. Introduction

The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) receives applications where it is uncertain whether the documents in the case are genuine or whether the information available in the case is correct. Pursuant to the Public Administration Act section 17, administrative agencies have a duty to ensure that the case is clarified as thoroughly as possible before any administrative decision is made. To investigate and establish the accuracy of documents or information provided in the case, the UDI can send the case for verification through Norwegian foreign service missions.

1.1. Purpose of the circular

The purpose of this circular is to prepare common guidelines for verification in immigration cases. The circular will include the main criteria and guidelines for verification.

The circular includes guidelines for verification of documents and information that is carried out via Norwegian foreign service missions or other partners. The guidelines will make limited reference to verification of language, age, and family relationship, as these procedures are governed by other circulars; see section 1.3.

These guidelines shall apply to the UDI and Norwegian foreign service missions.

The circular provides guidelines concerning

when a case is to be sent for verification
the allocation of responsibility in verification
the procedures to be followed in verification cases
key criteria in the verification work
assessment and weighting of verification reports

1.2. Definitions

In this circular, verification refers to the process of examining and attempting to establish the accuracy of stated information. The allocation of responsibility in verification cases Factual information, in this circular, means the information provided in connection with the case, for example the name of a school or a prison.
A genuine document (document authenticity), in this circular, means that the document is issued by the proper authority in a proper manner. The fact that a document is regarded as authentic does not mean that the content of the document is necessarily correct.

The "notoritet" of the document, in this circular, means that the document is issued on the basis of correct information and provides adequate evidence of the relevant facts (also referred to as notoriety).

Source is used in this circular to refer to the persons or organisations that the foreign service mission uses in its efforts to obtain information in a verification case.

Controller ["behandlingsansvarlig"] and processor ["databehandler"] are used in this circular in accordance with the Act relating to the processing of personal data.

1.3. Legislation and agreements

The content of this circular is governed by the Immigration Act and the Immigration Regulations as well as provisions in the Personal Data Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Public Administration Act.

Users of this circular must familiarise themselves with the relevant provisions of this framework.

Allocation of rules and responsibility in relation to the processing of personal data is further governed by the Agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) and the UDI regarding the processing of personal data, which entered into force on 16 October 2008. This agreement addresses inter alia the duty of secrecy and requirements for information security – safeguarding confidentiality, integrity and availability.

1.4. Other guidelines relevant to verification

RS 2010-035e: Guidelines for DNA analyses in connection with applications for family immigration.

RS 2010-154e: Parties' right of access to information - The right of the parties to acquaint themselves with information in their own case - the Public Administration Act sections 17-21

RS 2006-026:Huskeliste for kvalitet i saksbehandlingen. [Checklist for quality in case processing].

RS 2010-146: Registrering, vurderingogendringavidentitetsopplysninger i sakeretterutlendingsloven. [Registration, assessment, and change of identity information in cases pursuant to the Immigration Act.

2. General rules for verification

2.1. General rules for when a case is to be sent to verification

The general rule is that case details are verified only in cases in which the result of verification may be of decisive importance for the outcome of the case. Other conditions for obtaining a permit must therefore be met. In addition, there must also be legitimate doubts about the stated case details. Exceptions may be made in cases in which the Directorate believes that there are other weighty considerations.

A decision to send a case to verification shall be made by the head of the unit, unless there are other guidelines for the unit.

A prerequisite for sending documents/case details for verification is that it will in principle be possible to verify them. A condition for this is that the document situation in the country in question is such that it will be possible to verify the authenticity of the document and/or it will be possible to verify that the document provides evidence of the relevant facts (the "notoritet" of the document).

Some examples of cases in which the case officer is to consider verifying case details are:

Where there is legitimate doubt about the information that has been provided and where all documents in connection with the application have been obtained.
Where there is a discrepancy in the document's form, for example, where the stamp is not in accordance with the Directorate's knowledge and information in document databases such as DISCS.
Cases in which new information has arisen after the decision has been made, such as positive matches in Eurodac or in other Dublin searches, or the applicant has submitted a passport with new information about his or her identity,cf. RS 2010-146. Against this background, verification may be relevant in connection with consideration of a new permit or in connection with consideration of revocation of a permit.
Asylum cases in which specific information represents a central part of the applicant's asylum arguments. This may be information about a specific incident in the country of origin or information about membership of an organisation.

2.2. General rules for sending cases

Dispatch of cases toforeign service missions for verification and dispatch of cases in which verification has been undertaken from the foreign service mission shall take place either by courier or over secure email links. Fax transmission shall not be used, as this does not take place via secure lines.

In the assessment of whether cases should be sent by courier or by secure email links, the case officer at the UDI and at the foreign service missions must determine whether the information is confidential and sensitive; cf. the Personal Data Act and IM 2008-029 (Instruks for personvern, IKT ogsikkerhet [Instructions for protection of privacy, ICT and security]) with appendix. If the request or the reply contains sensitive information, it shall be sent by courier.

All written contact between the Directorate and the foreign service mission in verification cases should take place in a form compatible with the parties' right of access to information.

3. Area of responsibility in connection with verification

3.1. Landinfo

The immigration administration's specialist unit for country of origin information (Landinfo) shall undertake general gathering of information.Verification of matters related to an individual applicant/appellant is outside the unit's terms of reference.

3.2. The police

The International Police Immigration Service in Norway has the national responsibility for identity determination in asylum cases and shall assist the police districts with identity investigations in immigration cases. The police districts are responsible for identity work in their own cases.

3.3. The Directorate of Immigration

In relation to the Personal Data Act, the UDI is the controller for verification tasks and is thus also responsible for ensuring that implementation of the tasks is appropriate and complies with the legal framework in effect at any time. This is largely achieved through agreements with the Ministry and through circulars such as this and other relevant circulars referred to in section 1.3. The UDI will also decide whether information in an individual case is to be verified and whether a case is to be sent to the foreign service mission or to other collaborative partners for verification. The Directorate also has responsibility for assessing the information that has been obtained through verification.

3.4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs/foreign service missions

In most cases, it will be the foreign service missions that perform the verification of documents and factual information in the country of residence. The foreign service missions will also be the authority that assesses whether other persons or organisations (sources) are to be used to obtain information and who is responsible for contact with such sources. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the foreign service missions are responsible for ensuring that the actual performance of the tasks is appropriate and at all times within the guidelines provided in agreements and through this and other circulars.

4. Content of the verification work

4.1. Verification of general conditions

Landinfo and the foreign service mission gather information about general conditions. For example, this may include information about conditions in a specific prison or orphanage, the situation in the country of origin for particular groups, or health services available in the country in question. This may also be verification of information about formal laws, rules, and customs, and exceptions to these. For example, this may relate to marriage traditions and arrangements for foster children and adopted children.

4.2. Verification of language

Language tests are conducted to verify that the applicant speaks the language or the dialect that she/he has stated, and in this way to investigate whether the applicant has the geographic affiliation or nationality she/he has specified.

Pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 17-7 first paragraph letter h, cf. the Immigration Act section 83, the immigration authorities may order the foreign national to participate in a language test.

The police consider whether a language test and an analysis of this should be undertaken before the case is submitted to the UDI, cf. the circular RS 2010-146 section 6.1.

When the case has been submitted to the UDI, the case officer must consider whether it is necessary to undertake a language test of the applicant. A decision to undertake language testing of an applicant shall be made by the head of the unit, unless there are other guidelines for the unit.

4.3. Verification of documents

A distinction must be made between verifying the authenticity of the document and verifying the document's "notoritet" (content) [the extent to which the document provides evidence of the relevant facts].

With regard to the authenticity of a document, some information will be available on Landinfo's website and in the various departments/units describing how a correctly issued document should appear. With regard to questions about the authenticity of a passport or travel document, the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) may be contacted. After this, it may be appropriate to send the document to a foreign service mission for verification.

If the country in question has good procedures for checking information for the documents that are submitted and recorded in the country's official registers (providing sound evidence of the relevant facts, or "notoritet") it will be sufficient for the foreign service mission in question to check a document against these registers. In the cases in which it is not possible to use the country's official records, the foreign service mission can use other methods to confirm the content of document, such as neighbour investigations, searches in other types of registers, or similar.

See the guidelines for verification work in section 6.1.

For a number of countries and regions, notes on the document situation as well as on the "notoritet" of documents are available in Landinfo's database on countries of origin. If no document notes exist, the adviser to the country in question may be contacted.

Examples of documents that are relevant for verification are:

Documents concerning a person's identity,cf. RS 2010-146 section 4.1.
Legal documents such as marriage certificates, divorce certificates, documents that confirm adoption or that the applicant is a foster child.
Court documents, such as judgements or court summons

4.4. Verification of family relationships when documentation is not available or where documents have low/no "notoritet"

For applicants from certain countries, it is not possible to submit documentation on family relationships. This applies to citizens of countries in which no functioning central authority currently exists and/or in which national registers may have been destroyed during periods of conflict. In other countries, the document situation is such that submitted documents have no "notoritet". In such cases, the UDI will consider whether a DNA test is to be offered to enable confirmation of the family relationship.

Pursuant to the Immigration Act section 87, the applicant and the sponsor may be requested to undergo DNA testing. RS 2010-035 provides guidelines for conducting DNA analyses in connection with a residence permit in connection with family reunification.

4.5. Verification of age

Age assessments can be used to verify whether the age that a person has stated is correct. This will be relevant when asylum seekers without families state that they are under 18 and no satisfactory documentation has been submitted. It may also be relevant in connection with applications for other types of residence permits, for example where there is doubt that the applicant belongs to the category of children, cf. the Immigration Act section 42, cf. section 50, and this is of decisive importance for the application. It may also be relevant in applications for a residence permit where there is doubt that the applicant is an adult, for example in connection with a recently contracted marriage.

An applicant may be requested to allow himself or herself to be examined in order to determine his or her age pursuant to the Immigration Act section 88. The circular RS 2010-183 provides guidelines for age assessments of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.

4.6. Verification of other information

Both in residence cases and in asylum cases, there may be specific information that is possible to verify. For guidelines on verification work in these cases, see section 6 in this circular. In addition, verification work must be carried out with sensitivity to the country's rules and culture, and the procedure will therefore vary from country to country.

In some cases, it will be of decisive importance to the outcome of the case if the applicant has care persons in a known place in the country of origin or in another country. In such cases, it may be relevant to initiate verification of the information that has been stated about the care persons. For example, this applies in cases where it is desired to return an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker (UMA) to the country of origin or where an application for a permit has been submitted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 9-7 first paragraph letter d) as a full sibling.

Other information that can be verified is information provided in connection with the basis for asylum in an asylum case. For example, this may be information about membership of a political party, place of residence, or occupation, or whether the person in question was a student at a university.

5. Procedure in cases for verification

5.1. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration's contact with/transmission to the foreign service mission

Information in immigration cases can be verified through Norwegian foreign service missions. Verification is only possible as long as it can be performed in accordance with the national legislation in the host country.

Foreign service missions have a responsibility as the agency preparing a case pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 cf. section 10-6, and some foreign service missions routinely verify information in applications submitted at the foreign service mission. The possibility to order verification from foreign service missions must be derived from the obligation to clarify the case pursuant to the Public Administration Act, cf. section 17 of the Act as well as the Immigration Regulations section 10-6, cf. section 10-2. Requests for verification are then sent to the foreign service mission in the country in which verification is to be performed, or to the nearest foreign service mission that performs verifications in a particular country of origin.

In the cases in which the foreign service mission has a permanent special envoy for immigration cases (special envoy), the request should be addressed directly to the foreign service mission in question. If the case is to be sent to a foreign service mission in which the special envoy is itinerant, it should be investigated whether the person in question is in Norway or at the foreign service mission. If the special envoy is in Norway, it should be clarified whether he/she can take the cases on the next journey or whether the cases are to be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on an ongoing basis care of the special envoy.

A verification request should be precisely formulated with the aim of obtaining relevant and desired information. Only information that is relevant to the verification shall be included in the material sent. In cases where there is a need to verify documents containing information about people who are not relevant to the case, these should be anonymised.

To ensure that the practice involved in sending cases is as consistent as possible, the standard template for verifications included as an appendix to this circular shall be used. The template is general and can be adapted in each case so that all the information needed can be included.

It shall be made clear in the communication sent to the foreign service mission that information which may reveal that the person is an asylum seeker in Norway shall not be given to the country's authorities. Contact with the authorities in the country of origin shall be made only when it is clear that this will not be detrimental to the applicant.

In cases where the applicant does not cite circumstances related to the authorities in the country of origin, but where it would be unfavourable for the applicant's safety for unauthorised persons to obtain information about the applicant, it shall be made clear in the transmission to the foreign service mission that it is important that information that the person in question is an asylum seeker in Norway does not pass to unauthorised parties. Examples of unauthorised parties are clans, warlords, a different national or religious group in the country of origin, or family members.

As a rule, copies of the documents to be verified should be sent. Loss of documents may have serious consequences, as these may be irreplaceable for the applicant. In exceptional cases, original documents may be sent where these are a prerequisite for performing the verification.

In the transmittal letter, it shall also be specified whether it is desirable to receive an acknowledgement from the foreign service mission that the request for verification has been received, the time limit for the response if applicable, or a response on how long it is assumed that the process of verification will take. A response should also be requested if the foreign service missions have an assessment different from that of the UDI regarding the possibilities of receiving an answer of substance through verification.

The transmittal letter shall also include the orderer's reference and information about the cost centre at the UDI. Before the transmission, the case officer at the UDI must clarify in the line organisation which unit or which area in the directorate is to pay for the expenses that the foreign service missions will incur in connection with the verification. The cost centre is to be specified in the transmittal letter/standard template for transmission to the foreign service mission.

5.2. Information to the applicant and registration in DUF

In many cases, performing verification will take some time, and this may contribute to a longer case processing period in cases where verification is needed. If the applicant takes contact and requests information about when the case will be complete, one should as a rule inform the applicant that the case has been sent for verification.

In cases where there is a risk that the applicant may influence the result of the verification if he/she receives information that verification will be carried out, an exception to this general rule should be made. This may also apply to particular case types in which the directorate is aware that applicants will to a great extent attempt to influence the result.

It is up to the various units in the UDI to assess whether exceptions are to be made from the duty to provide information, for example for particular types of case.

When cases are sent, the request for verification shall be registered as a KORU [outgoing correspondence] in DUF [the computer system for immigrant and refugee cases].

6. Guidelines for verification work

6.1. Tasks of the foreign service missions related to performing verification

In connection with an enquiry regarding verification, the foreign service mission must consider whether it is possible to carry out the verification tasks within the specified time limit. If it is not possible to meet the deadline, the foreign service mission must provide immediate feedback on when a response can be expected. The response is sent by email to the UDI at the designated email address. The email address of the responsible unit/case officer shall be included on the transmittal letter/standard template. Such a response is important inter alia to make it possible to give the applicant the best possible information about the case processing period.

For a request for an assessment of the document's authenticity, the foreign service mission shall consider whether it is possible to express an opinion on the document against the background of previous knowledge of this type of document, or if they are able to undertake an assessment of authenticity on their own. In the same way, the foreign service mission shall consider whether they are able to undertake verification of factual information that has come to light in connection with a case.

If the foreign service mission cannot undertake these verifications on its own, it shall consider the use of other persons or organisations (sources) to obtain information. In this circular, "sources" refers to persons whom the foreign service missions engage to undertake verifications on their behalf. People who are used by the sources of the foreign service missions in their verification work are referred to as subsources in this circular.

If the foreign service mission believes that the assessment of a document or verification of factual information cannot be undertaken in a justifiable manner with regard to protection of the applicant or the source's safety, the foreign service mission shall return the case to the UDI with an explanation of why the verifications cannot be undertaken. This also applies where the foreign service mission finds that the requested assessment or verification cannot be performed in accordance with the national legislation in the host country, or will be contrary to local diplomatic or consular practice.

A decision on whether verification should be carried out or not shall have the support of the head of the mission, as a special envoy on an official assignment is subject to the authority of the head of the mission.

In certain cases, the Directorate may undertake a new assessment of whether the case should be verified. If the Directorate believes that the verification should nevertheless be performed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be consulted.

6.1.1. Protection of information

In all cases in which the applicant cites a need for protection, or where a need for protection may arise, the foreign service mission must exercise great caution with regard to verification. Information that may reveal that a person is an asylum seeker in Norway, or that might otherwise associate the person in question with an asylum case, must not fall into the hands of the authorities in the country of origin or of unauthorised parties, including organisations, groups, or persons that according to what has been stated are persecuting the person in question. Contact with the authorities in the country of origin shall be made only when it is clear that this will not be detrimental to the applicant. Any contact with the authorities in the country of origin must therefore be specifically assessed on the basis of the situation in each country.

In the specific cases, the foreign service mission must explicitly instruct its sources that information that may reveal that a person is an asylum seeker in Norway (the identity of a former asylum seeker, or a person for whom a need for protection may arise) cannot be provided to the authorities in the country of origin or to unauthorised parties.

6.1.2. Use of sources

The local source must not contact the authorities in the country of origin unless the enquiry can take place in a way that excludes the possibility that information which may reveal that a person is an asylum seeker is passed on.

If, in connection with his or her investigations, the source wishes to make an enquiry to the authority in the country of origin, to consult a public register or an official register available to lawyers in connection with the assessment of authenticity, the source shall inform the foreign service mission of how he/she intends to undertake this investigation without violating the duty of secrecy.

The foreign service mission shall instruct its sources that reasons must be provided for all assessments of authenticity/evaluations. In the reasons, for example, reference may be made to the fact that the type of paper corresponds to/varies from the normal type, that the letterhead matches/does not match, that the journal number matches the content of the case/refers to another case, that references to legal clauses are consistent with/are not relevant to the case, that the language is/is not correct for the type of document.

The foreign service mission is also requested to note in the communication whether a source can be quoted by name/organisation, etc.

6.1.3. Protection of the source's identity

The foreign service mission must be aware of potential risks to the safety of the source.

Revealing the identity of a local source may cause the source to be exposed to reprisals from the authorities in the country of origin. Knowledge of a source's identity may also cause the applicant or others to attempt to influence the source's work in a specific case, or expose the source to reprisals.

In the interests of protection of the source, any approach to the source shall take place in such a way that the attention of the authorities in the country of origin is not directed to the source.

6.2. Criteria for selection of local source/entry into a contract

The foreign service mission shall consider whether – in the light of the general circumstances in the country of residence – it is justifiable to use local sources for verification tasks. The foreign service mission can use Landinfo's expertise in this assessment. In the selection of a source, the following factors, among others, shall be considered:

a) Whether the source is a member of local or international humanitarian organisations and/or actively involved in efforts to promote human rights, rights for ethnic, political or religious minorities, etc.

b) Whether the source undertakes corresponding or similar tasks for the foreign service missions of other countries and/or international humanitarian organisations, and what experience these have with the source's work.

c) Whether the source will be able to undertake an assessment of authenticity alone, or whether it is necessary to involve partners (subsources) who will thus become acquainted with the information in the case.

d) Whether the source on his/her own has access to consult public records without needing to state a reason or needing to pass on information about the person to whom the investigation applies.

e) The ability of the source to store and protect the information in a case, while the documents are in the source's custody. For example, whether there is a risk that the source, due to political involvement, may be subjected to searches by the authorities in the country of residence, so that documents may come into the possession of the authorities.

f) whether the source's ethnic, political, and religious affiliation or background gives reason to doubt the objectivity and independence of the source, for example because of other opposition to or possibly because of affiliation with groups of persons, if documents/information are to be verified.

On the basis of the above points, the foreign service mission shall conduct a written assessment of the source and enter into a contract in writing with a local source. The foreign service mission should make an offer to this source to keep the contract at the foreign service mission if there is a risk of search or exposure of the source's relationship to the foreign service mission.

In this connection, the foreign service mission shall consider the consequences of using its own lawyer as the source/to obtain information in asylum cases. In principle, the foreign service mission's own lawyer should not be used to carry out such verification assignments, as this may result in a confusion of rules. It should be noted that specific requirements are set for persons who are to carry out verification assignments, and that control over the sources must be exercised.

The foreign service mission shall inform the source of the requirements for independence and objectivity as well as the requirement for protecting the secrecy of personal and confidential information related to the persons affected. The source shall declare that he/she is aware of these requirements and the duty of secrecy that is imposed/or sign a declaration of confidentiality.

If the source uses subsources, the foreign service mission shall ensure that this takes place in accordance with the requirements for reliability, objectivity, independence and confidentiality.

6.2.1. Control of sources

a) The foreign service missions shall at all times ensure that the sources used continually fulfil the requirements for reliability, objectivity, independence, and confidentiality.

At regular intervals, the foreign service mission should check the source's work. The manner in which the source is checked will depend on the nature of the verification and the consideration that dissemination of information about individuals should be avoided. For example, verification of general information can be achieved by regularly assigning the task to two selected sources, to check the source's work in this way.

b) b) The collaboration ceases immediately if the foreign service mission or the immigration authorities suspect that the source no longer fulfils the requirements for reliability, objectivity, confidentiality and independence, or if suspicion arises that the source has breached the duty of secrecy and may have revealed a person's identity to unauthorised parties. In this case, documents must be withdrawn from the source.

6.2.2. Formulation of the verification report

In the verification report, the foreign service mission shall provide information about how the verification has been carried out.

The communication that is sent shall also indicate how the foreign service mission regards the credibility of the source and the source's qualifications for making a statement. Any doubts must be set out in the assessment. This applies both to permanent sources and to sporadic sources.

The foreign service mission shall also assess the validity of the information that has been verified.

6.2.3. Other

The foreign service mission shall arrange with the UDI that payment is to take place per case, after a specified number of cases, at regular intervals or when a specified amount has been exceeded.

7. Assessment of the information gathered through verification

The UDI's case officers must have an approach that is critical to the source with regard to information that may be material to the outcome of a case. This also applies to verification and other information gathered via foreign service missions. This is especially important when feedback to the UDI from sources abroad is only forwarded by the foreign service mission/special envoy without any assessment of the source's credibility and/or validity of the information.

General information gathered from the foreign service missions may be used as a basis after Landinfo's validation.

8. Work after the verification

8.1. Submission of information to Landinfo

It is the case officer at the UDI who is responsible for ensuring that information that may be of interest to other units or departments and/or Landinfo is sent to Landinfo. This may comprise reports from a special envoy for immigration cases that the case officer or a unit has obtained, or general information that may emerge in individual cases. If there is any doubt about whether something should or must be submitted, the case officer shall consult Landinfo.

8.2. Information that shall be submitted to the applicant for comment

Verification reports shall on one's own initiativebe submitted to the applicant for comment if the information is of particular importance to the outcome of the case, cf. the duty to clarify the case and to provide information pursuant to the Public Administration Act section 17. For a more detailed account of the duty to provide information pursuant to the Public Administration Act section 17 second and third paragraph, see the circular RS 2010-154 section 9.

In asylum cases where the applicant is not represented by an advocate before the Directorate of Immigration makes a decision, the regional office with which the applicant is associated has a responsibility to mediate contact between the applicant and the case officer in the Asylum Department. In connection with verification, the onward communication shall take place in accordance with the above-mentioned guidelines. If no advocate has been assigned to the asylum seeker, the report is sent to the regional office with which the asylum seeker is associated. Otherwise, the report is sent to the report to the applicant's advocate. If the applicant is not an asylum seeker and does not have an advocate, the report is to be sent directly to the applicant. These authorities shall then forward the information to the applicant for comment.

8.2.1. Anonymisation

In principle, the case officer must anonymise information about third parties in the verification report before sending it; cf. the Public Administration Act section 19 second paragraph letter b.

There may however be cases where anonymisation of the verification report is not regarded as necessary. For example, it is conceivable that one might want to refer to named sources to support a decision. The case officer must therefore consider the need for anonymisation individually in each case unless there are specific guidelines for anonymisation in connection with verifications in the unit.

A verification report shall be anonymised in such a way in such a way that it does not become known who has undertaken the verification or been used as a source, whether this is a local organisation or one or more individuals. This applies not only where the name is stated, but also if the relationship might be revealed through the information in the report. The report must also be anonymised if anyone's life or health may be endangered if the information becomes known to the applicant or to others. This is easy to do by blacking out the name or details in question and letting the applicant have a copy of the anonymised version. See the circular RS 2010-154 section 5 for a more detailed account of exemption from the right of access.

The applicant shall be informed of the reason for blacking out the information. This must be done in a manner that is not in conflict with the purpose of the anonymisation.

If a request is made for specification of names or details that have been anonymised, careful consideration must be given to whether the provisions on exemption from the right of access provide a basis for continuing to withhold the name or the details. Relevant authority may be the Public Administration Act section 19 first paragraph d and second paragraph letter b. For a more detailed account of a party's right of access to information, see the circular RS 2010-154: Parties' right of access to information - The right of the parties to acquaint themselves with information in their own case - the Public Administration Act sections 17-21.

If the request is refused, this shall be done in writing. The applicant shall be informed of the provision that forms the basis for the rejection and be informed about the right to appeal; see the Public Administration Act section 21.

8.3. Visibility of considerations related to the verification in comments on the decision

In cases where verification has been relevant, the comments on the case shall indicate whether verification has been considered, whether verification has been performed, and, if applicable, why the case has not been sent for verification. This is information that may be important in relation to the future appeal, or in future applications for a permanent residence permit or citizenship. The case officer should consider whether this information should be written in a memorandum and registered as a document in the case so that it is also made available to the police in future cases, such as renewal of the permit or an application for a permanent residence permit.

In all cases (except visas) where verification of submitted documentation of identity has been undertaken, this shall subsequently be recorded in DUF in the work process "Bestemvedtak" ("Determine decision)" cf. the appendix to the circular RS 2010-146 chapter 4.

8.4. Handling and storage of documents

See the section on storage and safekeeping of documents in Instruks for personvern, IKT og sikkerhet [Instructions for protection of privacy, ICT and safety] (IM 2008-029)).

A copy of the verification request shall be registered as a document in the case. The case officer at the UDI shall also include a copy of the verification report in the 0-doc in the case. In connection with requests for access to documents, the case office must consider whether information in the documents must be anonymised cf. the Public Administration Act sections 18-19.

Classified documents pursuant to the Security Act and the Protection Instructions are subject to separate rules for production and storage, cf. IM 2010-037: Behandlingavskjermingsverdig - sikkerhetsgradertinformasjonettersikkerhetsloven [Handling of sensitive - security classified information pursuant to the Security Act].

Gry Aalde
Head of Department

Marius Mølmen Moen
Assistant Head

 

Contact: Analysis and Development Department

Latest changes
  • Changed: RS 2010-155 Verification in immigration cases (7/27/2018)
    Reference to a repealed circular has been removed. The content is unchanged.
  • Endret: RS 2010-155 Verification in immigration cases (10/12/2012)

    Due to organizational changes in the Asylum Department, modifications have been made to chapter 8.2 second paragraph. The second and fourth sentence have been deleted.

  • Endret: RS 2010-155 Retningslinjer for verifisering i utlendingssaker (10/11/2012)

    Rundskrivets punkt 8.2 andre avsnitt er endret ved at henvisningene til Koordineringsenheten er fjernet.

  • RS 2010-155 Retningslinjer for verifisering i utlendingssaker (9/14/2012)

    The Norwegian version of circular RS 2010-155 has been revised linguistically.

Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration
Utlendingsdirektoratet
P.O. box 2098 Vika
NO-0125 Oslo
Norway

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo