Stricter immigration policies in Norway to affect women victims of violence!

As the pandemic continues to devastate the world economy and cause greater loss of lives, it’s time to come together for a humane political outlook to overcome the destruction. Unfortunately, the Norwegian Parliament passed the legislation in autumn 2020 to tighten the requirements for obtaining a permanent residence permit for refugees. Generally, the persons who obtain immigration in Norway on the basis of family reunion can apply for a permanent residence permit after three years. Without any public debate or parliamentary committee considerations, the government parties, who are in majority, decided to tighten the residence requirement from 3 years to 5 years for refugees and their family members who have reunited with them. In addition to 5 years of residence, a person is now required to have a steady job with a relatively higher income in order to apply for a permanent residence permit.

The refugee women, in particular, lack often protection and basic human rights all over the world. We would have thought that Norway could provide security and opportunities for refugee women to rebuild their lives. Many of them have suffered mental health issues, domestic violence, gender-based violence, and harassment in their lives. It takes time to reintegrate into a new society, learn a new language, and obtain a permanent job in order to generate sufficient income. The MiRA Center has serious concerns about these restrictions and we feel that such important changes in the legislation must be debated publicly before implementing them as a part of immigration legislation. We are also concerned that when the rights of immigrants and refugees are being restricted without a public debate, it reduces the democratic liberties of people.