Many asylum seekers have not told authorities the truth to gain asylum in Europe, a report published by Norway’s Immigration Directorate highlights.
In the University of Oslo-compiled report ‘Viewed from the Other Side: Media Coverage and Personal Tales of Migration in Iraqi Kurdistan’, Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud, Espen Gran, Mohammed A. Salih, Sareng Aziz write it may be smugglers, friends and other migrants that pass on what to say in order to gain asylum.
It is unknown how often this happens, however, as many asylum seekers are not willing to discuss it.
A rejected asylum seeker who was interviewed for the report states that he believes the reason his application was not granted is because he did not lie as much as he should.
“I didn’t lie much, that’s why I didn’t get accepted. Some used Saddam or Kirkuk as excuses for leaving the country and they succeeded in getting their residence permit.”
Kirkuk is a city in Iraq that some of those interviewed for the report said they had claimed to come from in hopes of increasing their chances of staying. Others have claimed to come from a different country altogether.
“I had told the police that I was from Iran and that I had no relatives there. They didn’t believe my case. They told me that I was Iraqi and that I was lying. The translators know, and they work with the police, so they can tell by your accent where you come from,” the person said.
Others admitted to lying about how they had got to Norway. This was because the authorities would have asked why they did not apply for asylum in the other countries they had travelled through.
However, one man who admits to lying and was granted asylum in Norway tells the interviewer that he knew people who had told the truth about who they were and were rejected.
“I can tell you that most of those who come to Norway don’t tell the true story, and that includes myself. At the same time, I know people who have not lied about their identity, but nevertheless don’t get an ID card and are not granted citizenship.”