Strengthening the bonds between Norway and Somalia

Signing ceremony for Somali passports
Signing ceremony for Somali passports

Norway has decided to recognize Somali passports. The decision comes after the competent Norwegian authorities have confirmed that Somalia fulfils all requirements regarding the Somalia passport itself as well as the procedures involved in the issuance of passports. The visa requirements to enter Norway will remain the same also after the new directive enters into force on 1 August.

The decision to recognize Somali passports was announced on 13 July in the presence of H.E. Ahmed Isse Awad, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Mohamed Abukar Islow (Duale), Minister of Internal Security and Mr. Mahamed Aden Jimale (Kofi), Director General of the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate. Norway was represented by the Ambassador to Somalia, Mr. Victor Rønneberg and representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Directorate om Immigration and the Norwegian National ID-centre. Also a number of diplomats from other European missions were present at the event.

Norwegian and Somali immigration authorities have worked closely together over the last years, and have visited each other several times to share experiences in different matters related to immigration. The relevant agencies in Norway have assessed the actual passports issued by Somalia, and in particular the procedures followed when a person applies for a Somali passport, from the application to the hand-over of the passport to the successful applicant. The cooperation is considered valuable by both countries and will continue in the future.

“With this decision, Norway joins other European countries, like France, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia in recognizing Somali passports. It is my hope and my belief that the recognition of Somali passports will further enhance the already good relations between Norway and Somalia as well as help underpinning a positive narrative of Somalia” said the Norwegian Ambassador, while the representatives from Somalia urged other countries to follow suit.

The decision to recognize Somali passports does not influence on the visa requirements to Norway, which are strict. Non EU/EEA citizens must apply for a visitor's visa. In general, visas to Somali passport holders may only be granted to applicants who are visiting Norway in an official capacity.