"Some applicants arrive by plane in Denmark and Sweden and then travel to Norway," section manager Gro Anna Persheim of the Police Immigration Unit (PU) told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. "Some were able to fly to the Schengen Area with a valid Schengen visa, while others were traveling with borrowed or fake European residence documents," she added.
The analysis of fingerprints showed that 58 percent of them had received a tourist visa, while the rest had a visa to visit family, do business or undergo medical treatment.
According to a recent report from the Police Immigration Unit (PU), the proportion of asylum seekers coming to Europe as tourists is steadily rising. Between January and March, 145 asylum seekers produced a valid Schengen visa, compared to a total of 505 since January 2016, the majority of them Turks, Eritreans, Iranians and Iraqis, with some Russians present on the list as well. Italy, France, Spain and Greece granted the largest number of visas to such "asylum tourists," while Riyadh and Istanbul are the leading points of reference.
Anticipating another influx, the Migration Board (UDI) predicted in a letter to the Justice Ministry that the visa waiver for Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo may lead to a surge in asylum applications "for economic reasons."
"There is also reason to assume that more people will be able to stay in the country illegally or commit certain forms of crime," UDI wrote.
The Dublin Agreement stipulates that asylum seekers have their asylum application processed in the country that issued their visa. However, if they have fake or inadequate documents that make it difficult to determine their identity, the application may be processed in their country of destination, in this case Norway.
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