Stop Education Discrimination against Iranians in Norway

Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has recently restricted the renewal and issuance of visa and resident permit for Iranian students and skilled workers apparently due to certain activities of the government of Iran which are internationally sanctioned.

The sanctions from UN, US and EU contain no reference to the residence status of Iranian students in other countries. Also the UDI recent actions do not reflect the tolerance, openness, anti-discriminatory and traditional Norwegian values that everybody has come to know and appreciate.

We request that the Norwegian government compel the UDI to reconsider the deportation decision and visa application rejection of the Iranian highly educated nationals in Norway.

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Fulltekst på norsk

Stopp den urettferdige utkastelsen av høyt utdannede iranske statsborgere

UDI har nylig satt en begrensning på fornyelse og utstedelse av visum og oppholdstillatelse for iranske studenter og faglærte. Som en konsekvens har dette først ført til at antallet iranske PhD studenter ved NTNU har sunket fra 39 i 2012 til tre i 2013. Bare ni masterstudenter av 35 innvilgede studenter møtte frem i fjor. Årsaken var at de ikke fikk innvilget visum for å komme inn til Norge, til tross for deres gode akademiske vitnemål som var bakgrunnen for at NTNU gjerne ville ha dem som ansatte eller studenter.

Men historien stopper ikke der. I det siste har situasjonen blitt enda verre, med minst fem PhD-studenter og nyutdannede ansatt på bakgrunn av sine gode faglige egenskaper som har blitt nektet fornyelse av midlertidig oppholdstillatelse, og de sitter med dette igjen uten noe annet valg enn å forlate Norge i juni 2014.

Disse menneskene har bodd og jobbet i Norge i flere år uten noen form for problemer, og nå må de forlate landet bare fordi de ble født i en del av verden som kalles for Iran.

Disse handlingene fra UDI er tilsynelatende koblet til bestemte aktiviteter utført av regjeringen i Iran. De restriktive tiltakene fra FN, USA og EU inneholder overhodet ingen referanse hva gjelder oppholdstillatelse til vanlige iranske personer eller iranske studenter i andre land.

Studentene og de akademisk ansatte som blir nektet oppholdstillatelse har ingen tilknytning til den iranske regjering, og de blir behandlet annerledes bare med bakgrunn i sin nasjonalitet.

Vi ser på handlingene UDI driver med som en diskriminerende, meningsløs og urettferdig straff av iranere. Denne politikken fører til tvangsutsendelse av mange dyktige og høyt utdannede personer, noe som vil ha negative konsekvenser for norske universiteter, og som vil begrense det norske samfunnets tilgang på det som er noen av verdens mest talentfulle unge mennesker innen sine fagfelt.

Disse handlingene reflekterer ikke toleranse, åpenhet, anti-diskriminering og de tradisjonelle norske verdiene som alle har kommet til å kjenne og verdsette, inkludert iranere som er gjester i Norge.

Vi ber om at den norske regjering pålegger UDI å revurdere beslutningen om deportasjon og avslag på visumsøknad, og å fjerne alle disse urettferdige restriksjonene på liv og studier i Norge for høyt utdannede iranske personer som kom hit for å bidra til en lysere fremtid for dem selv og til det beste for samfunnet.

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Full text in English

Stop the Unjustified Embargo of Residence Permit Applications for Highly Educated Iranian Nationals

UDI has recently restricted the renewal and issuance of visa and resident permit for Iranian students and skilled workers. As a consequence, this resulted first in decrease of Iranian PhD students at NTNU from 39 in 2012 to 3 in 2013 and only 9 master students out of 35 admitted students showed up last year. They did not manage to get visa to enter Norway, despite of their good academic records which helped them to get the admission from the university.

But this is not the whole story. It gets even worse these days, where at least 5 PhD students and new graduates employed as skilled worker are denied for renewing their temporary resident permit, leaving them with no choice but to leave Norway in June 2014.

These people lived and worked in Norway for few years without any problem and now have to leave the country just for being born in a part of the world called Iran.

These actions by UDI are apparently linked to certain activities of the government of Iran. The restrictive measures from UN, US and EU contain no reference whatsoever to the residence status of ordinary Iranian people or Iranian students in other countries.

The students and skilled worker who are denied resident permit have no connection to the Iranian government and they are treated differently only due to their national origin.

We find the actions of the UDI, discriminatory, meritless, and unjustly punitive of Iranian people. The resulting policy amounts to the forced emigration of many skilled and educated people, which will have negative ramifications for Norwegian universities and will also, limit the contribution of one of the most talented foreign highly-educated population to the Norwegian society.

The action does not reflect the tolerance, openness, anti-discriminatory and traditional Norwegian values that everybody has come to know and appreciate, including Iranians as guests in Norway.

We, the undersigned, request that the Norwegian government compel the UDI to reconsider the deportation decision and visa application rejection and remove all these unfair restrictions on life and study of the Iranian highly educated nationals in Norway who came here to contribute in a bright future, for their own good and the good of the society.

Discussion

  • Bjørn Erik Unander I believe Norway as a free country should not restrict anyone from free education based on the political reason. We are living in 21st century, in the era of communications and fast computers. It is impossible to curb one nation from data, information and science. The knowledge that we claim Iranians are seeking after here in Norway, can be found anywhere else even easier and more accessible! I can't understand in anyway that these new regulations can benefit anyone rather than destroying the image of the country and harming the innocent Iranian students.

  • SEDAI Event thank you for your support!

  • Hossein Rostamzadeh Iranian students are very real treasures of that nation. They make invaluable contributions to the advancement of science and technology both in Norway and Iran.
    Stop these unfair discriminations, and let Iranian students study and live in Norway as any other students!

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Petition highlights

  • Please help us to reach 2000 signatures! Tell your friends and spread the word.
  • I believe Norway as a free country should not restrict anyone from free education based on the political reason. We are living in 21st century, in the era of communications and fast computers. It is impossible to curb one nation from data, information and science. The knowledge that we claim Iranians are seeking after here in Norway, can be found anywhere else even easier and more accessible! I can't understand in anyway that these new regulations can benefit anyone rather than destroying the image of the country and harming the innocent Iranian students.
  • Iranian students are very real treasures of that nation. They make invaluable contributions to the advancement of science and technology both in Norway and Iran. Stop these unfair discriminations, and let Iranian students study and live in Norway as any other students!
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