Fully 80 percent of asylum seekers arriving in Norway want to stay, and see a permanent future for themselves in the country. While refugee arrivals have slowed in recent weeks, meanwhile, thousands more are expected and a Norwegian ship saved more than 900 migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean just this week.
The Siem Pilot, which used to service offshore oil rigs before being chartered for refugee rescue operations earlier this year, reported that it had picked up 931 asylum seekers stranded in shabby boats adrift in chilly seas between North Africa and Italy. The migrants came from 30 different countries and were turned over to Italian authorities.
The 31,000 who have made their way to Norway this year are likely to be subject to much stricter residency requirements, but a new survey indicates the vast majority are determined to win approval. Commercial television station TV2 visited 19 asylum centers around Norway earlier this month and handed out questionnaires in nine different languages, inquiring about the refugees’ intentions.
Survey results showed that only 15 percent of those responding want to return to their homelands, even if conditions there improve. Around 5 percent of the 984 people surveyed said they weren’t sure what they would do if the civil war in Syria were to end, for example, while 79 percent said they wanted to start new lives in Norway.