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Norway – Covid-19 Update: Entry Restrictions / Immigration-Related Processing Uncertainties

Norway – Covid-19 Update: Entry Restrictions / Immigrat

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Service Centre for Foreign Workers where you submit applications is currently closed. The office will stay closed until 26 March 2020. They will then re-evaluate, whether there is a need to prolong the closure period. In addition to this development, this GMS Flash Alert covers policy regarding EU/EEA nationals, non-EU/non-EEA nationals, border controls and quarantine, etc.

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In this GMS Flash Alert, we report on recent Norwegian immigration-related developments, including restrictions on entry to Norway and also the status related to filing/processing of immigration applications.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

Norway, like many other countries, is taking steps to regulate the movement of people across its borders.  This is going to have some impact for the mobility of a company’s international workforce.  Moreover, with the closure of the Service Center for Foreign Workers, and other measures described in this newsletter, companies and their globally-mobile employees will feel the impact, in terms of existing and future assignments inbound to Norway or outbound from Norway.  Employees and their families who may have received offers for an international assignment to Norway may need to postpone the commencement of the assignment or may indeed be already there but on limited term visas.  This could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially if plans for relocation are already underway or where such individuals are already in Norway on temporary visas.

The changes will require employers to re-consider their personnel and work arrangements due to travel limitations and work permit restrictions. 

Service Center for Foreign Workers (SUA office) Is Closed

The Service Center for Foreign workers (SUA office) is where all applications for residence and work permits (first time applications and renewals) are filed when submitted from Norway.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Service Centre for Foreign Workers where you submit applications is currently closed.  The office will stay closed until 26 March 2020.  They will then re-evaluate, whether there is a need to prolong the closure period.  As a result, it is not possible to submit any applications at the Service Center or with the local police offices.  

For permits that have already been granted, but where the applicant has not yet effectuated the permit (i.e. met in person at the SUA office to order a Residence card as proof of legal stay), it will not be possible to do there effectuations as long as the SUA offices are closed. All appointments that have been booked for such effectuation meetings during this period are cancelled and the applicants will have to book new appointments when the SUA offices open again.

The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) provides information about the situation on its webpage: https://www.udi.no/en/about-the-corona-situation/

FAQs and Answers for European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals or Family Members – At the following webpage you can find questions and answers about the situation for nationals of the EU/EEA with respect to expiring visas, registering with the police, resident permits, travel into and out of Norway, and more: 

https://www.udi.no/en/about-the-corona-situation/eueaa-national-or-family-member/.

FAQs and Answers for Third-Country Nationals – At the following webpage you can find answers to how the situation affects your application for residency, visa, family immigration, entry to Norway, etc.:

https://www.udi.no/en/about-the-corona-situation/questions-and-answers-regarding-the-corona-situation-i-norway/.

Stricter Border Controls Being Introduced, Quarantine

The government will close the border to foreign nationals who lack a residence permit in Norway.  They will be turned away at the border under provisions of a Norwegian law relating to the control of communicable diseases.  Temporary entry and exit controls will also be introduced at the internal Schengen border.

There are quarantine rules in place for individuals arriving in Norway, including travelers from Sweden and Finland.3

As the situation is constantly changing, we recommend that you check the following link for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs webpage https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/koronavirus-covid-19/id2692388/

FAQs and Answers on New Rules Barring Entry to Norway – Information on new rules introduced regulating entry into Norway in light of the COVID-19 crisis can be found at the following webpage:

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/immigration-and-integration/innsikt/questions--answers-on-new-rules-barring-entry-to-norway/id2693775/.

Norwegian Airports Not Closing 

As of publication of this newsletter, Norwegian airports are not closing.  All Norwegian citizens and persons who live or work in Norway will continue to be allowed into the country.  Exemptions will be provided for EEA citizens and their family members who reside in Norway.  Exemptions are also being prepared for EEA citizens who work in Norway.

Until further notice, aircraft from abroad will be landing at Norwegian airports in the coming week, allowing Norwegians to get home.  The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also be contacting the authorities in other countries to help ensure that the airlines are permitted to fly Norwegians home to Norway.  The airports will be open for international flights enabling tourists/foreign nationals to travel out.

KPMG NOTE

As the situation is constantly changing, we recommend that you monitor the links provided in this GMS Flash Alert for relevant updates. 

FOOTNOTES

1  For additional information and updates, see the Norwegian government’s COVID-19-dedciated website

2  The Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA) is a centre where the Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet), the police (politiet), the Norwegian Tax Administration (Skatteetaten) and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) work together to provide an efficient application process and guidance for foreigners who come to Norway to work.

3  For additional information, see the Norwegian Institute of Public Health webpage.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Norway.

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© 2021 KPMG Law Advokatfirma DA, a Norwegian member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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