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Entry restrictions to be eased for work immigrants and students

The Government is amending its COVID-19-related entry restrictions in a way that will allow the admission of foreign nationals who have a residence permit for work and foreign students travelling to Norway to study.

With effect from 1 July, Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Mæland is amending the regulations presently used to reject many foreign nationals at the border, thereby expanding access to the country.

‘We are now opening Norway to foreign nationals with a residence permit for work or study here, as well as to others,’ Ms Mæland said.

Starting 1 July, all third-country nationals with a residence permit under Norwegian immigration rules will find Norway’s borders open to them. This will include skilled and seasonal workers in all industries. Until now, only seasonal workers in agriculture and the fruit and vegetable sector have been able to travel into the country. Foreign nationals with technical qualifications who are exempt from the requirement of having a residence permit are also to be allowed in now. Such foreign nationals include installation and repair personnel coming to perform required service and maintenance work.

From the same date, students admitted to academic programmes in Norway are to be permitted into the country. This applies to students with a right of residence for study purposes under European Economic Area rules and to students with a residence permit to study under rules pertaining to third-country nationals. Upper secondary level exchange students and folk high school students are to be included in the exemption from Norway’s entry restrictions.

‘Throughout this period, I have been in favour of restarting study programmes as normally as possible when autumn comes,’ said Minister of Research and Higher Education Henrik Asheim. ‘Part of the reason is being able to welcome international students to Norway and to its universities and university colleges. I know many institutions look forward to greeting their new international students, and so do I. In difficult times like this, we are reminded again of the importance of collaboration and understanding between cultures and across borders. I am therefore very pleased to bid international students a warm welcome to take up their studies in Norway in August.’

However, work immigrants and students alike will be subject to the quarantine rules in force at whatever time they enter Norway, and they will have to heed Norwegian infection control guidelines like everyone else.

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