Government exploring subsidies scheme for non-EU/EEA citizens to return home

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The Ministry of Justice and Public Security is exploring a fixed-term scheme for subsidising the return home of foreign employees in Longyearbyen who are without income or means to return to their country of origin.

– A fixed-term benefits scheme has been provided to persons who are otherwise not covered by national measures. The purpose of this scheme has been to meet essential needs in the unique and extraordinary situation arising as a result of the pandemic, states Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Mæland (C).

– The benefits scheme is strictly fixed-term based, and will not be extended beyond the 20th of June.

The lifting of entry quarantine regulations from the 1st of June entails that tourism to Svalbard from the mainland of Norway will recommence. A number of those who have been temporarily suspended from work are likely to return to employment.

– We acknowledge that not all of those who have been temporarily suspended will return to employment when the quarantine regulations are lifted. Grounded in this we are now exploring a fixed-term based subsidy for returning home for foreign employees in Longyearbyen. It is now important to consider ones individual situation, and the potential consequences of not being able to return to paid work, states Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Mæland.