G-16/2020 – Revised circular relating to entry into force of the Regulations relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health

1. Introduction

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security refers to the Interim Act of 19 June 2020 No. 83 relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health and the Regulations of 29 June 2020 No. 1423 relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health (last amended 13 July 2020 with effect from 15 July 2020). The Act and the Regulations replace the Regulations of 15 March 2020 No. 293 relating to rejection etc. of foreign nationals out of concern for public health.

The Act and the Regulations must be seen in connection with the Regulations of 27 March 2020 No. 470 relating to infection control measures etc. in connection with the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19 Regulations), which regulates the duty of quarantine among other matters.

The effect of infection control measures that have been introduced must be continuously assessed and balanced against important societal and business interests affected by the measures. This circular may be subject to rapid amendments and adjustments.

2. Main rules regarding entry restrictions and rejection

Under the Interim Act of 19 June 2020 No. 83 relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health, all foreign nationals not covered by exemptions specified in the Act or in regulations issued pursuant to the Act will be rejected without further consideration of the risk of infection posed by each individual. Foreign nationals who have been rejected shall depart the realm without undue delay.

It is pointed out for clarity that even if the foreign national is covered by one of the exemptions specified in the Act or the Regulations relating to entry restrictions, the conditions for entry established by the Immigration Act must be fulfilled. As an example, foreign nationals for whom a visa is mandatory will still face a visa requirement even though practical challenges now exist in submitting a visa application. Also applicable are provisions of the Immigration Act that address when a residence permit is required.

The Act does not bar entry into Norway of Norwegian nationals and nationals of other Nordic countries who reside in Norway.

Section 2 of the Act establishes additional exemptions for:

  1. foreign nationals residing in Norway with a residence permit or right of residency under the Immigration Act
  2. foreign nationals who seek protection (asylum) in the realm or otherwise invoke a right to international protection due to risk of persecution etc.; see section 73 of the Immigration Act
  3. foreign nationals whose presence in the realm is essential to maintain the proper operation of critical public functions or attend to fundamental needs of the population (see section 3 below)
  4. foreign nationals who have been granted a residence permit without deferred entry; see section 3 of the Act (see section 8 below)
  5. foreign nationals who have been granted an entry visa under section 12 of the Immigration Act
  6. foreign nationals who have been granted a visa under section 10 of the Immigration Act by the Norwegian decision-making authority subsequent to 15 March 2020
  7. cases in which special reasons indicate a right to enter, such as specific care responsibilities for persons in Norway or other compelling welfare considerations (see section 4 below)

3. A closer look at exemptions relating to the proper operation of critical public functions

Section 2 c) of the Act provides exemptions for foreign nationals whose presence in the realm is ‘essential to maintain the proper operation of critical public functions or attend to fundamental needs of the population’. This may include foreign nationals invited by the Norwegian authorities for special purposes. Such foreign nationals could, for example, have special expertise in addressing virus outbreaks or other skills required by the health service or other critical public functions.

Reference is made to the following list of critical public functions prepared by the Directorate for Civil Protection:

  • Administration and crisis management
  • Defence
  • Law and order
  • Health and care services, including pharmacy and maintenance
  • Rescue service
  • Digital security in the civilian sector
  • Nature and the environment
  • Security of supply
  • Water and wastewater
  • Financial services
  • Power supply
  • Electronic communications
  • Transport
  • Satellite-based services

For more information, please see (in Norwegian): https://www.regjeringen.no/no/tema/samfunnssikkerhet-og-beredskap/innsikt/liste-over-kritiske-samfunnsfunksjoner/id2695609/

4. A closer look at exemptions for special reasons

Under section 2, second paragraph, of the Act, a foreign national may be granted the right to enter if ‘special reasons so indicate, such as specific care responsibilities for persons in Norway or other compelling welfare considerations’. This applies to such cases as:

  • Minor children and foster children of Norwegian or foreign nationals who live or work in Norway
  • Foreign nationals who have a special care responsibility for persons who live in Norway, including minor children or foster children or others with special care needs.
  • Foreign nationals who, due to compelling welfare considerations, need to enter Norway, and the visit cannot wait; an example would be a foreign national who seeks to visit a dying or severely ill close family member in Norway (spouse/cohabitant, sibling or family member in ascending or descending line).
  • Foreign national ship passengers who began sailing before 16 March at 8 a.m. and need entry to Norway in order to return to their home country. Clarification is required as to how onward transport out of Norway is to occur in a sound manner that does not violate the COVID-19 Regulations.
  • Foreign nationals who are a party to a legal proceeding in Norway, or who are to give evidence in such a proceeding.
  • Foreign nationals who have a valid fishing licence for boat fishing in the Tana watercourse; see section 2, first paragraph 1) and 3) and second paragraph a) and c) of the Regulations relating to fishing in the Tana watercourse’s border river area. Foreign nationals who set out from the Finnish bank of the river may fish on the Norwegian side of the river but may not go ashore in Norway.

It is pointed out that the list above is not exhaustive in relating examples of what may be regarded as ‘special reasons’. The Directorate of Immigration may issue further guidelines.

5. Exemptions for foreign nationals covered by the EEA Agreement or the EFTA Convention etc.

Section 1 of the Regulations provides exemptions for the following foreign nationals:

  1. An EEA national who is a cross-border worker or engaged as an employee; see section 112, first paragraph (a) of the Immigration Act.
  2. An EEA national who is self-employed; see section 112, first paragraph (a) of the Immigration Act.
  3. A service provider in an EEA country; see section 110, fourth paragraph, or section 112, first paragraph (b), of the Immigration Act.
  4. An EEA national who is enrolled at an approved educational institution; see section 112, first paragraph (d) of the Immigration Act.
  5. A family member of an EEA national (see section 110 of the Immigration Act), or an EEA national with corresponding family ties to a Norwegian national, who is to establish residence in Norway.
  6. An EEA national with family ties as specified in section 1 e, who is to visit a family member residing in Norway or travel with a Norwegian family member. Exemption is to be granted from the provision in section 110, third paragraph (c), of the Immigration Act stating that a relative in direct line of descent must be under the age of 21.
  7. An EEA national who owns real property in Norway and the owner’s household members, who are to visit the property
  8. An EEA national or a national of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City State and his or her family members, who needs to travel through Norway to get home.

EEA nationals and their family members who reside or work in Norway do not include, in this context, EEA nationals or family members who live or work in Svalbard.

The stipulations of these Regulations concerning EEA nationals apply correspondingly to Swiss nationals; see section 1, second paragraph, of the Regulations; for nationals of the United Kingdom, see section 2 of the Act relating to a transitional period in connection with the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

The exemptions for EEA nationals will have limited significance beyond the exemption specified in section 2 a when a foreign national is exempt from the duty of quarantine under section 5a of the COVID-19 Regulations.

Regarding a), b) and c), on work etc.

The exemptions apply to workers and service providers who have begun or are to begin a work assignment, and to self-employed persons who have established or are to establish business activity in Norway.

EEA nationals who work in Norway also include commuters. However, it is emphasised that only certain defined groups are exempt from the duty of quarantine.

Regarding e), f) and g), on family members etc.

The exemption specified in section 1 e of the Regulations applies to all family members covered by section 110 of the Immigration Act, including family members of a Norwegian national returning to Norway after having exercised the right to freedom of movement in accordance with the EEA Agreement or the EFTA Convention; see section 110, second paragraph, of the Immigration Act. Section 1 e also applies to family members of a Norwegian national who have not exercised the right to freedom of movement, if the family member in question is himself or herself an EEA national.

The term “cohabitant” refers to a permanent, established cohabitation relationship of at least two years or a relationship in which the parties jointly have or are expecting a child and intend to live together. This corresponds to the Immigration Act’s definition of “cohabitant”.

For EEA nationals who are to visit family in Norway, exemption is to be made from the stipulation in section 110, third paragraph, of the Immigration Act that a relative in direct line of descent must be under the age of 21. Documentation of dependence shall not be required upon entry; see section 110, third paragraph (c) and (d), of the Immigration Act and section 19-7 of the Immigration Regulations. It is emphasised that the provisions of Chapter 13 of the Immigration Act do apply to family members’ right of residence.

An EEA national is entitled to enter to visit a Norwegian family member who is resident here, and is also entitled to enter if travelling here together with a Norwegian family member.

The exemption for EEA nationals who own real property in Norway applies to both the owner and the owner’s household members. A ‘household member’ in this context refers to a person who lives permanently at the same address as the owner.

Regarding h), on EEA nationals etc. who need to travel through Norway

The exemption for EEA nationals and nationals of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City State and their family members who need to travel through Norway to get home applies to all transport, but must be seen in connection with the duty of quarantine set forth in section 7 of the COVID-19 Regulations. The exemption also applies when a foreign national arrives in Norway and there is a reasonable explanation for why he or she does not have a ticket to travel onwards the same day – for example, that he or she has not yet managed to obtain a ticket. The foreign national is required to show clearly that he or she will do what is necessary to travel onwards as soon as possible, and to comply with the duty of quarantine while temporarily staying in Norway.

6. Exemptions on entering from certain countries and areas

Section 2 of the Regulations provide exemptions for the following foreign nationals:

  1. a foreign national residing in the EEA/Schengen area and who is exempt from the duty of quarantine under section 5a of the COVID-19 Regulations or who can document a place of accommodation where quarantine is to be carried out
  2. a foreign national who, in connection with work or a work assignment, crosses the border from a country or area specified in section 6, first paragraph, of the COVID-19 Regulations or is covered by the exemption described in section 6, eighth paragraph
  3. a foreign national who has a need to travel through the Norwegian mainland on the way to or from work or residence in Svalbard
  4. a foreign national who is resident in Svalbard

Regarding a), on foreign nationals residing in certain specified areas

A closer look at country categories
Section 5a, fourth paragraph, of the COVID-19 Regulations lists which areas in the EEA/Schengen area are experiencing elevated contagion. For the sake of simplicity, we hereafter refer to these as ‘red areas’. Other parts of the EEA/Schengen area are regarded as having an acceptable infection situation. These we refer to as ‘green areas’.

On the basis of this categorisation, the Regulations relating to entry restrictions contain provisions determining who is entitled to enter, who is subject to quarantine-related documentation requirements, and who may be rejected. The decisive factor is the country where the foreigner resides, not the country of which he or she is a citizen.

Foreign nationals from green areas
Foreign nationals who reside in green areas have a right to enter when they have travelled only through green areas to get to Norway. These persons are also exempt from quarantine on arrival in Norway. Individual foreign nationals must be able to substantiate as necessary that they reside in a green area.

Foreign nationals from green areas who have travelled via red areas
Foreign nationals from green areas who have travelled via red areas (including stopover landings) must as a general rule undergo quarantine when they come to Norway. These persons are entitled to enter when they can document where their quarantine is to be carried out; see below.

However, a foreign national is exempt from having to undergo quarantine, and thus also from the documentation requirement, if he or she has travelled through the red area in the following way:

  1. in his or her own vehicle or a tour bus en route to or from Norway
  2. without staying overnight in the area, and
  3. having fulfilled distancing and infection control requirements during the trip.

If these conditions are met, the person has a right to enter on the same terms as a foreign national who comes directly to Norway from a green area. In accordance with section 9 below, individual foreign nationals must be able to substantiate as necessary that they fall under an exemption from entry restrictions. A low threshold may be set for such substantiation so that his or her explanation may be deemed adequate if it appears credible.

Foreign nationals from red areas
In principle, foreign nationals from red areas have a duty to undergo quarantine in Norway. These persons are entitled to enter if they can document where they will be carrying out their quarantine. A foreign national who cannot present such documentation, and who is not covered by one of the other exemptions specified in the Regulations, may be rejected.

A closer look at the documentation requirement for carrying out quarantine
The documentation requirement is stipulated in section 5, first paragraph, of the COVID-19 Regulations:

Persons […] shall, on arrival in Norway, be able to present a booking or written agreement for a continuous stay at one and the same registered address in Norway for the first 10 days in the country. For stays shorter than 10 days, the documentation requirement applies to the period the person is to be in the country.

The documentation requirement may be fulfilled by presenting an SMS or e-mail, for example, as long as it confirms a booking or agreement for a continuous stay at the same address for the first 10 days in Norway (or for the period the person is to be in the country if shorter than 10 days). A foreign national who cannot present such documentation, and who is not covered by one of the other exemptions specified in the Regulations, may be rejected.

Regarding b), on travel in connection with work or a work assignment

Under this provision, foreign nationals who cross the Norwegian border from areas where the duty of quarantine is applicable shall not be rejected if they are travelling between home and place of work; see section 6, first paragraph, of the COVID-19 Regulations. The provision’s second paragraph specifies that the exemption does not apply to persons in transit from other countries.

Provision b) also applies to foreign nationals ‘who reside in and come from the Schengen and EEA areas to Norway to perform work or a work assignment’, and who are not covered by section 5a of the COVID-19 Regulations; see section 6, eighth paragraph, of the COVID-19 Regulations.

The exemptions contained in b) also apply to business travellers.

Regarding c) and d), in respect of Svalbard

An exemption has been made for foreign nationals who have a need to travel through the Norwegian mainland on the way to or from work or residence in Svalbard; see section 2 c of the Regulations. This is to ensure that foreign nationals who live or work in Svalbard will be able to pass through the Norwegian mainland when they are travelling between a foreign country and Svalbard. However, the exemption for foreign nationals on the way to work or residence in Svalbard must also be viewed in connection with section 10 of the COVID-19 Regulations, under which everyone arriving from abroad must undergo quarantine on the Norwegian mainland before onward travel to Svalbard can take place. It is pointed out for emphasis that this requirement continues to apply.

Departure from Svalbard to a foreign country via the Norwegian mainland for persons other than those who have work or residence in Svalbard may be covered by the exemption for airport transit contained in section 3 b of the Regulations. Reference is also made to the paragraph above, stating that EEA nationals and their family members who need to travel through Norway to get home shall not be rejected (see section 1 h of the Regulations). It is noted that this exemption covers all transport.

An exemption has also been provided for foreign nationals residing in Svalbard; see section 2 d of the Regulations. This is to enable foreign nationals who are resident in Svalbard, and who otherwise qualify to travel into Norway, to do so now, conditional on fulfilment of the Immigration Act’s provisions regarding entry. It is emphasised that the exemption applies both to residents travelling from Svalbard to the Norwegian mainland and to residents of Svalbard travelling to Norway from abroad. With regard to the latter, it is noted for emphasis that quarantine must be undergone before onward travel to Svalbard may take place; see above.

“Residents” in this context refers to persons validly registered into the population register for Svalbard. Such status may be documented by printout from the register. For persons residing in Barentsburg, the documentation requirement is satisfied by confirmation of one’s employment relationship.

It is additionally pointed out for clarity that the Act and the Regulations do not apply to Svalbard.

7. Exemptions in other cases

Section 21 of the Regulations provides exemptions for the following foreign nationals:

  1. a foreign national who is to carry out agreed or formalised parent-child contact or divided residence for children
  2. a foreign national who will only be staying in airport transit before departing Norway
  3. members of the Sami community in the exercise of reindeer herding
  4. a foreign national who performs commercial transport of goods and passengers for payment, or is en route to or from such an assignment
  5. journalists and other personnel on assignment for a foreign media institution
  6. a foreign national as specified in sections 1-4 and 1-5 of the Immigration Regulations, and who can present a diplomatic or service passport, or possibly a national passport in combination with a Norwegian ID card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or in combination with a Schengen residence card for embassy personnel; the same applies to dual-accredited diplomats and diplomatic couriers
  7. military personnel as specified in section 1-7, second and third paragraphs, of the Immigration Regulations and their spouse, cohabitant or children who have been reported to and accepted by the Ministry of Defence, as well as members of a civilian component and civilian personnel working for military staffs or headquarters in Norway (including NATO departments in Norway) and their spouse, cohabitant or children
  8. a foreign national who works on mobile or fixed installations; see sections 1-10 and 1-11 of the Immigration Regulations
  9. a holder of a valid aviation personnel licence (see section 2-9 of the Immigration Regulations) en route to or from active service
  10. seamen, en route to or from active service, with an identity card as specified in section 2-8 of the Immigration Regulations or a Philippine Seafarer's Identification and Record Book or a Philippine national passport as specified in section 3-1 (j) of the Immigration Regulations
  11. a spouse, cohabitant or child of a posted foreign service officer at a Norwegian foreign service mission
  12. employees of international organisations or employees in organisations that perform international humanitarian efforts, and who are on assignment or en route to or from such assignment
  13. a foreign national invited by the Norwegian authorities to participate in international negotiations and similar activities, and a foreign national who is part of a delegation coming to Norway in accordance with Norway’s international commitments
  14. passengers and crew on approved coastal cruises; see section 10b of the Regulations of 27 March 2020 No. 470 relating to infection control measures etc. in connection with the coronavirus outbreak
  15. researchers and crew members participating in marine research expeditions with a Norwegian port of call
  16. foreign nationals with technical qualifications who are exempt from the requirement of a residence permit under section 1-1, first paragraph (b), of the Immigration Regulations
  17. a foreign national who can document a place of accommodation where quarantine is to be carried out in accordance with section 5, first paragraph, of the COVID-19 Regulations and who has a family relationship as follows to a person resident in Norway:
    • spouse, registered partner or cohabitant
    • child or stepchild under age 21 of person resident in Norway
    • parent or stepparent of a child under age 21 resident in Norway
    • established relationship of romantic partners of at least nine months’ duration in which the parties have met each other physically.

Regarding b), on airport transit

This exemption applies to foreign nationals transiting through international transit areas of an airport.

Regarding g), on military staff personnel etc.

Foreign nationals covered by this exemption must present an ID card/authorisation that establishes employment (civilian or military) in the armed forces of a sending state or in NATO. Family members who are covered will normally have a diplomatic passport, service passport, ID card or similar documentation of their connection to the primary person. An ordinary passport in conjunction with a NATO Travel Order will also satisfy the documentation requirement.

Regarding q), on family relationships etc.

This provision deals with permission to enter for persons with family or a romantic partner in Norway. The provision applies to all forms of stay or visit under the immigration rules pertaining to the family members in question. It thus applies to foreign nationals who have applied for or plan to apply for a residence permit to settle in Norway as well as to those who will only be visiting, with or without a visa. For this reason, the groups of persons are defined to a greater extent in this provision than in the rules governing family immigration, e.g. as regards the upper age limit for children (21 years). In any case the ordinary rules contained in the Immigration Act and the Immigration Regulations must always be fulfilled for the foreign nationals to be able to enter Norway.

‘Established relationship of romantic partners’ in this context refers to a romantic relationship that has had a duration of at least nine months. The parties are required to have met each other physically.

To substantiate that he or she is a family member covered by the exemption, the foreign national may present a document such as a marriage or birth certificate. In the case of romantic partners, the foreign national is required to present a self-declaration form signed by the party residing in Norway. The self-declaration form is available on the website of the Directorate of Immigration, www.udi.no/globalassets/global/aktuelt/korona/solemn-declaration-on-relationship.pdf

An additional requirement is that the foreign national can document a place of accommodation for undergoing quarantine, in accordance with the same terms that apply to persons who reside in the parts of the EEA/Schengen area with an elevated level of contagion; see section 6 above. An example of such documentation may be an SMS or email confirming a booking or agreement for a continuous stay at the same address for the first 10 days in Norway. For romantic partners, it is sufficient to present the abovementioned form, which also confirms a place of accommodation in Norway.

As mentioned above, the exemption does not entail any change to Norway’s ordinary entry and visa rules. This means that a family member or romantic partner requiring a visa must apply for, and be issued, a visa in accordance with the ordinary visa rules before travelling to Norway. Foreign nationals requiring a visa submit documentation of their family or romantic relationship when applying for the visa. Visa-free foreign nationals present such documentation on arrival in Norway.

The exemption also permits family members covered by section 3 q to enter Norway and submit a family immigration application from Norway, consistent with the regulations and guidelines in force before the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the exemption, entry visas may also be issued to family members who intend to stay in Norway until a residence permit has been granted; see section 12 of the Immigration Act.

8. Exemptions from entry restrictions for foreign nationals with a residence permit in Norway

In making a residence-permit decision the immigration authorities shall determine whether permission to enter is to be deferred until further notice; see section 3 of the Act. An entry visa shall be granted without deferment if the foreign national has been granted a permit on the basis of the provisions specified in section 4 of the Regulations (see below) or the immigration authorities find that the foreign national is covered by other exemptions from entry restrictions provided in the Act or the Regulations (see above).

If the decision expressly states that the foreign national is covered by exemptions specified in the Act or Regulations, this is to be recognised during entry control procedures as well, and the foreign national shall not be rejected.

Administrative decisions taken under section 3 of the Act, which concerns deferment of entry for foreign nationals granted a residence permit, may not be appealed. Although entry may be refused at the time of decision, subsequent events may bring about a situation in which entry shall be permitted. In that case the immigration authorities must, upon request submitted by the foreign national, conduct a new assessment before the foreign national travels to Norway.

Foreign nationals who come to the Norwegian border in contravention of entry restrictions established under section 3, first paragraph, of the Act shall as a general rule be rejected. The same applies to foreign nationals who until further notice are not granted an entry visa under section 3, second paragraph, of the Act.

Section 4 of the Regulations provides exemptions for the following foreign nationals:

  1. a foreign national with a residence permit in Norway granted under the Immigration Act’s provisions on family immigration, and for whom the sponsor is a Norwegian national or a foreign national resident in Norway or is otherwise entitled to entry under the Act or under the Regulations
  2. a foreign national with a residence permit in connection with work; see sections 23, 24 or 25 of the Immigration Act
  3. a foreign national with a residence permit for students etc.; see section 6-19 of the Immigration Regulations
  4. a foreign national with an entry permit granted under section 35 of the Immigration Act.

It is emphasised that the general conditions pertaining to a residence permit, including return conditions, shall be assessed in the normal way. In the case of family immigrants, entitlement to enter is valid only insofar as the sponsor also is entitled to entry into Norway.

9. A closer look at documentation requirements

Individual foreign nationals must be able to substantiate when necessary that they are covered by one of the exemptions.

10. Relationship to quarantine regulations

In themselves, the exemptions to entry restrictions do not constitute exemption from the rules relating to quarantine and isolation in force at any given time.

11. Relationship to the Immigration Act’s rules on rejection

The Ministry points out that the Interim Act and the Regulations relating to entry restrictions are supplements to the Immigration Act’s rules on rejection. Foreign nationals may still be rejected pursuant to the rules of the Immigration Act, including on public health grounds under section 17, first paragraph (l) and section 121 (see also section 123), provided that the conditions are in place and ordinary procedural rules are followed.

Rejection under the Immigration Act may not take place solely by reference to the general situation relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. In such cases, an individual assessment must be made with focus on specific circumstances of the foreign national who is being considered for rejection. The Ministry accepts that there may be grounds for rejecting foreign nationals who pose a special infection risk, for example due to behaviour contravening official advice and guidelines.

12. Rules on administrative procedures

According to section 5, first paragraph, of the Act, neither Chapter IV of the Public Administration Act (concerning case preparation for individual decisions) nor Chapter V (concerning the formulation of decisions) is applicable to rejection decisions. Those rules will, however, apply to expulsion decisions made under section 7 of the Act.

Section 5-4 of the Immigration Regulations, concerning guidance and information, does not apply in rejection cases under the Interim Act. The procedural rules contained in Chapter 11 of the Immigration Act and Chapter 17 of the Immigration Regulations apply only insofar as they are consistent with simplified and expeditious processing of rejection decisions.

Section 5, second paragraph, of the Interim Act states that the rules on free legal advice contained in section 92, first paragraph, of the Immigration Act do not apply to rejection decisions under the Interim Act. However, the rules on free legal advice will apply to expulsion cases made under section 7.

According to section 6 of the Interim Act, decisions relating to rejection shall be written. The grounds given may be brief and standardised but shall state the rules on which the decision is based, and information on the right of appeal shall be provided. Oral decisions may be allowed if a determination is urgent or if providing a written decision is impracticable for other reasons. In such cases, the decision-making body shall confirm in writing the decision and its grounds if the party so requests.

Decisions relating to rejection are taken by the Directorate of Immigration or the police. Such a decision may be appealed to the Directorate of Immigration, or to the Immigration Appeals Board if the Directorate of Immigration has made the initial decision. The rules contained in Chapter VI of the Public Administration Act are applicable. Section 42 of the Public Administration Act, concerning deferred implementation, does not apply.

13. Immigration control and use of coercive measures

Under section 21 of the Immigration Act the police may request, in connection with the control of foreign nationals’ entry and stay in the realm, proof of identity and information necessary to clarify their identity and the lawfulness of their stay in the realm.

Under section 8 of the Act, coercive measures may be employed on the basis of provisions in Chapter 12 of the Immigration Act. This means, among other things, that decisions on arrest and detention may be taken in accordance with the same provisions and conditions of the Immigration Act that apply to rejection cases in general.

In a case, for example, when someone is stopped by the police under section 21a of the Immigration Act and is most likely to be rejected under the Interim Act and the Regulations relating to entry restrictions, then section 106, first paragraph (i), of the Immigration Act may provide grounds for arrest. If the police believe it is necessary to hold the foreign national for more than 24 hours (see section 106b, third paragraph, final sentence, of the Immigration Act), the most relevant legal basis for assessing this will likely be section 106, first paragraph b), of the Immigration Act, concerning risk that implementation of an administrative decision will be evaded.

14. Liability for expenses etc.

According to section 4 of the Interim Act, foreign nationals directed out of the realm under the Interim Act are correspondingly subject to section 91 of the Immigration Act, which obliges foreign nationals to cover the cost of their own exit. A foreign national may therefore also be rejected upon subsequent entry if he or she has not paid expenses previously incurred by the public authorities; see section 17, first paragraph (k), of the Immigration Act.

Additionally, the transport carrier’s liability under section 91, third paragraph, of the Immigration Act applies correspondingly in the case of rejection decisions taken under the Interim Act relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health; see section 4, second paragraph, of the Act. Transport carrier liability does not apply in connection with crossing of the internal Schengen border, even if internal border controls have been established. For more detailed information, see Prop. 124 L (2019–2020).

15. Expulsion and penalty

Section 7 of the Act authorises expulsion for gross or repeated breaches of entry restrictions specified in the Act, and for materially inaccurate or manifestly misleading information given in connection with entry controls or subsequent processing of the question of permitting entry. As indicated in Prop. 124 L (2019–2020), it is not foreseen that the expulsion provision will be extensively used; but the ability to crack down on serious, repetitive violations is deemed important when an overall assessment has indicated a need to ensure respect for the regulations.

Section 9 of the Act makes it punishable to violate entry restrictions specified in the Act or to provide materially incorrect or manifestly misleading information in connection with entry controls or subsequent processing of the question of permitting entry. The criterion of guilt in both cases is intent. The penalty is a fine or imprisonment for up to six months, or both. As indicated in Prop. 124 L (2019–2020), it is assumed that the penalty provision will not frequently be used; but the ability to impose a penalty in response to the most serious cases is deemed important as a means of preserving respect for the regulations and the objectives behind them.

With regards,
Siri Johnsen (by authority)
Acting Director General

Charlotte Scharning
Senior Advisor

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1 Should be section 3.

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Regulations relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health