The Norwegian government recently announced the tightening of foreign travel restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key points:

  • Effective from March 16, Norwegian airports and ports are closed to foreigners that do not have a resident permit for Norway.
  • The borders are also closed to foreigners without Norwegian residence permits.
  • Foreigners who have been granted a residence permit and who are from a country that has a visa free agreement with Norway can travel to Norway. The same applies for foreigners (from outside of EU/EEA) who have been granted a residence permit and have received an entry visa from the embassy. All persons who have been abroad, will be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Norway.
  • Normally, inbound travelers will not be subject to quarantine, as long as they have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine which applies to all foreign travelers. However, several counties in the North of Norway have implemented local quarantine regulations. The Minister of the Department of Justice has stated that such regulations must be repealed and the government has stated that they will assess the legality of this practice.
  • For the internal Schengen area border, entry and exit checks will be implemented.
  • Domestic flights remain in operation.
  • The Directorate of Health has advised against all foreign travel.

Analysis & Comments: The new travel restrictions will impact the movement of foreigners to Norway. Employers should account for affected travelers and rearrange travel schedules accordingly. Significant delays may occur for consular and in-country processing. The immigration authorities have implemented a regulation that temporarily will make it possible to submit applications for work and residence permits online. This will be possible until the service center for foreigners (SUA) and police administrative services have re-opened. The regulation came in to effect on March 23. This applies to applicants who are in Norway, or that have a power of attorney in Norway who will apply for a residence permit in their behalf. Foreigners who have been granted a residence permit will however be subject to the foreign travels restrictions as described below.

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