The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has confirmed that seasonal workers in Norway who cannot return to their countries of origin due to coronavirus-related restrictions will have their residence permit extended until the end of 2021.
According to a press release from the ministry, this decision is correct and reasonable provided the fact that these people were unable to visit their families during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Some of those in Norway as seasonal workers are not allowed to return to their countries of origin due to local entry restrictions. Labor and Social Affairs Minister Torbjorn Roy Isaksen said:
Currently, workers cannot apply to renew their residence permits. But once the regulations come into effect, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will issue information and guidance for application. As a result, applicants can expect a streamlined application process as UDI intends to process applications in record time.
In April, TheSchengen.com reported that Norway had allowed seasonal workers to extend their stay for another six months, until September, due to the ongoing pandemic. After that, they can apply to renew their permits, provided they submit a negative coronavirus test, among other documents.
The ministry indicated that this decision is very beneficial for agriculture and green industries, as there is a need for more seasonal workers in the summer seasons.
Moreover, agricultural industry workers were granted the right to enter Norway even in May 2020, when rates of positive cases were higher, and vaccination had not yet been implemented. Except for seasonal workers from EU/Schengen area countries, even workers from several third countries were allowed to enter the country.
Furthermore, according to Statistics Norway, there was a 1.1 percent or 28,888 people drop in employment from 2019 to 2020. In addition, people aged 15 to 74 were the least employed during that period, with Troms the county the most. damage. og Finnmark with 1,899 fewer employees or a 1.5 per cent deficit.
The data further reveals that the county with a less dramatic drop in employment is Trøndelag, which lost 1,257 of 234,859 workers, representing a 0.5 percent drop.
Norway encourages workers to apply for jobs in agriculture and horticulture, the tourism industry, restaurants, fish processing, and forestry.
A worker can obtain a seasonal work permit for only six months a year. In addition, workers are not allowed to sponsor their families to immigrate to Norway, but they can work with more than one employer if vacancies are offered.
Among the visa requirements, the worker must be 18 years or older and must cover the visa application fee of €536.54 (5400 SEK). They also need to have a job offer from a Norwegian employer who must be registered with the Norwegian Department of Labor and Welfare (NAV). However, for agriculture and forestry jobs, there is no need for approval from the NAV.