Partners and family members of Norwegians can now travel to Norway

Partners and family members of Norwegians can now travel to Norway

From 15 July The authorities plans to allow the entry of foreign nationals from countries outside the EU / EEA who have a family or an established romantic relationship in Norway. However, they will have to remain in quarantine.

The government is constantly working to find the right balance between controlling infections and opening up. The current infection situation in Norway makes it possible for us to open up a little more. And since the entry restrictions we introduced as a result of the coronavirus have been so harsh for families and romantic partners, I am glad that we can now ease these a little more for countries outside the EU and EEA, ‘said Minister of Justice and Public Affairs Security Monica Mæland.

‘But we must emphasize,’ she added, ‘that the entry restriction rules are in addition to the ordinary entry rules contained in the Immigration Act. This means that even if the entry restrictions are removed, the usual requirements for travel documents, visas, etc. will continue to apply in full. ‘

The right of entry for foreign nationals who move to Norway as a result of family immigration will now be introduced in full. Consequently, family members who had had the right to travel to Norway to apply for a residence permit before the entry restrictions were introduced, will once again have the opportunity to do so.

Quarantine rules still apply to family members and romantic partners

‘Romantic partners and family members must comply with the general quarantine rules and remain in quarantine for 10 days, just like others who travel to Norway,’ said the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Security. They must also submit documentation that they will stay continuously at an address for 10 days, or for the period they will be here if it is less than 10 days.

Although family members and romantic partners who require a visa will have the same right of entry as before the outbreak of the virus, it is important to be aware that there are still practical challenges in some parts of the world when it comes to applying for a visa. The reason is that application centers abroad may be closed or have reduced capacity due to concerns about infection control. The Norwegian authorities have limited or no ability to influence this. In recent weeks, however, more and more application centers have opened up as the countries where the application centers operate gradually relax their national restrictions.

Norway introduces free quarantine to 15 countries

An increase in the number of arrivals from third countries could potentially lead to imports of coronavirus cases and lead to Norway’s infection situation deteriorating. The Government will therefore closely monitor developments and provide clear information on the responsibility for reviewing the quarantine and guidelines for infection control that apply at any given time.

The changes are as follows:

Foreign nationals planning to move to or visit Norway:

  • The right of entry for foreign nationals who plan to move to Norway as a result of family immigration will be reintroduced. Consequently, visa-free family members who had had the right to enter Norway to apply for a residence permit before the entry restrictions were introduced, will again have the opportunity to do so.
  • Family members who require a visa can obtain an entry visa to stay in Norway pending an application review, in accordance with the usual rules in the Immigration Act and current guidelines from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration dating from before the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Family visits by close family members shall also be accommodated by the abolition of entry restrictions for visiting third-country nationals who have family members in Norway.
  • “Family members” in this context refers to spouses / partners / cohabitants, parents and children under the age of 21, as well as stepfamilies.

The entry of partners into a romantic relationship

  • In addition to family members, the government plans to allow the entry of romantic partners. The parties are required to have met each other physically, and to have been in the relationship for a period of at least nine months.
  • The person living in Norway must submit a self-declaration which the relationship must present on arrival in Norway, which confirms that the two requirements have been met.

Next step: General entry from certain countries outside the Schengen area / EEA

Since 17 March, the Schengen area, of which Norway is a part, has been temporarily closed to non-essential travel. The Council of the European Union has adopted a recommendation to ease the temporary restrictions and allow entry from certain countries outside the Schengen area. Norway follows up on this recommendation and aims to remove entry restrictions for certain third countries on the EU’s list to the extent that the infection situation allows.

‘We continue our gradual, controlled opening to travel. The government wants to build on the experiences we gain when travel business increases in the Nordic region and Europe before we open up to countries outside, Mæland said.

Which countries will initially be included and the exact opening time is under consideration, with a decision to be announced at a later date. In accordance with established practice, the assessment of land will be based on specific criteria, including the infection situation.

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Source: The Nordic Page

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