‘I hope this will be an early Christmas gift for all those who have been missing their loved ones. Many children have contacted us and asked whether their grandparents could be allowed to come to Norway. It is therefore good news that Monica is now amending the regulations to ease entry restrictions,’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg said, referring to Monica Mæland, the Minister of Justice and Public Security.
‘Today I am happy to announce that we will be granting exemptions from entry restrictions for more family members. I know, for example, that there are many children who have looked forward to being able to have their grandparents visit. The Prime Minister has made it very clear to me that we must make this possible, and now we are,’ Ms Mæland said.
She added: ‘I emphasise that those concerned must still undergo quarantine, and it is important that they also follow all other infection control rules while visiting Norway.’
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security is in the process of making the necessary regulatory changes. The amended regulations enter into force on 21 October. The regulations and a related administrative circular will include further details on who now will be permitted to travel to Norway.
Under the new rules, exemptions from entry restrictions will be granted for the following foreign nationals:
- children and stepchildren over age 21 of a person resident in Norway
- parents and step-parents of children over age 21 resident in Norway
- grandparents and step-grandparents of a person resident in Norway
- grandchildren and step-grandchildren of a person resident in Norway
- children of established romantic partners (i.e. children of romantic partners as defined in section 3q of the Regulations relating to entry restrictions for foreign nationals out of concern for public health, which applies to romantic relationships of at least nine months’ duration in which the parties have met each other physically)
- a spouse, registered partner, cohabitant or child of a Norwegian national who resides abroad, and who travels on a visit to Norway with the Norwegian national
- EEA nationals and their family members residing in third countries
It should be emphasised that the entry restriction rules are in addition to the general rules pertaining to entry contained in the Immigration Act. This means that despite any removal of entry restrictions, the general requirements on travel documents, visas etc. will remain fully in force. Those who are required to have a visa to travel to Norway may still experience practical challenges related to the ability of diplomatic and consular missions and application centres to process applications and issue visas in some countries due to closures or reduced operating hours stemming from infection control measures. However, the vast majority of these locations abroad are now fully or partially open, and it is possible for most people who satisfy the conditions for travelling into Norway to submit an application. In the few places where application centres are not open, the Foreign Service does its utmost to facilitate application submissions in other ways.
‘The Government is working constantly to find the right balance between infection control and other important social considerations. Looking forward, if the infection situation allows it, we will gradually continue opening up for entry by additional groups of foreign nationals who would qualify for entry into Norway under normal circumstances. It is important that this opening occurs gradually and in a controlled manner,’ Ms Mæland said.
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