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Brexit is soon becoming a reality - how will this affect your business and your employees?

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With effect from 1st January 2021 UK nationals will no longer be considered as EU/EEA nationals. That will, of course, affect both your business and your employees. Are you sure that you are completely up to date on your employees' immigration status in Norway? 

Going forward there will be two different sets of rules for UK nationals in Norway - the ordinary rules for 3rd country nationals and the new special rules for UK nationals. Which set of rules will apply will depend on what time you moved to/arrived in Norway and the basis for your stay here.

The ordinary rules for 3rd country nationals have not changed and have always been an option also for UK nationals, while the new set of rules for UK nationals have not yet been published.

The authorities have recently indicated that UK service providers working in Norway are not allowed to continue their work after 1 January 2021 unless they have been granted an ordinary residence permit for work. If your employees need to apply for a residence permit according to the ordinary 3rd country rules in order to be able to work in Norway from 1st January, time is of the essence. Could there be a possible workaround for this category of workers?

If you are an employer with UK nationals performing work in Norway we recommend that you get an overview of your UK nationals and their basis for stay in Norway. Below we have created an overview of different categories of workers and which rules they are comprised by. 

UK citizens travelling to Norway after 1st of January 2021

Stay less than 90 days 

  • The visa waiver agreement between the UK and Norway allows UK citizens to travel to Norway without a visa. 
  • They can stay in Norway for up to 90 days in any 180 days period, but cannot work. 
  • Permitted activities: participating in meetings, seminars etc. 

Stay exceeding 90 days

  • UK citizens who intend to stay in Norway for more than 90 days, must apply for a residence permit.  
  • Family members of UK citizens who lived in Norway prior to 31st of December 2020 can make use of the new special regulations provided the reference person can use this regulation and the family tie was established prior to 31st of December 2020. 

UK citizens who are staying/living in Norway as of 31st of December 2020

The right to continue stay/work in Norway from 1st of January 2021 depends on the basis on which the person has had a right of residence according to the EU regulations:

Employees and border workers (Norwegian work contract and salary paid from Norwegian company)

  • Automatically retains the right to stay/work 
  • Must apply for the special UK permit 

Service provider/posted worker from UK company (UK work contract and salary received from UK company)

  • Does not retain the right to stay/work
  • Note! Can not apply for the special UK permit, however a workaround can be to consider if the service provider fulfills another category for stay and via that use the special UK permit.
  • Option 1: Given the person fulfills the conditions for own funds or employee he/she can apply for the special UK permit 
  • Option 2: Apply for residence permit according to ordinary regulations

Service provider/posted worker from other EU/EEA company, i.e. not UK (EU/EEA work contract and salary received from EU/EEA company) 

  • Will take part in the residence card scheme for 3rd country citizens employed in the EEA 
  • Right to stay/work up to 3 months   
  • Need to apply for residence card for work exceeding 3 months

Own funds

  • Automatically retains the right to/stay work 
  • Must apply for the special UK permit

Family member

  • Follows the status/position of the reference person

Based on the categorization above; if you believe that you have employees in a category that cannot use the new special permit for UK nationals, we advise you to submit an application for residence permit according to the ordinary rules as soon as possible allowing them to continue to work in Norway from 1st January.

The new regulations for UK citizens cannot be used until 1st January 2021 at the earliest. 

Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like to discuss the impact of Brexit for your employees.

                                                                       ***

This blog post is written by Christel Reksten and Ingvil Haakonsen.

Ingvil Haakonsen

Ingvil Haakonsen

My name is Ingvil Haakonsen and I work as an associate lawyer at PwC's Global Mobility department in Oslo.

Through my work at PwC, I assist Norwegian and international clients managing their global workforce and ensuring they are meeting all legal requirements in Norway.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

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