ANNOUNCEMENT 15 Jan 2013In January 2013, the government of Norway announced a change for the labour market access of foreign workers.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Utlendingsdirektoratet, 'Option for specialist residence permits closed', January 10, 2013: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/News/2012/Option-for-specialist-residence-permits--closed/
The Norwegian 'Utlendingsdirektorat', or Immigration Directorate, has abolished work authorisation programs for specialists and skilled jobseekers, respectively. New applications for these two types of permit will be rejected and the paid fees refunded provided that the application was initiated before January 15, 2013, the date of abolition of these two programs. Skilled workers can still obtain the Skilled Worker's Permit - which is unaffected - if they fulfil the relevant eligibility criteria.
The specialists program made it possible to apply for residence permits under the condition of having an annual salary of at least NOK 500,000, whereas the skilled jobseekers program allowed application for residence permits to skilled workers who were not yet offered an employment contract in Norway. Widespread abuse of and fraud within these programs are stated as the main reasons for abolishing them.