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Norsk

UDI circulars

RS 2010-179
Document-ID : RS 2010-179
Case-ID : 16/02490
Receiver :

The Norwegian police
The foreign service missions
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Residence permits for seamen on board foreign-registered ships – Section 23 of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 6-6 of the Immigration Regulations


1. Introduction

2. Definitions, limitations and exceptions

2.1 Definitions and limitations

2.1.1 Definitions

2.1.2 Limitations to the residence permit requirement due to the ship’s laytime

2.2 Residence permit requirement on board foreign-registered ships

2.3 Exemptions from the residence permit requirement for certain foreign-registered ships

2.4 EEA/EFTA nationals who are employed on foreign-registered ships

3. Conditions for residence permits for seamen on board foreign-registered ships

3.1 Employer in Norway

3.2 Pay and working conditions

3.3 Specific offer of full-time employment from one employer

3.4 Travel document

3.5 Age

3.6 Quotas, subsistence, housing, conduct etc.

4. The content and duration of the residence permit

5. Application procedure

5.1 Place of application when the seaman submits the application him/herself

5.2 Place of application when others submit an application on behalf of seamen

5.3 Confirmation of permission to work before the application has been processed

6. Power of decision

 

1. Introduction

Residence permits are required for seamen on board foreign-registered ships that engage in regular or significant activities between Norwegian ports, cf. Section 6-6 of the Immigration Regulations. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) provides more detailed guidelines in this circular concerning residence permits pursuant to this provision.

2. Definitions, limitations and exceptions

2.1 Definitions and limitations

2.1.1 Definitions

By seaman is meant a person whose work is on board a ship and not only while the ship is docked. The seaman shall be included in the crew list.

By foreign-registered ship is meant a ship registered in a ship register outside Norway. Applications for a residence permit from seamen on such ships shall be considered pursuant to Section 6-6 of the Immigration Regulations and the more detailed guidelines provided in this circular. This definition is limited to what is considered a Norwegian ship.

By Norwegian ship is meant a ship registered in the Norwegian Ship Register (NOR) or the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS). The general requirements for a residence permit in order to work apply to Norwegian ships engaged in domestic trade. NIS ships can in certain cases be engaged in domestic trade without residence permits being required on board, see Section 1-16 second paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. Residence permits are not required pursuant to the Immigration Act for work on Norwegian ships engaged in foreign trade, see Section 6 fifth paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 1-16 of the Immigration Regulations.

2.1.2 Limitations to the residence permit requirement due to the ship’s laytime

If a ship’s total laytime in a Norwegian and other port in the Schengen territory exceeds three months, a residence permit is required in order to go ashore and spend time in the Norwegian port or ports at which the ship calls, see Section 16 of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 4-19 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

2.2 Residence permit requirement on board foreign-registered ships

The residence permit requirement for seamen on board foreign-registered ships applies when the ship loads goods or embarks passengers in a Norwegian port and delivers the goods or disembarks the passengers in another Norwegian port. This only applies to ships that engage in regular or significant activities between Norwegian ports.

It follows from the instructions from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion of 14 December 2009 concerning stipulation of guidelines pursuant to Section 6-6 of the Immigration Regulations (AI-102 /09) that regular or significant activities between Norwegian ports means activities for a continuous three-month period. This period is not interrupted by up to two short trips or assignments to other countries totalling less than ten days.

There is no residence permit requirement for work on foreign-registered ships when the ship only occasionally engages in activities between Norwegian ports, i.e. when it does not engage in regular or significant activities between Norwegian ports as defined above, cf. Section 6-6 first paragraph, second sentence of the Immigration Regulations.

Installations (oil platforms etc.) on the continental shelf are in some cases considered to be Norwegian ports. The residence permit requirement for seamen on board foreign-registered ships does not apply to traffic to and from the Norwegian continental shelf, see appendix 6 to circular A-63/09 of 1 January 2010 concerning entry into force of the new Immigration Act and new Immigration Regulations.

2.3 Exemptions from the residence permit requirement for certain foreign-registered ships

It follows from Section 1-1 sixth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations that seamen, regardless of their nationality, are exempt from the residence permit requirement when they work on:

  • foreign-registered cruise ships
  • ships that are registered in a ship register in an EEA country
  • ships that are registered in countries that have entered into a bilateral shipping agreement. This applies to the Faroe islands (Denmark), Argentina, the USA and Peru, see annex 1 to the Immigration Regulations.

2.4 EEA/EFTA nationals who are employed on foreign-registered ships

An EEA or EFTA national staying in Norway for more than three months as an employee, service provider or for another purpose as defined in Sections 112 and 113 of the Immigration Act must register, cf. Section 117 of the Immigration Act. An EEA or EFTA national who works on a foreign-registered ship is exempt from this registration requirement, cf. Section 117 fourth paragraph of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 19-22 fourth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

3. Conditions for residence permits for seamen on board foreign-registered ships

3.1 Employer in Norway

It is a condition for residence permits issued pursuant to Section 23 of the Immigration Act that work is performed for an employer in Norway. Seamen may be employed by a shipping company, but the employment contract can also be entered into with other enterprises.

For other employers in Norway, the UDI requires that they have their place of business in Norway and are registered in the Norwegian Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities see the UDI’s circular 2010-048. Even if the seamen’s employers on foreign-registered ships do not meet these requirements, they are deemed to be employers in Norway pursuant to Section 23 of the Immigration Act. Reference is made to the fact that special circumstances exist for foreign-registered ships since the place of work (the ship) will mainly be in Norwegian territorial waters, while the employer’s place of work is, in many cases, not in Norway or registered in the Norwegian Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities.

3.2 Pay and working conditions

One of the conditions for a residence permit is that pay and working conditions are not inferior to those prescribed by the current collective agreement or pay scale for the industry concerned, see Section 23 first paragraph letter (b) of the Immigration Act. This is further regulated by the UDI’s circular 2010-129.

The regular working hours on a ship shall be eight hours a day, with one day of rest each week and rest on public holidays, cf. Section 23 first paragraph of the Ship Safety and Security Act of 16 February 2007. The ordinary provisions relating to hours of rest and the right to agree another arrangement for hours of rest in a collective agreement is set out in Section 24. Other arrangements concerning working and rest hours on board are very commonly agreed in Norwegian collective agreements.

Collective agreements entered into between Norwegian seamen's organisations and shipping companies’ organisations include tables containing pre-calculated pay/seaman's wages on the basis of working hours. The tables are ‘all inclusive’ and include compensation for overtime work. This pay is also paid for off-duty periods (on shore). Off-duty periods shall as a rule be as long as work periods (1:1 scheme).

When a foreign-registered ship follows another working and rest hours arrangement than that agreed in the collective agreements for Norwegian domestic trade, the lowest acceptable pay level is calculated on the basis of the basic seaman’s pay set out in the Norwegian collective agreements. Off-duty periods on shore must be taken into consideration in the calculation of pay/seaman’s pay.

3.3 Specific offer of full-time employment from one employer

The specific offer of employment must be submitted on the prescribed form, see Section 6-9 of the Immigration Regulations.

The employer with whom the seaman has signed the employment contract shall sign the offer of employment form.

3.4 Travel document

The foreign national must document his or her identity with an ordinary passport or other approved travel document, see Section 10-2 second paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

Identity cards for seamen (seaman's passport, seaman’s book) are not recognised for the purpose of staying in Norway under ordinary residence permits, see Section 2-8 of the Immigration Regulations.

3.5 Age

The applicant must have reached the age of 18, see Section 23 first paragraph letter (a) of the Immigration Act.

3.6 Quotas, subsistence, housing, conduct etc.

Seamen on board foreign-registered ships are exempt from the requirement of being covered by a quota and the requirement of considering whether the position can be filled by domestic labour or labour from the EEA or EFTA area, see Section 23 first paragraph letter (c) of the Immigration Act.

It is a requirement that the applicant has assured subsistence for the period to which the application applies, cf. Section 58 of the Immigration Act. Seamen on foreign-registered ships are deemed to have assured subsistence and accommodation through their employment relationship.

Circumstances must not exist that constitute grounds for denying the applicant entry into or residence in Norway pursuant to other provisions of the Act, cf. Section 59 of the Immigration Act. Foreign policy considerations or fundamental national interests may dictate that the application be rejected, cf. Section 126 of the Immigration Act.

4. The content and duration of the residence permit

The permit entitles the holder to work for a specific employer, cf. Section 6-6 second paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. This means that the work is related to the specific ship.

The permit can be renewed, cf. Section 61 of the Immigration Act.

The permit does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. Section 6-6 of the Immigration Regulations.

The permit does not form the basis for family immigration, cf. Section 9-6 of the Immigration Regulations.

The permit is granted for up to two years at a time. However, the duration of the permit will not exceed the period applied for, the duration of the employment relationship or the duration of the assignment, cf. Section 10-16 fourth and fifth paragraphs of the Immigration Regulations.

5. Application procedure

Applications for a residence permit for seamen on board a foreign-registered ship are submitted on the ordinary application forms for residence permits and are subject to the ordinary fee.

5.1 Place of application when the seaman submits the application him/herself

As a rule, a first-time residence permit must have been granted prior to entry into Norway, cf. Section 56 first paragraph of the Immigration Act. Applications shall be submitted through a Norwegian foreign service mission.

An exemption is made from the main rule set out in Section 56 first paragraph of the Immigration Act for seamen on board a foreign-registered ship who apply for a permit pursuant to Section 6-6. This follows from Section 56 fifth paragraph of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 10-1 first paragraph letter (k) of the Immigration Regulations.

The seaman must have legal residence and not be staying in Norway in connection with an asylum application or pending departure after receiving a rejection of an asylum application, cf. Section 10-1 third paragraph of the Regulations.

Permit applications for seamen are submitted to the police in the district in which the ship first calls, see Section 10-2 fourth paragraph, third sentence of the Immigration Regulations.

5.2 Place of application when others submit an application on behalf of seamen

The seaman’s employer, the ship’s captain or other representative of the shipping company can, with written authorisation, submit an application on behalf of a seaman and request a confirmation stating that the employee has a right to start working before the application is processed, see Section 10-3 first and second paragraph and Section 10-4 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. The captain or shipping company representative can also submit applications for crew on the ship who are not employed in the shipping company.

Employers or principals of seamen can submit applications

  • to the police in the district in which the ship first calls
  • at a service centre for foreign workers or
  • to the police in the district in which they have their place of business in Norway, if applicable

5.3 Confirmation of permission to work before the application has been processed

The arrangement whereby the employer or employee (seaman) receives confirmation of the right to work before an application has been processed is described in more detail in the UDI’s circular 2016-003 concerning the early employment scheme.

6. Power of decision

Decisions on first-time residence permits are made by the UDI, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act.

As a rule, applications for renewal of a residence permit are decided by the UDI, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act. The police have the authority to grant renewals of residence permits if there is no doubt that the conditions are met, cf. Section 13-2 of the Immigration Regulations and UDI's circular 2010-089.

 

Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department

Contact: The Managed Migration Department, Work Unit

Latest changes
  • Endret: RS 2010-179 Oppholdstillatelse for sjøfolk på utenlandsk registrerte skip – utlendingsloven § 23 jf utlendingsforskriften § 6-6 (4/28/2016)

    På grunn av endringene i ordningen med tidlig arbeidsstart som trer i kraft 1. mai 2016, er rundskrivets punkt 5.3 oppdatert.

  • Endret: RS 2010-179 Oppholdstillatelse for sjøfolk på utenlandsk registrerte skip – utlendingsloven § 23 jf utlendingsforskriften § 6-6 (1/1/2014)

    Rundskrivet er oppdatert i forbindelse med ny prosessordning i sikkerhetssaker. Under punkt 3.6. henvises det nå til utlendingsloven § 126.

Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration
Utlendingsdirektoratet
P.O. box 2098 Vika
NO-0125 Oslo
Norway

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo