Information

Time limited travel grant to home country for laid-off foreign employees in Longyearbyen

In connection with Covid-19, many workers were laid off in Longyearbyen. The pandemic is still ongoing and there are still workers who are not back at work. Based on the knowledge of the local business’ seasonal variations, we believe that laid-off workers who are not back at work this autumn will probably not be able to get a job for the rest of the year. The Longyearbyen community Council has been commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security to manage "Travel grants for laid-off foreign workers".

The grant scheme is limited in time and will provide support for travelling home for foreign workers and their families who live in Longyearbyen, and who are now unable to support themselves financially. The grant scheme shall cover the purchase of airline tickets and any expenses for obtaining the necessary travel documents. Flights are booked and paid for by the authorities, i.e. the Governor of Svalbard. The grant scheme is time-limited, and travel grants are only given until 15 November 2020.

Who are eligible for travel grants?
Travel grants can, upon application, be given to an employee who:
a) Is laid off from work in the Longyearbyen planning area
b) Is registered in the Svalbard population register with a residential address in the Longyearbyen planning area
c) Has been subject to Svalbard tax in 2020 through employment with the current employer
d) Resides in the Longyearbyen planning area

Applicants who meet the requirements in the first paragraph may also receive travel grants for children and cohabitants / spouses / partners who meet the requirements in the first paragraph, letters b and d.

In special cases, grants may be awarded to persons who do not meet the requirements in the first paragraph.

Grants are not given to persons who:
a) There is reason to assume that has come to Svalbard for the purpose of receiving a travel grant
b) There is reason to assume that has been laid off for the purpose of receiving a travel grant
c) There is reason to believe will soon return to Svalbard even he/she will not obtain ordinary work
d) Has a cohabitant, spouse, partner or children under the age of 18 who remain in Longyearbyen, or who
e) Based on the household's total finances can support themselves or finance a trip to their home country by their own means.

Grants are also not given to persons who are wanted, suspected, charged or indicted with a criminal offense, and it is not desirable for that person to leave the country. The responsible prosecuting authority decides whether a criminal case is an obstacle to giving a travel grant.

Furthermore, it is assumed that the cohabitant, spouse, partner or children under the age of 18 will not remain in Longyearbyen.

Recipients of the travel grant are free to return to Svalbard at any later time.

Regulations

The translations are not official versions of the regulations; they are for informational purposes only. If there is no accordance between the Norwegian and English text, then the Norwegian version applies.

Regulations on time-limited travel grants for laid-off foreign workers in Longyearbyen and their families

§ 1. Purpose
 
The purpose of the grant scheme is to contribute to that laid-off foreign workers in Longyearbyen will be enabled to return to their home countries. The grant scheme will alleviate the consequences of the measures to limit the outbreak of covid-19 and will ensure that the laid-off foreign workers and their families will be able to travel from Svalbard if they are unable to support themselves in Svalbard or do not have the means to travel to their home country.
 

§ 2.Who can receive a grant

Grants can, upon application, be given to an employee who:
a) Is laid off from work in the Longyearbyen planning area
b) Is registered in the Svalbard population register with a residential address in the Longyearbyen planning area
c) Has been subject to Svalbard tax in 2020 through employment with the current employer
d) Resides in the Longyearbyen planning area

Applicants who meet the requirements in the first paragraph may also receive travel grants for children and cohabitants / spouses / partners who meet the requirements in the first paragraph, letters b and d.

In special cases, grants may be awarded to persons who do not meet the requirements in the first paragraph.
 

§ 3. Persons who still are not eligible for a grant

Grants are not given to persons who:
a) There is reason to assume that has come to Svalbard for the purpose of receiving a travel grant
b) There is reason to assume that has been laid off for the purpose of receiving a travel grant
c) There is reason to believe will soon return to Svalbard even he/she will not obtain ordinary work
d) Has a cohabitant, spouse, partner or children under the age of 18 who remain in Longyearbyen, or who
e) Based on the household's total finances can support themselves or finance a trip to their home country by their own means.

Grants are also not given to persons who are wanted, suspected, charged or indicted with a criminal offense, and it is not desirable for that person to leave the country. The responsible prosecuting authority decides whether a criminal case is an obstacle to giving a travel grant.

 

§ 4.Travel grant

The grant scheme covers expenses for the purchase of airline tickets and any expenses for obtaining necessary travel documents. Flights are booked and paid for by the authorities.

Upon departure, travel allowance is paid to cover travel expenses of NOK 800 per adult and NOK 1,100 per child.

 

§ 5. Requirements for the application

Applications for grants are submitted on a set form to the Longyearbyen Local Council. Spouses, cohabitants and families with children submit one joint application.

The application must state
a. the employee's name, address, citizenship, marital status, account number and D-number
b. any family members
c. the employer's name and the time the applicant was laid off
d. the redundancy notice and the employment contract that provides a basis for the redundancy by documenting these
e. ID through a copy of a certified identification document
f. that the applicant is in Longyearbyen, through suitable documentation for this
g. salary through a copy of the pay slips for the last three months for him-/herself and any partner / spouse / cohabitant.

In special cases, grants may be awarded to persons who do not meet the documentation requirements above.

 

§ 6. The Longyearbyen Community Council's access to control the information

The Longyearbyen Community Council can check that the conditions for awarding a grant are met by requiring that the applicant:

a. provides additional information necessary to evaluate the application

b. attends in person or otherwise proves that the applicant is in Longyearbyen. The same applies to any family members for whom a grant is applied for.
 

§ 7. Obligation to repay

If an applicant provides incomplete or incorrect information, and this means that grants are unjustifiably paid, or grants are paid out with an excessive amount, the grant manager can demand that the unjustified amount be repaid by the applicant.

 

§ 8. Terms and conditions for receiving the grant

Grants are paid only if the recipient travels within one month after the decision date for the grant.

If the deadline is broken, the admitted grants are void. The Longyearbyen Community Council can nevertheless maintain a decision on a grant if there are circumstances beyond the applicant's control that prevent such departure.

 § 9. Entry into force

The regulations enter into force on 7 August 2020 and apply until 15 November 2020.

 

 

Guide for application form

Online application form