2. Conditions for granting residence permits for working guests
2.1. The purpose
2.2. Working guest in agriculture
2.3. Mediated by an organisation
2.4. Offer of employment
2.5. The scope of the work
2.6. Subsistence, pay and accommodation
2.7. The applicant can work for up to two employers
2.8. Limitations regarding the number of working guests
2.9. Age requirement
2.10. Return conditions, good conduct requirement etc.
3. The content and duration of the permit
4. Application and case-processing procedures
4.1. Place of application
4.3. Documentation requirements
4.4. Power of decision
7. Revocation of a residence permit
Residence permits pursuant to the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter a), cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-22 second paragraph, may be granted to foreign nationals whose stay as a working guest in agriculture is mediated by an organisation.
The circular applies to nationals of countries outside the EU and EFTA area. Separate rules apply to nationals of EU and EFTA countries, cf. the Immigration Act chapter 13, cf. the Immigration Regulations chapter 19. A residence permit for a working guest is only granted once, with a total duration of three months.
However, the permit may be renewed within the three-month period. A permit can be applied for with the same employer or a new employer, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 first and seventh paragraphs. The police can grant a permit in such cases, provided that there is no doubt that the conditions for being granted a permit are met, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-2.
If the applicant wishes to stay longer than three months, it will be considered whether a permit can be granted pursuant to the provisions relating to seasonal workers, cf. the Immigration Act section 23, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-3.
The purpose of the stay in Norway as a working guest is to receive training and insight into Norwegian agriculture and culture.
To be a working guest means that the applicant will take part in the day-to-day work on a farm as part of the family.
The applicant is to work in agriculture. By this is meant normal farm work and work in nurseries. Normal farm work does not include major maintenance work, the construction of new buildings or similar. If the farm engages in combination farming, for example farming combined with running a campsite, the applicant cannot perform work relating to the secondary source of income.
The work that the applicant is to carry out must contribute to meeting the purpose of the provision, i.e. that the applicant receives training and insight into Norwegian agriculture and culture by carrying out the work. Unvaried harvesting work does not meet this objective.
The applicant’s stay must be mediated by certain organisations, see Appendix 1. If the Department of Managed Migration receives applications from other organisations, the Analysis and Development Department at the Regulations Section must be contacted.
A standard employment contract must be enclosed with the application. The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has prepared a separate standard contract that has been sent to the organisations. Other contracts can be accepted provided that they contain the same information as the standard contract. The contract must be an original, and it must be stamped and signed by the organisation in question. The employment contract must also be signed by the employer and the applicant. The duration of the employment must be stated in both the contract and the application. A description of what the work entails must also be provided.
The work must not exceed 35 hours per week. The applicant is entitled to at least one and a half continuous days off per week.
Subsistence and accommodation must be guaranteed, cf. the Immigration Act section 58. This requirement is deemed to be met if the organisation provides a guarantee for board, lodging, return travel expenses and a minimum wage, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-22 second paragraph, second sentence.
The minimum wage rate is stated in Appendix 2. Because being a working guest involves a training element, other pay requirements apply than is the case for ordinary jobs.
Accommodation is deemed to be guaranteed when the applicant has at his/her disposal a house, apartment, bedsit or similar that meets official requirements, see the Immigration Regulations section 10-12 first paragraph.
The applicant may be granted a permit to work for continuous periods for up to two different employers. An employment contract from both employers must be provided. Each employment contract must state the period during which the working guest will be working for each employer. The period of work for each employer must be continuous. For example, the applicant cannot work every other week for each employer.
An employer cannot employ more than three working guests at the same time.
In order to be granted a residence permit as a working guest, the applicant must have reached the age of 15 years at the time of the decision. Applicants between the ages of 15 and 18 must have the consent of their parents or another person who has parental responsibility for them, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-32 first paragraph.
A residence permit for a working guest that has been granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-22 second paragraph is of a limited duration and does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit. This entails a clear requirement that the applicant must leave Norway when the permit expires. The immigration authorities shall assess the conditions for the applicant’s return. The probability of the applicant leaving Norway when the permit expires if he/she does not have other grounds for residence in Norway is therefore a key factor when assessing whether to grant a residence permit. Both individual circumstances relating to the applicant and general conditions in the applicant’s home country will be important in this assessment.
If the immigration authorities, on the basis of information about the applicant and general experience with certain regions and applicant groups, deem it likely that the applicant will not return to his/her home country at the end of his/her stay or that he/she has a different purpose for applying for a permit than to be a working guest, the application will be rejected.
The assessment will be based on conditions that exist at the time of the decision. Importance will be attached to matters such as:
- whether the applicant has previously applied for asylum or a residence permit on other grounds
- previous experience of working guests in the same situation from the applicant’s home country
- previous experience of any sponsors in Norway
- whether it is legally and practically possible to escort the applicant out of Norway
Furthermore, 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. the Immigration Act section 59.
The permit entitles the holder to work as a working guest for a specific employer/two specific employers, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-33 first paragraph. The decision must state the job title (working guest) and the name(s) and address(es) of the employer(s). It must be emphasised that the permit does not entitle the holder to work elsewhere than stated in the decision, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-33first paragraph.
A residence permit for a working guest cannot be granted for a total of more than three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-22 second paragraph. However, the duration of the permit shall not exceed the period applied for or the duration of the employment relationship, cf. the Immigration Act section 60, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-16 fifth paragraph. The decision shall state whether the permit is renewable.
The permit does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-22 fifth paragraph, or for family immigration, cf. the Immigration Act section 49, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 9-6.
As a rule, a first-time residence permit must have been granted before travelling to Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 56 first paragraph. Persons with skilled worker qualifications pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-1 first paragraph can apply from Norway, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-1 first paragraph letter a).
The applicant must submit his/her application to a Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy/consulate) in his/her home country, or to a Norwegian foreign service mission in the country in which the applicant has held a residence permit for the past six months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 third paragraph. If the application is submitted from another country than the applicant’s home country, it must be documented that he/she has held a valid permit in that country for the past six months.
To have an application for a residence permit processed, the applicant must pay a processing fee when the application is submitted, cf. the Immigration Act section 89, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 17-10 first paragraph. If the fee is not paid, the application will be rejected on these grounds, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 eighth paragraph.
The body that receives the application must make sure that the applicant has completed the relevant document list and submitted all documents in compliance with this list. The applicant shall be given a stamped copy of the document list as a receipt, confirming that the required documents have been submitted. The same applies if the application has been registered online through UDI’s application portal.
The document lists are available on UDI’s internet page:
The documents must be available in Norwegian or English. Documents in other languages must be translated by an authorised translator.
As a rule, it is sufficient to enclose copies of the documents. However, it is a condition that the original documents are presented on submission of the application. The applicant should bring relevant copies on submission of the application.
4.4. Power of decision
The UDI decides whether to grant the application, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph.
A permit granted for less than three months can be renewed within the three-month period for which the permit can be granted, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 first paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-21 first paragraph.
The working guest can apply for a renewed residence permit to work for the same employer or a new employer, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 first and seventh paragraphs.
Applications for renewal must be submitted to the police in the district in which the applicant lives, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-27 first paragraph, together with a written employment offer from the employer.
The police can decide applications for renewal for work for the same employer or for a new employer, provided there is no doubt that the conditions for renewal are met, cf. the Immigration Act section 65, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-2. Reference is made to circular RS 2010-089 concerning the delegation of power of decision to the police. In other cases, the UDI decides whether to grant the application, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph.
A rejection of an application for a residence permit for working guests can be appealed pursuant to the rules of the Public Administration Act chapter 6. The applicant must submit the appeal him/herself. Alternatively, another person can submit the appeal if the applicant has authorised him/her in writing to do so, cf. the Public Administration Act section 12.
The appeal must be submitted to the body that received the application, i.e. a Norwegian foreign service mission if the application was submitted from abroad, or the police if the application was submitted in Norway. The appeal shall not be sent directly to the UDI.
A residence permit for a working guest can be revoked if the foreign national has deliberately provided incorrect information or omitted to provide information about matters of material importance to the decision or if it otherwise follows from general provisions of administrative law, cf. the Immigration Act section 63 first paragraph.
Decisions to revoke a permit are made by the UDI, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph. The immigration authorities shall notify the applicant in advance that the permit may be revoked. The foreign national shall be given an opportunity to make a statement, normally within three weeks, cf. the Public Administration Act section 16.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of department
Contact: Department of Managed Migration, the Study Unit