Visa policy of Svalbard

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Uniquely, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is an entirely visa-free zone. Everybody may live and work in Svalbard indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship. The Svalbard Treaty grants treaty nationals equal right of abode as Norwegian nationals. Non-treaty nationals may live and work indefinitely visa-free as well. Per Sefland, then Governor of Svalbard, said "It has been a chosen policy so far that we haven't made any difference between the treaty citizens and those from outside the treaty".[1] "Regulations concerning rejection and expulsion from Svalbard" are in force on a non-discriminatory basis. Grounds for exclusion include lack of means of support, and violation of laws or regulations.[2][3]

Hans-Henrik Hartmann, then head of the legal unit at the Norwegian government's immigration department, said, "If an asylum seeker is refused residence in Norway he can settle in Svalbard so long as he can get there and is able to pay for himself."[1] "In the past, immigrants who have been refused a visa for mainland Norway have moved to Longyearbyen, lived there for seven years and been awarded Norwegian citizenship."[1] Svalbard has a high living cost. Sending refugees to Svalbard has been suggested.[4] The open-border policy of Svalbard has been referred to as a reason to consider Svalbard as a refugee settlement.[5]

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  1. ^ a b c "Immigrants warmly welcomed". Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  2. ^ "Entry and residence". Governor of Svalbard. Governor of Svalbard. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Norwegian politicians propose putting refugees on Svalbard – remote Arctic islands with more polar bears than people". Andrew Griffin. The Independent. Retrieved 2 Oct 2016.
  5. ^ "Riches and refugees: People ask about buying Pyramiden weekly; here's one guy's reason – and what he's eyeing now". Jiwoon Hwang. Icepeople. Retrieved 2 Oct 2016.

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