Ukrainian seasonal workers in Norway face restrictions to work permits

The Local (
The Local ([email protected])
Ukrainian seasonal workers in Norway face restrictions to work permits
Illustration photo: Nikoline Arns, Unsplash

Ukrainian seasonal workers cannot continue working when their permit expires but instead, they must register at a refugee centre and have their asylum application processed individually, according to a report by NRK.


While the seasonal workers are waiting for a new work permit, they must be prepared to receive social support from Nav (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration).

There are about 1000 Ukrainian seasonal workers a year in Norwegian horticulture, according to the Norwegian Horticultural Association.

NRK spoke to 26 year old Vita Tymchuk from Ukraine, who has been working in Nesodden as a seasonal worker for the last six months. Her permit is about to expire.


"In my opinion, war is more serious than a pandemic. And a better reason to extend these contracts," she told NRK. 

Vita needs money so she can help her family in Ukraine but must now register at a refugee reception centre.

There, her application must be treated individually as an asylum application, as she was not in Ukraine when the war started. She has to then wait before she can get a work permit again and in the meantime, get social support from Nav.

Vita's employer is giving her a place to stay on the farm while she waits for another work permit.  

The Norwegian Horticultural Association has asked the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion to continue the same rules as during the pandemic, when seasonal workers received an extended work permit.

"It seems so unnecessary. When you apply for individual protection, it takes a good deal longer. And then you no longer have the opportunity to work", says Tove Ladstein, who is responsible for working life in the union.

"It would be to the benefit of all Ukrainians, employers... basically a benefit to society as a whole," Ladstein told NRK.

Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl has said that the government will stand up for the Ukrainians who are already in Norway as seasonal workers, so that they can get protection and get to work as quickly as possible.

She added that they must work on how this is resolved, but did not say anything about how or when that would happen.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also