Work and residence on Svalbard

Language

If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme before you settle or take up residence on Svalbard, you retain your membership.

You continue to be a member regardless of whether you are:

  • working
  • not working
  • self-employed or
  • an employee
  • a student

If you are not a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme before you arrive on Svalbard, you will become a member through being employed by a Norwegian employer that conducts business there. Membership lasts as long as you have an existing employment contract and for up to one month after the employment ends, as long as you remain on Svalbard during this period. Membership also applies when you are on sick leave from work or have leave of absence in connection with a birth.

It is not possible to apply for voluntary membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. This is because it is basically the connection through employment that is the basis for residence on Svalbard.

Legislation on Svalbard in general

Through the Svalbard Treaty of 1920, Svalbard became part of the Kingdom of Norway and it is Norway that adopts and enforces the laws applicable on Svalbard. However, the legislation must not be contrary to the provisions of the Svalbard Treaty. As a general rule, Norwegian civil and criminal law, and how the Norwegian legislation shall be enforced, apply. Other statutory provisions do not apply, apart from when these have been specifically laid down.

The EEA regulations do not apply on Svalbard. However, the Nordic Convention on Social Security applies. (link). This means that the social security provisions in the EEA Agreement also apply on Svalbard for persons who have had social security rights in a Nordic country before they move to Svalbard.

The Norwegian Immigration Act does not apply on Svalbard. This means that all citizens of countries who are registered as parties to the Svalbard Treaty have the right of access to and residence on the archipelago, regardless of whether they have a residence permit in Norway. However, you are required to a place to live and be able to support yourself. There is no social security on Svalbard.

Read more about the legislation on Svalbard at www.sysselmannen.no

Facts

There are three Norwegian settlements on Svalbard: Longyearbyen, Ny-Ålesund and Svea. Mining, tourism and research are the primary industries. NAV Tromsø has an office in Longyearbyen that performs all statutory responsibilities under the National Insurance Act.