Norwegian rules for stays create problems for several hundred Chinese who train winter sports in Norway. In three years, the Olympics have been added to Beijing.
About 200 Chinese currently train in Norway. Their goal is to be the best possible during the Beijing Olympics in three years.
But Norwegian residence and visa rules create difficulties. The Norwegian Sports Federation (NIF) has requested that the athletes should always be allowed to go back and forth to renew their permits.
The Ministry of Justice has now dropped that possibility. In response to a request from the NIF, one has refused to make exceptions to the immigration regulations.
– It is a bit of a pity for the athletes who have to travel back and forth, but there is not much we can do about it in sports, says Communications Manager Finn Aagaard in NIF to ABC News.E
The Federation proposed before Christmas that it opened up a time-limited exception for the practitioners and the Chinese support system. It was desired that the affected persons should receive a visa for one year at a time until February 2022, and thus not having to fly to the other side of the earth approximately every three months.
It was in 2017 that it became clear that Norway would cooperate with China until the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. Then the cooperation has deepened. When the royal couple were in Beijing last October, the sports agreements were also marked at the highest level.
100 Chinese cross-country skiers who train in Norway are now spread between Lillehammer, Heimdal and Meråker, and 10-16 ski jumpers live and train at Øyer. In addition, Chinese biathletes and cross country national teams travel around Norway and Europe to compete with the world elite – with Norwegians in the support system.
No regulatory change
The Sports Association believed it was an opportunity for the Chinese to apply for a residence permit on “Other cultural purpose”, but that does not mean the Ministry of Justice.
To the NIF, the Ministry must have stated that today’s regulations have not been a challenge for other groups of cultural workers, and that there has been no desire from other teams to change this rule.
Any changes to the regulations will also take time, and the target group will also be considered as narrow, as ABC News understands.