No strawberries without seasonal workers

Farm Owner Inge Gustavsen is dependent on seasonal workers from Poland and Vietnam in the summer.

Farm Owner Inge Gustavsen is dependent on seasonal workers from Poland and Vietnam in the summer.

Farm owner Inge Gustavsen from Hyggen outside Drammen is dependent on seasonal workers from Poland and Vietnam in the summer.

Before, the Turkish citizens living in Norway worked with us. But the young generation will not take this type of work, like most others who live in Norway. We are totally dependent on assistance from other countries,” he said.

Need seasonal workers from Vietnam

Early in 1990’s he took over 40 acres of strawberries and 10 acres of iceberg lettuce from his father.

“Without the Polish ladies who come every year and helps us both weeding and harvesting of strawberries, we could not do it. They are well known here and know what to do,” says the Hurum-farmer.

Several of the Polish seasonal workers have got other jobs soon.

“Many find jobs in construction and move on. So we had to look for seasonal workers from Vietnam, but it is much more work with the permit,” he adds.

Seasonal workers from Vietnam need a residence permit for seasonal workers.

Start in good time

“We sent the applications back in February,” said Kirsti Wear, partner of Inge Gustavsen.

“First they had to fill out the application form for a residence permit which we supplied the police with our employment. Now we are waiting for a letter of approval of temporary residence permit. When we told applicants that they must obtain entry visas at the embassy in Hanoi. During the first week in Norway, they meet up with the police to obtain a residence permit stamped into the passport while we contact the IRS.

“As an employer Kirsti and Inge must submit the application form to their police district . The application must include attached employment form signed by both applicant and employer and a statement from the NAV.

“It could well have been a little easier,” she says with a smile. “But my best tip is to start the process in good time, she adds.

Source: UDI – Norwegian Directorate of Immigration

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