Emigration, today: Svalbard


Svalbard? Belongs in principle to Norway. The Svalbard_Treaty of 1925 guarantees all citizens of the contracting states equal rights to work, trade and navigation in the territory of Spitsbergen. In particular, this means that any citizen of a signatory state can take a job or open a company there without any further conditions. The following map shows where Svalbard is located, I have marked it in red. The green countries on the map are the contracting states. This means that every citizen of these countries can move to Svalbard without any further conditions.


Due to the provisions of the Svalbard Treaty, Svalbard is a VAT-free zone and the business tax is 16% instead of 28%, as is usually the case in Norway. This is why more and more companies are moving to Longyearbyen. However, the tax authorities are increasingly checking whether the conditions for taxation in Svalbard are met: A business must have an office and management in Svalbard. Unfortunately, this favorable regulation is only intended for local businesses and not for tax refugees.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard Picture from Nick M via Flickr.

All in all, certainly interesting if it weren’t for the weather. Quote from Wikipedia:

The climate around Svalbard is arctic. It is cool all year round with regular but low precipitation. The coastal regions are only free of snow for about six weeks in summer, and the fjords only freeze over occasionally in winter. Despite the cool summers, the winters are very mild despite the northern location, as the West Spitsbergen Current, an offshoot of the Gulf Stream, transports relatively warm water along the west coast into the Arctic Ocean. This is the main reason why the archipelago is habitable at all.

The cost of living is significantly higher than on the Norwegian mainland, especially in terms of housing, food and transportation. Unfortunately, I have never been there myself.