Every year the Nordic countries, including Norway, attract an increasing number of migrants from different parts of the world. Starting from regions plagued by military conflicts (Middle East) to quite stable and developed countries (USA, Western Europe). Many migrants expect to stay in the country long enough to eventually obtain Norwegian citizenship.

People can be understood. Norway is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, with high incomes and social security. Unlike many European educational institutions, Norwegian universities provide free higher education, including for foreigners. A thriving market economy is associated with rich natural resources, particularly oil and gas.

Citizenship of Norway

A large number of foreigners find work in Norway quite successfully, especially on oil platforms and in fishing factories. Many even manage to open their own business. All this undoubtedly increases the chances of obtaining Norwegian citizenship. However, it is worth highlighting a few points, which to some extent restrain the number of those wishing to obtain a Norwegian passport.

Unlike its Scandinavian neighbors, Finland and Sweden, until 2021 in Norway it was forbidden to have dual citizenship. Of course this was a disadvantage. Especially for residents of countries in which such a norm does not exist. The second point is a rather tough exam for knowledge of the Norwegian language and basic information about Norway. Not all immigrants, even after a long stay in the country, are ready to pass this test.

According to statistics, annually no more than 5% of foreigners who have the right to apply for Norwegian citizenship, i.e. live in the country for more than 7 years, use this opportunity. In any case, if there is a strong desire to connect your future with this wonderful country, there is enough time to learn the language. Next, let's talk about the ways and requirements for foreigners to obtain Norwegian citizenship in 2024.

How to obtain Norwegian citizenship

The main rules governing the issuance of a Norwegian passport are prescribed in the local law "On Citizenship". The rights and obligations arising after receiving the document are specified in other regulations. The application for Norwegian citizenship is submitted through a special UDI website.

First of all, any child, regardless of the country of birth, if one of the parents has a Norwegian passport automatically receives Norwegian citizenship. In addition, for residents of some countries, the conditions may differ. For example, for citizens of Scandinavian countries, the process is simplified. In other cases, it is necessary to undergo a certain procedure known as naturalization.

Norwegian citizenship by naturalization

Norwegian citizenship by naturalization

To apply for citizenship by naturalization, a foreigner must have a residence permit in Norway. And the document must be valid during the entire period of consideration of the application. Further, the following requirements are provided for the candidate:

  1. Availability of a document confirming identity, as a rule – it is a civil passport. Exceptions may be refugees from regions where hostilities are taking place or persons who, for reasons beyond their control, cannot restore their passport in their country. In this case, it is allowed to provide some other document for identification.

  2. Have a permanent residence permit or fulfill the requirements for this document. The main conditions here are to have lived in Norway for 3 years with a residence permit, to have no criminal record and to have completed language courses (see point 3). In addition, the candidate must have a strong desire to stay in the territory of this country in the future.

  3. Persons between the ages of 18 and 55 must take special courses to learn the Norwegian language. Usually the training period is 300 hours. Foreigners who have received education in the Norwegian language in one of the local universities and who have a certificate indicating sufficient language skills are exempted from taking the course.

  4. If a person has a criminal record, serious administrative fines, or is under investigation, depending on the severity of the crime or prison term, the period of citizenship may be delayed from 2 to 34 years and 6 months.

  5. Renunciation of previous citizenship. It is formalized only if the laws of the native country do not provide for automatic revocation of the document. With rare exceptions, it is allowed not to do this. The reason may be war, political persecution, the duration of the procedure (more than a year), refusal to revoke citizenship and other compelling circumstances.

    Important. From January 1, 2020, it is permitted to have one or more citizenships in addition to Norwegian citizenship. Previously, most people had to renounce their previous citizenship in order to obtain a Norwegian passport.

  6. The period of continuous residence in Norway must be at least 7 years out of the last 10. A residence permit issued for at least 1 year is included. Sometimes this rule may be waived, for example in the case of family reunification or professional activities. Staying outside Norway for more than 2 months in a year is not included in the period of continuous residence.

The period of continuous residence in Norway is reduced for the following categories:

  • up to 5 years, if a child between 12 and 18 years of age applies on his/her own, regardless of the nationality of the parents;

  • up to 3 years, in case of marriage to a Norwegian citizen;

  • up to 2 years, for minor citizens (under the age of 18), if one of the parents has a Norwegian passport;

In 2024, the cost of processing Norwegian citizenship is NOK 6,500 (€620). Persons under the age of 18 are exempt from the fee. A reduced fee of NOK 3,200 (€305) is charged for persons who have previously held Norwegian citizenship.

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