In order to apply for Norway citizenship, you have to fulfil a set of requirements, which depend largely on your nationality and your immigration status (i.e. under what circumstances you initially entered Norway).
As of January 2020, it is possible to obtain Norwegian citizenship without having to renounce your current nationality.
Who Can Apply for Norway Citizenship?
You can apply for Norwegian citizenship if you have lived in Norway continuously for at least seven years. If you are married to a Norwegian citizen, you can apply for Norwegian citizenship if you have lived in Norway together for the last three years.
In addition to that, you must also speak Norwegian sufficiently, and have a valid Permanent Residence Permit.
Find the requirements for obtaining Norwegian citizenship, depending on your immigration status, detailed below.
Norway Citizenship Requirements (Adults With Permanent Residency)
If are an adult who has been living in Norway on a permanent basis (e.g. as a Skilled Worker), you must fulfil the following requirements in order to apply for Norwegian citizenship:
- You must have lived in Norway for at least seven years out of the last ten years. See below on how to calculate your residency.
- You must have a valid Permanent Residence Permit at the time of application. It must be valid for the duration of the application process as well, up until a decision is made.
- You must have sufficient knowledge of the Norwegian language and society, customs, and history.
- You must live in Norway at the time of application and intend to continue living there as the application is processed and afterward.
- You must hand in your criminal records. If you have a criminal history, it may affect the time you have to wait to become a citizen or the overall outcome of your application.
Norway Citizenship for Spouses or Partners of Norwegians
To apply for Norwegian citizenship, you must have lived with your spouse/partner in Norway for the last three years. In addition, you must also comply with the following requirements:
- The duration of your marriage and the duration of your time in Norway must amount to at least seven years.
- For example, if you have been married to your partner for four years, and you have lived together in Norway for the last three years, you may apply for Norwegian citizenship.
- The Residence Permits you had in the past three years must have been valid for at least one year each.
- You must have a valid Residence Permit at the time of application. You need a valid Residence Permit through the entire processing time.
- You must complete Norwegian Language and Social Studies lessons and pass the tests.
- You must hand in your Criminal Records.
- You must currently live in Norwaty, and intend to live there in the future as well.
Norway Citizenship Requirements for Children
For children under the age of 18, it is the parent or legal guardian who handles the application process for Norwegian citizenship, regardless of whether they are applying alongside the child or not. The requirements differ depending on the age of the child:
- Children between the ages 2 – 18:
- Must have been resident in Norway for the past two years.
- Each of the previous Residence Permits must have been valid for one year at least.
- If the child is 15+ years old, they must present Criminal Records as well.
- If the child is 12+, they must give consent for the parent/legal guardian to apply on their behalf.
- Children under 2 years of age:
- Must either have a valid Residence Permit at the time of application, or have applied for one.
- The child must live in Norway at the time of application and must continue to live there in the future.
- Children aged 12+ who apply alone:
- The child must have lived in Norway for five out of the last seven years.
- They must have had Residence Permits valid for at least one year each during that period.
- If the child is 15+ years old, they must present Criminal Records as well.
- Consent for the parent/guardian to apply for Norwegian citizenship on their behalf.
Norway Dual Citizenship
As of January 2020, the Norwegian government now allows for dual citizenship. This means if you apply to become a Norwegian citizen, you do not have to renounce your current citizenship.
Of course, in order to have dual Norway citizenship, your home country must also allow the same thing. Otherwise, if the country of your current nationality does not allow double citizenship, you will have to give it up.
How to Calculate Your Residence for Norwegian Citizenship?
You have to add up every single day that you have lived in Norway for the past ten years, in order to achieve the required residence requirement. You can start counting from the day you received a Residence Permit and entered the country.
To apply for Norway citizenship, you must have lived in Norway for at least seven out of the last ten years. This means, during the last ten years, you must not have been out of the country for more than two months per year, and if you add up all the time you lived in Norway, it has to total at least seven years.
- If you were outside Norway for less than two months out of the year: It will still count as a full year, and no days will be deducted from your tally.
- If you were outside Norway for less than two months out of the year: The entire period of time you were out of the country will be deducted from your count, not just the days exceeding two months.
Which residence status is valid?
During the time you lived in Norway, you must have had Residence Permits which were each issued for at least one year. So, if you simply visited Norway as a tourist, had a short-term visa, you entered illegally, or held a Residence Permit of less than one year, that time does not count towards your required residence period.
Norwegian Citizenship Test
If you are between the ages of 18 and 67, before you can apply for Norwegian citizenship, you must pass the so-called “citizenship test”. However, before you enter the test, you also have to complete Norwegian language and social studies lessons from an approved provider.
Depending on your immigtation status, you may have to complete up to 300 hours of lessons.
You must prove that you have adequate knowledge of either the Norwegian or Sami language at minimum level A2, and that you are familiar with Norway’s society, laws, norms, and history.
If you have completed these hours of lessons and passed the test when you applied for a Permanent Residence Permit, then you are exempt from this requirement.
How to Apply for Norway Citizenship?
You have to start the application process for Norway citizenship on the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website. Once you start the application process online, the UDI will notify you about the documents you need to hand in so they can process your request. The documents will differ depending on your immigration circumstances.
Then, after you have collected the documents, completed the online application, and paid the Citizenship Application fee, you have to hand in the documents at the local police station (services for Immigration). You make an appointment online, via the UDI website.
Documents Required for Norway Citizenship Application
The exact documents you have to hand in when you apply for Norway citizenship will depend on your situation (age, immigration status, time spent in Norway). Generally, you have to submit the following:
- Your passport and birth certificate.
- Marriage or partnership certificate (if you are married).
- Proof of residence (e.g. passport pages showing when you entered and departed Norway, registration at the police, etc).
- Your tax statements for the time you lived in Norway (if relevant).
- Your Criminal Records .
- Proof you have finished your language and social studies lessons and passed the citizenship test.
What Is the Waiting Time for Norwegian Citizenship?
Typically, you have to want for a minimum of 12 months before you hear a decision on your Norway citizenship application. The countdown starts from the time you hand in your documents to the police station.
If, during the processing period, the UDI decides they need additional documentation and from you, it can extend the processing time.