Citizenship in Norway - Guide for 2023
Citizenship in NorwayUpdated on Wednesday 28th June 2023
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After 7 of continued residency, a foreign national can become eligible for citizenship in Norway. While naturalization is the safest option to gain Norwegian nationality, it is not the only one. The are also other ways through which Norwegian nationality can be obtained and that do not imply living for as long as the 7-year period. In such cases, there are other requirements to be met.
Below, our Norwegian lawyers explain the procedure for obtaining citizenship. If you find yourself in the situation to meet the eligibility criteria, you can rely on us for support with the application.
Citizenship options in Norway
Immigration to Norway can result in citizenship for those willing to remain here for a minimum period of 7 years. This is called citizenship by naturalization. However, it is not the only way through which one can obtain a Norwegian passport. So, here are the other options:
- marriage is one of the ways to obtain citizenship in Norway;
- descent or ancestry is a direct way of obtaining a passport for this country;
- investment which is an indirect path to citizenship, as it implies securing permanent residency in Norway, first.
Each of these routes have their own requirements which can be presented in detail by our lawyer in Norway with competency in immigration matters.
The choice on how to apply for a passport for this country depends on several factors, which is why our Norwegian immigration lawyers are at your disposal to help you find out in which category you fit best.
It should be noted that for children, the application for citizenship depends on their age and comes with specific requirements based on age groups. You can also rely on our law firm in Norway for support in obtaining passports for your minor children.
Conditions for Norwegian citizenship for children
In order to obtain citizenship for their children younger than 2 years old, parents must make sure that:
- the minors have valid residence permits or;
- the parents have apply for one at the time of filing for citizenship.
Both at the time of application and the processing, the children must reside in Norway.
The parent or legal guardian is responsible for handling the Norwegian citizenship application procedure for children under the age of 18. The requirements change based on the child's age, as follows:
- children between the ages of 2 and 18 must have lived in Norway for the previous 2 years;
- prior residence permits must have all been valid for at least one year;
- the minor must also disclose their criminal history if they are 15 years old or older.
- young children must grant permission to the parent or legal guardian to apply on their behalf if they are 12 years old or older.
Immigration to Norway comes with numerous benefits especially for families moving here with their children.
Getting Norwegian citizenship by naturalization
The following requirements must be met if you are an adult who has been residing in Norway in order to apply for citizenship:
- first of all, you must have had a permanent residence permit for Norway;
- you must have spent at least 7 years within a period of 10 years in Norway (you must have not left the country for more than 2 years during this timeframe);
- at the time of application, you must have a valid permanent residence permit (validity that must extend over the processing period of your application)
- you must have a thorough understanding of the Norwegian culture, history, and language;
- you must remain in Norway while the citizenship application is processed.
Getting a Norwegian passport is not difficult through naturalization, however, you must also know that you will need to pass a citizenship test. More about and also about how to immigrate to Norway so that you can get citizenship is available with our lawyers.
Citizenship by marriage in Norway
Another option to obtain citizenship in Norway is marriage. This applies if:
- you have resided in Norway for the previous 3 years with your spouse or partner in order to apply for Norwegian citizenship;
- your marriage must have lasted at least 7 years, and so must your time spent in Norway;
- you must have had a residence permit for at least one year throughout the previous 3 years.
Also, if you have been married to your spouse for 4 years and have spent the previous 3 years living together in Norway, you may be eligible to file for Norwegian citizenship.
At the time of application, a valid Norwegian residence permit is required. Additionally, you must complete social studies and Norwegian language courses and pass the exams. A clean criminal record is also required, as well living and intending to continue remaining in Norway in the future.
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when comparing citizenship by naturalization and marriage in Norway is that the minimum time for living here is the same – 7 years.
Citizenship by birth in Norway
Ancestry is also an option to obtain Norwegian nationality if you are lucky to have parents that were born in this country. At this moment, only first-generation descendants can apply for citizenship this way, namely:
- children with at least one parent who were born before 2006;
- children with at least one parent who were born after 2006;
- children with Norwegian adopted parents;
- children with parents that have obtained citizenship by application.
All applications must be submitted with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.
The Norwegian government allows dual citizenship as of January 2020. This implies that you do not need to renounce your current citizenship in order to apply to become a Norwegian citizen.
Immigration statistics for Norway
Many foreign citizens who have obtained Norwegian residency decide to remain long enough to also apply for citizenship. This is one of the most advanced countries in Europe in terms of social security, education and healthcare systems that incentivize people to live here.
According to statistics:
- from 1 million foreign inhabitants in 2013, at the beginning of 2023 there were approximately 1.5 million immigrants living in Norway;
- out of these, nearly 880,000 are first generation inhabitants;
- almost 298,000 people have at least one foreign-born parent.
If you need support in applying for Norwegian citizenship, please contact us.