How many people were given Norwegian citizenship and permanent residency last year?

Just under 13,200 people were granted Norwegian citizenship in 2019, an increase of 3,000 compared to the year before.

How many people were given Norwegian citizenship and permanent residency last year?
Photo: AFP

The majority of the new Norwegian nationals last year came from countries in Asia and Africa, according to newly-released figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

Somali citizens top last year's list, with 2,994 granted citizenship. The second-most common nationality is Eritreans citizens with 1,409 given Norwegian passports.

752 stateless people, 675 from the Philippines and 659 from Afghanistan complete the top five.

23 people from the United Kingdom became Norwegian nationals and 75 from the United States, while none were registered from Ireland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Meanwhile, 119 people from Sweden, 22 Danes and 16 from Finland all became Norwegians.

READ ALSO: Norway to allow dual citizenship from 2020

The new Norwegian citizens come from about 100 different countries. More than nine out of ten applicants for citizenship were approved, according to the UDI figures.

As a general rule, seven years of legal residence are required in Norway before you can apply for Norwegian citizenship.

In addition to those who were granted Norwegian citizenship, 20,558 people from around 90 countries were granted permanent residency in Norway last year, according to figures published by the UDI. That is an increase of 6,000 compared to 2018.

For permanent residency, Syrians were the most common nationality with 7,703 permanent residence permits. Eritreans are in second place with 2,462, followed by Somalis with 1,562.

51 Australians were given permanent residency, as were 51 from Canada and 8 from New Zealand. 11 people from the UK and 218 Americans joined them.

89 percent permanent residency applications were successful, the UDI states. permit accepted the application.

Criteria for Norwegian permanent residency include at least three years’ legal residency in Norway, economic self-sufficiency, and no criminal record.

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Do children born in Norway automatically get citizenship?

A Norwegian passport comes with many benefits, and the country allows dual citizenship. So, what are the rules for the children of foreign nationals born in Norway? 

Do children born in Norway automatically get citizenship?

Norway opened the door to dual citizenship two years ago, meaning foreign residents could become citizens of the country without giving up their existing passport. 

Norwegian citizenship comes with a number of benefits, whether it’s the right to vote, being automatically enrolled into the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, or simply having a Norwegian passport, one of the most powerful travel documents available. 


Some may assume that because their children were born in Norway, they will be entitled to citizenship automatically. However, this isn’t the case and not all children born in Norway automatically become Norwegian citizens.  

If both parents are foreign nationals

Children who are born to two parents who are foreign nationals and who are not citizens of Norway do not automatically become citizens. 

Instead, parents will need to apply for a residence permit if the parents are from outside the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), register the child as an EU/EEA national if they are nationals from within the EU/EEA, or apply for a residence permit under the family immigration rules

If you are required to apply for residence for the child, you will need to do so before they turn one. 

Those who are adopted, are under 18  and have an adoption licence issued by Norwegian authorities automatically become Norwegian citizens if they were adopted after September 1st 2006. 

To be eligible for citizenship, if both parents are non-Norwegian citizens, the child will need to be over 12, live in Norway and plan on living in the Scandinavian country in the future. They will also need to have lived in Norway for five of the past seven years and held residence permits valid for more than a year each. Those over 15 will need to apply for a criminal record certificate. You must also fulfil all the permanent residency requirements while the UDI process your application. This means you must not have been outside of Norway for a total of ten months in the last five years. 

Children over 16 will need to have completed mandatory training in the Norwegian language and passed the concluding tests, or if they have received a final assessment grade in Norwegian at secondary school or upper secondary school, they can apply to the municipality for an exemption. 

You can apply here. Application fees for children under 18 are waived. There will also be an ID check to confirm your identity. 

As the applicant is under 18 the parent will be applying on the child’s behalf. 

If one parent is a Norwegian citizen

Children with one parent who is a Norwegian citizen and born after September 1st 2006 automatically become Norwegian citizens at birth.

This applies regardless of whether the child was born abroad or if the parents were married at the time. 

The rules are tighter for offspring born before September 1st 2006, though. Those born before this date are Norwegian citizens from birth if their mother was Norwegian, or their father was Norwegian and married to the mother before the birth, or if the father died before birth, was Norwegian and was married to the mother at the time of his death. 

However, those born to a Norwegian father but who aren’t automatically citizens can become citizens relatively easily by handing in a notification of Norwegian citizenship. You can do this in Norway or from abroad. 

Those born before 1979 will need to contact the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), as per the immigration directorate’s advice

If I become a Norwegian citizen after my child is born, do my children qualify for Norwegian citizenship? 

Children under 18 can also apply for citizenship if their parents have become Norwegian since the child was born or are applying for Norwegian citizenship. 

When the parent is applying for citizenship, the parent’s and child’s applications can be lodged together. Joint applications also require the parent to meet the citizenship requirements that apply to them

Under these circumstances, the child must have resided in Norway for the past two years and held residence permits that were each valid for at least one year. To qualify as having stayed in Norway for two years, the child must not have been abroad for more than two months per calendar year for two years. These rules apply to children aged between two and 18. 

The rules for children younger than two are slightly different

We moved to Norway after our child was born, what are the citizenship rules for them? 

Children under 18 and over 12 can apply for citizenship. They must live in the country full time, have a valid resident permit when they apply and whilst the application is processed.

They must have also been a full time resident of Norway for five of the last seven years. In addition to this, applicants over 15 must submit a criminal record certificate and meet the requirements for permanent residence. 

If one or both of the parents is a Nordic citizen and the child has lived in Norway for two years you can apply once you are over the age of 12.