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Eight key advantages of Norwegian citizenship

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Eight key advantages of Norwegian citizenship
Photo: Kym Ellis on Unsplash

Since Norway moved to allow dual citizenship, the number of those applying to become Norwegian has sky-rocketed. These are the key advantages of becoming a Norwegian citizen.

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Dual citizenship

It's been a few years since Norway moved to allow dual citizenship. In 2023, just over 37,000 people applied for Norwegian citizenship.

Under the old rules, you would have given up your previous citizenship, which also means losing the benefits associated with that.

If you are permitted to hold dual citizenship, then becoming Norwegian essentially allows you to have the best of both worlds when it comes to your rights as a citizen of two countries.

Essentially, unless you are already dual citizenship or are a national of a country that doesn't allow citizens to hold two citizenships, opting for a Norwegian passport doesn't require the sacrifice it once did.

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As a Norwegian citizen, you gain the rights of an EEA national

If you are from a country outside the EEA, you will gain the rights of an EEA national upon becoming a Norwegian citizen.

This means, among other things, the freedom of movement to live and work across the EEA. This also removes the 90-day limit for the Schengen area, and you can use the European passport queues when travelling in and out of Norway.

For those from the UK, this also means restoring some rights lost after the UK left the European Union.

Easier travel

As briefly mentioned above, being a Norwegian citizen has certain travel benefits. In addition to being able to travel across the Schengen area without limits and skipping the typically longer non-European passport queues, you also gain access to one of the most powerful passports in the world.

A Norwegian passport is among the world's 20 most powerful travel documents. A Norwegian passport allows visa-free travel to 125 countries and visa application on arrival for a further 48 nations, according to Passport Index. Just 25 countries require Norwegian nationals to have a visa to enter.

Voting rights

As a Norwegian citizen, you will have the right to vote in general elections, something which even permanent residence holders are not permitted to do.

If you are living in a country and paying taxes, then having a say in who gets to govern and taking part in democracy via voting should be an attractive benefit.

Therefore, citizenship will be essential if you want to have a say in Norway's future.

The National Insurance Scheme

As a Norwegian citizen, you can spend more time living and working abroad while remaining a National Insurance Scheme member.

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The National Insurance Scheme in Norway covers everything from the subsidised healthcare system to access to welfare.

On the other hand, permanent residence holders can lose their automatic membership in the scheme if they leave Norway for more than a year.

No more immigration process (for Norway, at least)

Permanent and temporary residence holders can lose their right to live in Norway if they leave the country.

Depending on their residence situation, they may only be allowed to leave Norway for anywhere between six months and two years before losing all their rights for good.

As a Norwegian citizen, you can spend however long outside of the country you wish without losing the right to live in the country.

This gives you the freedom to live in another country, care for a sick relative at home, and take a job overseas without fearing losing your right to live in Norway.

You'll be forced to learn the language

Gaining Norwegian citizenship is actually a long process that isn't without its downsides.

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However, the long-term advantages massively outweigh the short-term downsides. One aspect of Norwegian citizenship which can seem like a downside but is a massive benefit is the language requirements.

It can be relatively (but not seamlessly so) easy to get by in Norway with just English as your primary language. But to become a Norwegian citizen, you must pass language tests at B2 (semi-fluent) level and complete a citizenship or social studies test in the local language.

For some, this means trying to learn the language, which in turn can make it easier to feel settled and improve your career opportunities.

READ ALSO: How long does it take to meet Norway’s new language requirements for citizenship?

Can open the door to your future (or current) children becoming citizens

Not all children born in Norway are eligible for citizenship at birth, and they will instead need a residence card. This applies to kids born to two foreign parents.

They also won't be able to become Norwegian until they are 12 if they wish to do so.

However, if one of the parents is Norwegian at birth, then they automatically become a Norwegian citizen, regardless of where they were born.

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 applies for citizenship, the parent's and child's applications can be lodged together. It also means that they become eligible for tuition-free studies at a Norwegian public university if their existing nationality is that of a non-EEA country.

READ ALSO: Do children born in Norway automatically get citizenship?

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