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LIFE IN NORWAY

Five advantages of getting Norwegian citizenship

Many foreigners from different countries have made the move to Norway and are calling it their home. While there are plenty of opportunities to put down roots in this country without becoming a citizen, there are a few advantages to consider, writes Agnes Erickson.

Five advantages of getting Norwegian citizenship
Photo: Kym Ellis on Unsplash

Easier Travel

Whether you decide to exchange your citizenship or apply for dual citizenship, having the red Norwegian passport could make for much easier travel. Depending on where you are originally from, having a Norwegian passport could eliminate costly and timely visa applications. According to the Passport Index, Norway is ranked at number four on the global passport power ranking list. Norwegian passport owners are allowed to freely enter 86 different countries without needing a visa. 

READ ALSO: How to apply for Norwegian citizenship

Voting Rights

Having permanent residency may feel like enough of a status for foreign residences. The difference between foreign residence card holders and Norwegian citizenship may not make a difference in daily life, but it does make a difference when it comes to voting.

As a permanent resident holder, one is allowed to take part in local and municipal elections as long as they have lived in Norway consecutively for the past three years (via Valg). In order to take part in voting in the national elections, one must be a citizen.

Government leaders at the highest level in Norway are voted for every four years by the national election. These leaders are responsible for introducing new legislation, imposing tax and public spending. If a foreigner is interested in these themes and wants to take part, then the right to vote would be beneficial. 

Dual Citizenship

For many, the thought of renouncing their original citizenship was a key factor holding back from the application process of becoming a Norwegian national. Renouncing citizenship for those who have a strong connection to their nationalism may have felt unpatriotic.

This no longer has to be the case. As of January 1st, 2020, it became legal to hold dual citizenship in Norway. This would entitle a future Norwegian citizen to have two passports. One from their home country as well as a Norwegian one. This would also give the right for a dual citizen to receive consular aid from both Norway and their home country if ever needed. 

READ ALSO: 

The National Insurance Scheme

Permanent residence card holders in Norway are entitled to automatic membership with the Norwegian national insurance scheme after living in the country for 12 months. This gives one benefits such as welfare options, health care and other valuable advantages.

According to NAV, membership is no longer valid if a permanent residence card holder has been outside of Norway longer than 12 months. This can seem like a considerable amount of time, but it is constricting if you have long-term plans to work or study abroad.

As a Norwegian citizen, you can live and study abroad for longer than one year and still be a part of the national insurance scheme. You can also move to neighbouring Nordic countries without having to reapply for permanent residency. 

You’ll have to learn the language

Learning any new language requires motivation. Norwegians are proud of their native language, and not only is it a huge advantage to learn how to communicate in Norwegian for daily life, it is necessary in order to become a citizen. This demand applies to all citizenship seekers. 

According to UDI, Applicants must have passed an A2 oral Norwegian test  in order to apply for citizenship. Citizens from neighbouring Nordic countries are omitted from this rule, as long as they show a demonstrated understanding of the Norwegian language.

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READER QUESTIONS

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. 

READ MORE: 

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.

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