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.
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
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.
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.
- How many people were given Norwegian citizenship and permanent residency last year?
- Meet the foreigners in Norway still waiting for dual citizenship
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.