Citizenship: Norway introduces stricter language requirements

Citizenship: Norway introduces stricter language requirements
Ålesund a city on Norway's west coast Photo by Ela Yudhanira from Pexels
Norway is to make stricter language demands of would-be citizens from Thursday, 1st of July.

The required level of Norwegian will be raised from A2 to B1 using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

A2 refers to an elementary level of Norwegian and B1 is considered fluent or semi-fluent.

Meanwhile, mandatory Norwegian and social studies lessons will be removed as a requirement.

Exemption from the new language requirements will be granted if, for personal circumstances or health reasons, applicants are unable to reach level B1 in spoken Norwegian.

You can read the updated requirements on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website here.

The final date for the rule change has not been decided, although the proposal from the Ministry of Education and Research states that the changes will apply from July 1st, 2021.

If you applied for citizenship before July 2021 then the new requirements will not apply to you. 

The rules for applying for citizenship in Norway vary according to your specific situation, including factors like your existing nationality, how long you have lived in Norway, when you came to Norway and whether you are married to or the partner of a Norwegian. People who have previously been Norwegian citizens can also re-apply.

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between becoming a permanent resident in Norway and gaining Norwegian citizenship?

The general rule is that you must have lived in Norway for at least seven of the past ten years. For people with Norwegian spouses, registered partners or cohabitants, the residency requirement is three of the last ten years.

The application fee is 3,700 kroner for adults and is free for children.

You can practice the Norwegian citizenship test here.

In addition to voting in local, municipal and national elections, another perk of Norwegian citizenship is the passport. It’s ranked at number four on the global passport index—a Norwegian passport grants free entry to 86 different countries without a visa requirement.

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