Norway will be making a few big changes to its citizenship rules that will make it more difficult for would-be Norwegians to obtain nationality and change the time it takes for most to become eligible to apply for citizenship.
From next year, Norway will make the language demands stricter by raising the threshold of language skills required to pass the citizenship test. In addition, the amount of time required to become eligible to apply will either increase or decrease depending on your earnings from next year also.
Below we’ll break down the changes and how they will affect you, and if you want to read more on who can become a citizen and how to apply, you can click here.
Language skills threshold raised
From January 1st 2022, 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.
If you applied for citizenship before January 2022, then the new requirements will not apply to your application.
Changes to years of residence required for citizenship
From January 2022, the number of years you’ve spent in Norway in order to be able to apply for Norwegian citizenship will increase or decrease depending on how much you earn.
Potential applicants who earn more than 319,997 kroner per year, or what the government refers to as a “sufficient income,” will receive a boost to their hopes of becoming a Norwegian citizen, as the residence period will be lowered to six years out of ten years rather than seven.
However, it will now take longer for those without a “sufficient” income to become eligible for citizenship.
This is because the government is increasing the residence period needed for those with an annual income of lower than 319,997 kroner.
Prospective citizens who do not earn a sufficient income will need to have been a resident of Norway for eight out of the past 11 years under the new rules; the current rules are that a would-be citizen will need to have been a resident for seven out of the last ten years.
These change will not be applied retroactively, meaning as long as you apply before the rules come into effect, then they will not affect your application.
However, it does mean that if you are not eligible for citizenship under the new rules, you will need to apply before the regulations come into effect.
You can read more about the change here on UDI’s website here.