How many foreign nationals are granted Norwegian citizenship?

There are a number of benefits to obtaining a Norwegian passport, and statistics from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) have revealed how many people had their applications for citizenship approved in 2021.

The UDI has revealed how many people were granted citizenship in 2021. Pictured is Trondheim. Photo by Simon Williams on Unsplash

Figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) released this week have revealed how many people were granted Norwegian citizenship last year.

Last year, 49,515 people applied for a Norwegian passport, and of these, 41,030 applications were successful. The number of people granted citizenship has more than doubled compared to 2020 when 19,469 applications were approved.

In 2021, 2,357 applicants had their citizenship applications turned down, the UDI told The Local. The remaining 6,128 applications lodged in 2021 were still pending. 95 percent of citizenship applications to receive a decision in 2021 were approved.

Swedes made up the largest group to receive Norwegian citizenship in 2021. 4,086 Swedes had their applications for Norwegian citizenship approved last year. 98 percent of Swedish nationals who applied for a Norwegian passport were successful.

Eritrean nationals were the next largest group to receive a Norwegian passport in 2021. 3,562 Eritreans received citizenship last year.

READ ALSO: How many people move to Norway for work, and where do they come from?

The following largest groups to successfully apply to become a citizen of Norway were Russians, Filipinos, Somalians and Poles.

Nationals from the UK and the United States made up the seventh and eighth largest groups to be granted a Norwegian passport. 1,620 Brits successfully applied for citizenship, while Americans were given 1,608 Norwegian passports last year.

Nationals from the US were marginally more successful when applying for citizenship than Brits. 97 percent of applications from Americans were approved compared to 96 percent of applications from Brits.

Danes and Belarusians had the highest success rate when applying for citizenship. 99 percent of applicants from these groups were granted citizenship

Of the nationals that the UDI provided data for, Cubans and nationals from Tanzania were the least successful at applying for citizenship. Only 80 percent of applications from these groups were successful.

The UDI told The Local that the most common reason for an applicant being turned down for Norwegian passport was not having passed the citizenship test or the test in Norwegian social studies.

READ ALSO: See if you would pass a Norwegian citizenship test

Other reasons for not passing included not completing the Norwegian language or social studies training, not meeting the requirements when it came to how long they needed to have been a resident of Norway, being under 12 years of age, not properly clarifying their identity, having criminal offences or not meeting the conditions for permanent residence or right of residence.

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Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

The public has been warned by the Norwegian Police Directorate, which issues travel documents, to not book any foreign holidays without a valid passport due to long waiting times for travel documents.

Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

Due to long waiting times, the public has been cautioned against making holiday plans without a valid Norwegian passport as travel documents may not arrive in time for the trip. 

“We would strongly encourage people to wait to book a holiday abroad before they know that they have their travel documents in order,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement on Wednesday

Previously the police said that those travelling within the EEA this summer should instead order a national ID card which allows for travel within the Schengen area because that form of travel documentation was subject to shorter waiting times. 

Those wishing to travel during fellesferie, the collective holiday period in Norway, have been advised to order new travel documents by the end of May or the beginning of June at the latest. 

Despite the measures put in place by the police to try and ensure that supply meets demand, waiting lists are growing longer, and the authorities don’t expect the backlog to be cleared until the autumn.

The current waiting time for passports is around seven weeks. However, the police have said they expect this to increase to 10 weeks by July. 

READ MORE: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

So far this year, the police have received 560,40 passport applications. In contrast, the police registered 270,000 applications in 2019. 

A mixture of the pandemic and war in Ukraine has made getting the materials used to produce national ID cards and passports more difficult.