Norwegian citizenship For Members

Why your Norwegian citizenship application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Why your Norwegian citizenship application might be rejected and how to avoid it
These a0re the most common reasons why citizenship applications were rejected in 2021. Pictured is Ålesund, west Norway. Photo by Samuel Han on Unsplash "

Norwegian citizenship comes with many benefits, however, several requirements need to be met to obtain it. The UDI has revealed the most common reasons why applications were turned down in 2021.


In total, 39,246 nationals became Norwegian citizens throughout 2022, according to figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

Last year, 94 percent of citizenship applications, which in addition to other requirements, require prospective citizens to pass a citizenship test and meet language requirements, were successful.

The UDI also provided information for the most common reasons why citizenship applications are rejected, so if you’re thinking of going for a Norwegian passport anytime soon, you should be aware of the most common rejections and what requirements you will need to meet.

Not passing the citizenship or social studies test

According to the UDI, this was the most common reason a foreign national had their citizenship request turned down.

When you apply for a Norwegian passport, you must pass a citizenship test (statsborgerprøve), or the social studies test if you are between 18 and 67 years of age.

For the citizenship test, you’ll need to answer at least 24 of 36 multiple choice questions correctly to pass. Topics included in the test are history, geography, democracy, welfare, education, health and working life in Norway.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Norway’s citizenship test

The social studies test is generally taken by people who have been through the social studies course for immigrants.

Both tests must be taken in Norwegian, either Bokmål or Nynorsk, to count towards your application. The municipalities arrange testing, but you can register through the booking system at Kompetanse Norge.


Failing the language test

As of October 1st 2022, you will need to pass an oral Norwegian language test at B1 level. B1 is considered semi-fluent.

Applications submitted before the rule change require A2 level of Norwegian to pass.

Not meeting the requirement for residency time 

To become a Norwegian citizen, you will need to have resided in the country legally for a certain period of time. If you applied for citizenship before January 1st 2022, you will generally have to have lived in Norway for at least seven of the last ten years. The residency requirement is three of the last ten years for those with Norwegian spouses, registered partners, or cohabitants.

If you applied after January 1st 2022, then new rules apply. The residency period most people will need to have spent in Norway will instead be eight out of the last 11 years if you don’t have a sufficient income.

The sufficient income is around three times the minimum figure from the National Insurance Scheme. Currently, this is 319,997 kroner and can change annually.

If you have a sufficient income, the period is six years rather than eight.


Unable to have identity verified

Foreign nationals applying for citizenship in Norway must be able to prove their identity for obvious reasons. This usually comes in the form of providing a passport. The passport can be expired. There also cannot be any doubts from the UDI that the information in the passport is incorrect. 

Applicants from certain countries or who have previously been granted asylum are subject to different requirements

Criminal offences

You must also order a criminal record certificate from the police to submit with your application. That can be done via the Norwegian police’s website.

If you have received a fine for a criminal offence or been convicted by police, you will need to wait to apply for citizenship. This is called the “disqualification period”.

If you have been convicted abroad then this will also lead to a disqualification period too. If you are charged with a criminal offence during your application then it will be suspended. 

If a case has been dropped, or you have been issued a non-criminal fine, such as a parking ticket, then you do not need to wait.

Depending on your conviction, you will need to wait a certain period of time, depending on your punishment/ sentence to be eligible to apply for citizenship. If you try to apply within this time frame, your application will be rejected.

Not meeting the conditions for permanent residence or right of residence

If you are over the age of 18, you must have a valid residence permit for Norway at the time of application and fulfil the requirements for permanent residence to be eligible for citizenship. You must also be living in Norway and plan on staying in the country.


Comments (1)

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Anonymous 2022/02/22 19:52
I'm 72 years old holding a French passport. Can I apply for a Norwegian passport?

See Also