How long does it take to get Norwegian citizenship?
Being a Norwegian citizen comes with many perks, but how long does it take to be eligible for a passport?
Whether it's being able to stay in Norway indefinitely, having the same rights as a citizen, or gaining the right to freedom of movement by becoming an EEA national, there are plenty of perks to taking up Norwegian citizenship.
Becoming Norwegian has become an even more attractive prospect since 2020, as the country adopted dual citizenship. This meant that many wouldn't have had to give up their existing nationality to gain a Norwegian passport unless the rules of their own citizenship stated otherwise.
Last year, just under 50,000 people applied for Norwegian citizenship, with 41,030 of those applications being successful.
Norway's immigration directorate, the UDI, has previously informed The Local that not meeting the required residency length was one of the most common reasons citizenship applications were rejected in 2021.
Given that it's a common reason for rejection, it's worth knowing how long you will need to spend in Norway before becoming eligible to become a citizen.
Unfortunately, there is no single length of time one has to spend in Norway to become eligible for citizenship. Instead, the residency requirement that will apply to you will depend on your situation.
Generally speaking, you will need to have legally spent eight of the past 11 years living in Norway. You must also have held residence permits, each valid for at least one year, during this time.
If you have had what is described as a "sufficient income", you will need to have resided in Norway for at least six of the last 11 years. This shorter residency requirement applies to those with a total income of 319,197 kroner on their tax settlement for 2021. This amount is subject to change every year, so it is worth keeping up with the UDI's rules if you consider applying in the next few years.
Are there any other rules?
Yes. As briefly outlined above, several factors can affect how long you must spend in Norway before becoming a citizen.
For those that are a registered partner, cohabitant, or spouse of a Norwegian citizen, then the residence length is five out of the last ten years.
One caveat to this is that your combined residence and marriage period will need to have been at least seven years. This means you will have to have already been married for at least a couple of years to be eligible for Norwegian citizenship after five years of residence.
Those who aren't married can include the time they have lived with their partner to the combined marriage and residence requirement. Furthermore, time spent living together or abroad can count towards the residence requirement.
Additionally, there are specific rules for children who were born in Norway or moved to the country before turning 18.
Children born to two parents who are foreign nationals and not citizens of Norway do not automatically become citizens. They will need to have lived in Norway for five of the past seven years and held residence permits valid for more than a year each when applying for a Norwegian passport. They will also need to be over 12.
Children with one parent who is a Norwegian citizen and born after September 1st 2006, automatically become Norwegian citizens at birth.
Kids under 18 can also apply for citizenship if their parents have become Norwegian since the child was born or are applying for Norwegian citizenship.
When applying for citizenship, the parent's and child's applications can be lodged together. Joint applications also require the parent to meet the citizenship requirements that apply to them.
Under these circumstances, the child must have resided in Norway for the past two years and held residence permits that were each valid for at least one year. In addition, to qualify as having stayed in Norway for two years, the child must not have been abroad for more than two months per calendar year for two years.
And finally, Nordic citizens over the age of 12 can apply for Norwegian citizenship after just two years of living in Norway.
How can I check what applies to me?
As the length of required residence can change depending on your situation, the best way to figure out how many years you will need to have spent in Norway is to check the UDI's website.
Using this link, you will be taken to the section of the site that covers citizenship applications. From there, you will be asked about your nationality, residency type and any other details which might affect your citizenship requirements.
From there, you'll be given a drop-down menu where you can read the rules and requirements that apply to your situation.