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NORWEGIAN CITIZENSHIP

Are there any ways to fast-track Norwegian citizenship?

Becoming a Norwegian citizen comes with a number of great advantages. However the route to getting a passport is a long one. So, is there any way of cutting down the years you'll need to live in Norway to be eligible?

Pictured is a camper in Norway.
These are the ways the citizenship process can be sped up. Pictured is a camper in Norway. Photo by Igor Francetic on Unsplash

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.

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. 

With eight years being the standard-(ish) waiting time for most people, many will wonder if there’s a way of speeding up the process and shortening the time it takes to become eligible for citizenship. 

READ ALSO: How long does it take to get Norwegian citizenship?

Don’t expect anything too drastic

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can cut down the number of years you’ll need to live in Norway to be eligible for citizenship. 

But, there are no super-fast track routes that allow people to become citizens after just two or three years. Nordic citizens are the exception to this as they only need to live in Norway for just two years before becoming citizens.  

It’s also worth pointing out that Norway does not grant those with “Norwegian heritage”, such as a Norwegian grandparent or a distant Norwegian relative, citizenship as some countries do. 

Additionally, being of Norwegian heritage typically does little to speed up the time it takes to get citizenship, with the exception being children born in Norway to a Norwegian parent

Meeting “sufficient income” requirements

One way to speed up the time it takes to be eligible for citizenship in Norway is to meet what’s known as the “sufficient income requirements”. This route allows applicants to cut the time they will need to have lived in Norway from eight years to 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. However, 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.

Shorter residence requirements for researchers and their partners 

Unfortunately, becoming a leading academic, or the partner of one, isn’t a realistic route for everybody, so we’ll keep the details for this one brief. 

According to the UDI’s rules, Researchers with a Norwegian institution who are deemed to have a leading role in a research group with international collaboration are subject to a residence period of six years. 

Having a Norwegian spouse/partner can shorten the residence period

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 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 together for a couple of years before moving to Norway if you are to be eligible for citizenship after just five years. 

However, one boost to those who want a speedier route to becoming a Norwegian citizen will be encouraged by the fact that time spent living together or abroad can count towards the residence requirement.

This is one of the quickest routes towards citizenship, allowing one to be eligible in the time it typically takes to be ready to apply for permanent residence. 

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NORWEGIAN CITIZENSHIP

REVEALED: Do higher language requirements make Norwegian citizenship less appealing?

Norway will raise the language requirements for citizenship in October. Foreign residents in the country have told The Local whether the new rules will put them off applying in the future. 

REVEALED: Do higher language requirements make Norwegian citizenship less appealing?

The language requirements for Norwegian citizenship will become stricter from October 1st. The required level will be raised from A2 to B1, in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

For those that register their application and submit it via the online application portal before September 24th but are unable to hand in their documents to the police before October 1st, the UDI will count their application as handed in before the new rules take effect- meaning they are required to pass the language test at A2. 

READ MORE: How long does it take to meet Norway’s new language requirements for citizenship? 

So, how have those hoping to become a Norwegian citizen in the future taken the news, and do they think the new rule is fair? 

Shortly after the change was announced, The Local ran a survey among readers and subscribers to find out whether they thought the new requirements would put them off applying. The results of the survey delivered a clear “no”. 

Just under 75 percent of readers said that the higher requirements would not put them off applying, while 26.7 percent said that the new rules would deter them from attempting to become a Norwegian citizen in the future. 

Additionally, only one-fifth said that language requirements for citizenship were a bad thing. 

When using social media as a bellwether, you should always exercise caution. Still, even there, most comments and replies to articles announcing the change were reasonably positive towards the change. 

One common thing readers undeterred by the language requirements shared in common is that they felt knowing the language to a certain degree should be expected of a citizen. 

“Knowing the language goes hand in hand with living in a foreign country and certainly with becoming a citizen. If citizenship is important to you, the language must be as well. B1 level is achievable and a reasonable level to expect a citizen to have,” Even, who originally hails from the USA but lives in Vestland County, told The Local. 

Similarly, many felt the requirement for B1 isn’t too demanding, either because by the time they are eligible for citizenship, they should be comfortable at that level or because they feel that the country gives a lot in return. 

“By the time I’ve spent enough time here to apply, the language requirement will not be an issue,” Peter, who has lived in Norway for a year, said. 

Meanwhile, Lester from South Africa wrote: “Norway gives me so much but asks so little in return. A few hundred hours of language training is well worth living in one of the best countries in the world.” 

Others also wrote that B1 was a reasonably attainable level if you put in a couple of hours a week to reach the language requirements.  

However, not everyone felt the same. A common frustration among those who think that the Norwegian language requirements would hamper their chances of becoming a Norwegian citizen was that they thought the new requirements moved the goalposts. 

A reader from Brazil said that the process led them to decide to leave Norway for good.

“This process (applying for citizenship) became so frustrating for me. It was hard for me to pass Norwegian A2 level. Then when everything was ready for me to apply for citizenship, they changed the (residence) rule from 7 to 8 years and now (new) language (requirements). I got totally discouraged and now decided that I will move out of Norway as well,” the reader wrote. 

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