What are the rules for the police certificate when applying for Norwegian citizenship?
When applying for Norwegian citizenship, you will need to submit a certificate from the police. So, what is the certificate and what are the rules for submitting one?
Norwegian citizenship comes with a lot of great perks and benefits. The downside is that there are also a lot of rules and requirements that can make the whole process completely overwhelming.
Failure to meet all the requirements can lead to the application being turned down, which in addition to coming as a blow to your plans, hopes and ambitions, means you lose the rather steep application fee too.
Being rejected for failing to meet some specific requirements is far more common than others. Previously, the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) has told The Local failing to meet the police certificate requirements was a common reason applications were denied.
So, what is the police certificate?
A police certificate of conduct verifies that you haven’t been convicted or fined by the police. All applicants over the age of 15 are required to submit one with their other documents.
If you have been convicted of a crime or received a criminal fine- parking tickets and the like don’t count- you will be disqualified from applying for citizenship.
Those who work in specific sectors, such as with children or vulnerable people, will be required to have a police certificate too for work.
They may also be required when heading up volunteer groups, similar to a CBS check in the UK or a criminal background check in the USA.
You can apply for a police certificate from, you guessed it, the police. If you have a digital mailbox, the police will send you the certificate two weeks from the day the police receive your request.
The process will likely take longer if you apply via post, according to the police’s website.
What are the rules for submitting one?
Essentially, to be eligible for the certificate, you will need to have not been convicted for any crimes or waited until the disqualification period to end if you have.
However, there are specific rules when applying for citizenship. Firstly, the certificate cannot be more than three months old when you submit your citizenship application to your nearest Norwegian police station.
Therefore, if you have had one done for work, or another reason, previously, you will not be able to use it for your citizenship application.
The UDI advises that you should not submit the certificate until you have booked an appointment with the police to hand in all your other documents. This reduces the likelihood of your certificate expiring before you hand in your documents.
Even if everything else is in order, your application can be turned down for not having an up-to-date police certificate.
When applying, you should collate all your paperwork, excluding the certificate for the application, book an appointment and then order the certificate.
Given it only takes a couple of weeks, sometimes more, you shouldn’t have to fret too much about your certificate arriving in time for your appointment.
This will be submitted along with all your other documents to the police. After this, you will receive an answer (don’t expect a brisk turnaround) to find out whether you have obtained citizenship or not.
What if you think there has been a mistake
You can appeal the UDI’s decision if you believe there has been a mix-up or that their rejecting your case was wrong or unfair.
When turned down for citizenship, you will be given a deadline to appeal. You will likely need to have received new documentation or information, or your appeal will also be rejected, according to the UDI.
Appeals cost nothing and can be submitted in English or Norwegian. You can read more here.