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Norwegian citizenship For Members

Checklist: Am I eligible for Norwegian citizenship? 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Checklist: Am I eligible for Norwegian citizenship? 
Here's how you can tell when you are eligible for Norwegian citizenship? Pictured is Trolltunga.Photo by Dong Zhang on Unsplash

Norwegian citizenship has plenty of benefits, but it is not a quick process, and it isn’t always clear whether you meet all the requirements. Here’s what you need to know about when you can apply and the requirements you’ll need to meet. 

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Who is eligible? 

The most common route to Norwegian citizenship is through being a legal resident in Norway for long enough or being born to one of two Norwegian parents. The second route isn’t guaranteed for older adults. Secondly, it isn’t possible to qualify for Norwegian citizenship through ancestry. Therefore grandparents or great-grandparents don’t count. 

As the rules for citizenship through birth mainly apply to children, we will not focus on them in this article. However, you can find much more detailed information here

Residency rules 

The residency period you’ll have to wait to become eligible for Norwegian citizenship will actually depend on a few factors. 

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Typically, you will need to have been a legal resident (meaning you have had valid residence permits or met the EEA regulations for the duration of this period) of Norway for six or eight years. 

This is due to the “sufficient income” requirements which allow those who have earned above a wage threshold to qualify for citizenship sooner. A sufficient income is a total income that covers at least three times the basic amount in the National Insurance Scheme (3G).

One thing to note is that this amount can change as the minimum is adjusted. The basic amount is updated every year. As of May 2022, it was 11,477 kroner. Therefore, a sufficient income for applications submitted before May 2023 and after May 2022 would be 334,431 kroner. 

Those with a sufficient income in the last year can apply for citizenship (provided they meet the other requirements) after six years. Those without a sufficient income can apply after spending eight out of the past 11 years in Norway. 

Those with a spouse or partner in Norway can apply after five out of ten years in Norway, provided their combined time living in Norway and in a relationship is more than seven years. Time living abroad can count towards this total. 

Researchers and those with Nordic citizenship are also eligible for citizenship quicker too. 

Are you aware of the language requirements? 

As of October 2022, you must have passed an oral Norwegian test at a minimum of B1 level to be considered eligible for citizenship if you are between 18 and 67. Those over 55 are only required to pass at the A2 level. 

You can find more information about the language test requirements here.

Do you have a valid passport? 

During the process, you will be required to verify your identity. This means you will need to present your passport and any other supporting documents to a police station. 

Therefore, having a valid passport is a must. 

Have you been convicted of any criminal acts? 

Being convicted of a criminal act can disqualify a potential applicant from requiring citizenship. This is because those convicted of crimes are blocked from citizenship as they are required to serve a disqualification period.  

The length of the disqualification period depends on the severity of the punishment. The shortest period is 2.5 years. 

Applicants aged over 15 are required to order a criminal record certificate which verifies their conduct while in Norway. This shouldn’t be ordered until you have an appointment with the police, however. In addition, the certificate must be no older than three months after submitting your application documents. Without it, your application will be rejected. 

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Do you hold permanent residency/ are you eligible for permanent residence? 

To be eligible for citizenship, you must be simultaneously eligible for permanent residency or already the holder of permanent residence. 

This means that if you are a permanent resident and meet all the other requirements for citizenship, you are eligible. 

However, non-permanent residents will need to familiarise themselves with the permanent residence requirements and ensure they meet all of those to remain eligible for citizenship. In addition, they will need to remain eligible for permanent residence while the application is processed. This can take as long as 18 months. 

Have you passed the social studies or citizenship test in Norwegian? 

To be eligible for Norwegian citizenship, you must have passed either the social studies test or the citizenship test in Norwegian to qualify for citizenship. 

Social studies tests are typically taken when doing the language and social studies course that some foreign residents have to do. 

The citizenship test is a separate test which can also help one become eligible to become Norwegian.

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Where to check if you are eligible and other things to know

Norway’s citizenship requirements can differ slightly depending on your own situation, so the best way to identify what directly applies to you is to use the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s (UDI) web portal

Once you enter your nationality and residence type, you’ll be given more specific information about what applies to you. 

And finally, it’s worth pointing out that you will need to pay an application fee in order to apply for Norwegian citizenship

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