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Norwegian citizenship For Members

What you need to know about Norway’s citizenship ceremony

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What you need to know about Norway’s citizenship ceremony
Here's what you need to know about the Norwegian citizenship ceremony. Pictured is a Norwegian flag. Photo by Sandro Kradolfer on Unsplash

After your application to become a Norwegian citizen has been approved, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony. Before attending, you should know a few things about the event.

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Norwegian citizenship is the culmination of years of living in the country, learning the language to the required level, passing the social studies or citizenship test, and meeting the other various requirements.

Especially since dual citizenship was introduced, becoming Norwegian is a very attractive prospect. For starters, after so long living and working in the country, you may feel like you identify with the country. Furthermore, there is also the prospect of having the same rights and entitlements as a fully-fledged citizen compared to those of a temporary or permanent residence holder. 

What happens after you are granted Norwegian citizenship?

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will confirm in writing by mail or Digipost (a digital mailbox for public services) that your application has been successful.

From there, you must wait a week so the National Population Register can be updated to reflect that you are a Norwegian citizen. Once a week has passed, and the population database is updated, you will need to book an appointment with the police to order a Norwegian passport.

At some point after this, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony.

What is a citizenship ceremony?

The ceremony is an event which takes the time to celebrate those who have obtained Norwegian citizenship.

Think of it as a graduation ceremony without the fear of student loans or what to do with the rest of your life looming over you.

The ceremony is only for those 12 and older who are granted Norwegian citizenship. Ceremonies are organised by the County Governor, meaning the event you attend will be for all new citizens in, say, Oslo or Viken County if that is the county you live in when you are granted Norwegian citizenship.

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The county governor typically sends invitations to the event. Once you receive the invitation, you will be required to register for the event.

What happens?

Registration is completely voluntary, and your Norwegian citizenship has already been granted, meaning you aren’t required to attend to get a Norwegian passport. Likewise, you aren’t required to buy tickets for the event, and you are normally allowed to bring guests too.

Citizenship ceremonies are held for new citizens a few times a year and usually take place in halls and arenas due to there being hundreds or thousands in attendance. In many cases, the event will come a few months and up to a couple of years after you have already been granted citizenship. 

Typically, the biggest counties will have the largest ceremonies as they have the most new citizens. Still, this isn’t to say that ceremonies in the smaller counties aren’t a special event.

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A government official or dignitary, usually the County Governor, will take proceedings, and many more will be in attendance. Typically a number of speeches will be given to recognise the contribution of new citizens and immigrants to Norway and thank those in attendance for choosing to become Norwegian citizens.

Some ceremonies will also feature cultural performances and music. Typically, those in attendance receive a gift book about Norway and food and refreshments are served. In larger ceremonies, the food and refreshments may be a lot more limited. You can expect the usual pageantry that accompanies celebrations of Norwegianess, meaning plenty of bunads (national costumes worn on special occasions) and flags.  

During the ceremony, attendees will be invited to sing verses from the national anthem. According to the UDI, there will also be an opportunity to swear a vow of allegiance to Norway. However, as the ceremony is entirely voluntary, there is no need to worry about having your passport confiscated if you don't participate.

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