Norwegian citizenship For Members

How long do Norwegian citizenship applications take to process?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How long do Norwegian citizenship applications take to process?
The UDI has informed The Local on how long it takes citizenship applications to be processed. Pictured is the Norwegian flag. Photo by Einar Storsul on Unsplash

Becoming a fully-fledged Norwegian citizen is an attractive proposition for many reasons. So, how long will you have to wait after checking off the criteria and submitting your documents? 


Being recognised as a citizen of a country where you have lived and paid your taxes for years is a major goal for many people. 

Since Norway adopted dual citizenship in 2020, becoming Norwegian has only become more attractive. 

Whether it feels as if you have become a bit Norwegian after learning the language and living in the country for years, wanting to secure the right to live in Norway indefinitely, or benefiting from the same privileges (such as freedom of movement) that other EEA nationals enjoy, there are plenty of good reasons to take up citizenship.

The road to citizenship is a long one. You will need to have lived in Norway for long enough (with the residency requirements changing on your situation), sat language exams, passed a citizenship or Norwegian social studies test and be able to produce a good conduct certificate from the police. 

Checking off all of these criteria takes years. So, once you’ve submitted all the paperwork and attended your police appointment, how long will you have to wait to find out if your application has been successful? 

Per-Jan Brekke, a senior press advisor for the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), has told The Local that citizenship applications can take up to two years to process.  

“It normally takes 24 months to receive an answer after you have submitted your documents to the police. This is also the case for applicants who have shorter residence-period requirements because their income meets the reference threshold,” he told The Local. 


However, he added that the waiting time varied from country to country. For example, applications from Syrian nationals take longer to process than nationals from other countries.

“One of the reasons for long waiting times is that it is a challenge for Norwegian authorities to confirm the identity of persons from Syria. It has been difficult to determine the authenticity of Syrian passports since the civil war began in 2012. Consequently, the UDI has to confirm identities in other ways. Carrying out these alternative activities requires a case officer to evaluate your application,” he said. 

As 24 months is a rough guideline and processing times differ for nationals of different countries, many may experience significantly shorter waiting times to receive an answer to their application. Anecdotally, The Local has seen cases where applications have received a response within months, while others have waited much closer to (and beyond) the 24-month mark to receive an answer. 


The UDI provides an overview of estimated waiting times for nationals of different countries on its website

As a rough example, citizens of Syria face waiting times of 26 months, while those from the USA are advised that it will take around 22 months to find out if their application has been successful.

Factors that can increase the time one has to wait to receive a decision on their case is if the UDI has to do additional casework on your application. Additionally, some applications will be automatically processed, while others will be processed earlier than others because they are working through similar applications simultaneously. 

The UDI advises on its website that those who do not receive an answer to their application within two months can assume that their documents are not being processed automatically, which means a case officer is handling it. It also writes that there is nothing wrong with applications being worked on by a case officer but that they do take longer to process. 

Estimated waiting times are updated on an almost monthly basis by the UDI. Therefore, checking in regularly before you submit your application can give you an accurate overview of how long your case may take to process


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