Norwegian citizenship For Members

Six surprising Norwegian citizenship rules you should know about

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Six surprising Norwegian citizenship rules you should know about

Obtaining Norwegian citizenship is a long and sometimes overly complicated process. However, it can be well worth it in the long run. Here are six interesting facts you might not know about becoming Norwegian. 


If you are a foreigner in Norway and are looking to one day take citizenship, you may have done some homework about the typical rules and requirements – and whether the time and monetary investment is worth it. 

If you haven’t, you can check out our extensive collection of articles on Norwegian citizenship

Even If you are well-versed on what it takes to become a Norwegian citizenship and the perks becoming a citizen of Norway entails, there are some rules, benefits and requirements that may still surprise you.  

Citizenship can be fast-tracked

Many will be aware of the length of time it takes to be eligible for Norwegian citizenship. If not, you will need to be a legal resident of Norway for eight of the last 11 years – shortened to six if you meet the sufficient income requirements

However, this requirement can be cut down even faster. If you have a Norwegian spouse or partner, you can become eligible for citizenship with a residence length of five out of the previous ten years. 

This also requires you to meet a residence and marriage/cohabitation period. The period for this is seven years combined. Luckily, the residence and marriage periods can run concurrently. If you have lived in Norway for five years and have been married or living with a Norwegian for two of those years, you will then fulfil the seven-year residence and marriage/cohabitation threshold. 

Researchers and academics can also have their citizenship fast-tracked. 

You don’t need to take a full B1 language exam, only the oral

Those aged between 18 and 67 are required to pass an oral test in Norwegian at a minimum of B1 level. 

This is opposed to taking the full set of language tests, which also have a written, listening and reading element. This means you can choose to only register for the oral test, which can range in price. 


By opting to pass just the oral test, you can save money and study time by focusing on the part of the test you are required to pass to obtain a Norwegian passport. However, as local authorities in Norway organise the tests four times a year, you may not have the option to take just the oral exam. 

The National Insurance Scheme 

As a Norwegian citizen, you can spend more time living and working abroad while remaining a National Insurance Scheme member.

The National Insurance Scheme in Norway covers everything from the subsidised healthcare system to access to welfare.

Your children can also become citizens as a result of you obtaining citizenship

Norway doesn’t automatically award citizenship to children born in the country. Instead, the child of two foreign-born parents will also be registered as a foreign resident. 

Should one of the parents be a Norwegian citizen when the child is born, then the child is automatically eligible for citizenship.


Children under 18 can also apply for citizenship if their parents have become Norwegian since the child was born if the parent is applying for Norwegian citizenship. The process for a child becoming Norwegian at the same time as their parent who is applying for citizenship requires the child to have lived in Norway for at least two years and held valid residence permits. This is in addition to an identity check. 

Children who become Norwegian citizens at birth or when one of their parents becomes a Norwegian citizen also benefit from all the perks of Norwegian citizenship. 

Citizenship can be revoked after it is awarded

Immigration authorities and the state can decide to revoke Norwegian citizenship. One of the most common examples of when they will do this is if they believe that you have provided incorrect details when applying for residence and citizenship. 

Should the wrong details have been provided by a parent or grandparent and the citizenship was granted before the holder turned 18, then the holder will likely be allowed to remain a citizen. The UDI writes on its website that citizenship isn’t usually revoked for mistakes made by others. 


If your citizenship is revoked, you will likely have to move from Norway, as you will lose your residence rights. If you are eligible, you can regain your residence by applying for a residence permit.

Minor criminal offences can block you from gaining citizenship 

Being convicted of a criminal act can disqualify a potential applicant from acquiring 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. This means even the most minor of criminal convictions in Norway can bar you from becoming a citizen. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also