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Reader question: Can you be granted Norwegian citizenship through ancestry?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Reader question: Can you be granted Norwegian citizenship through ancestry?
Can you move to Norway and become a citizen if your grandparents were Norwegian? Pictured is the city of Ålesund at night from a viewpoint. Photo by Samuel Han on Unsplash

Norwegian citizenship is an attractive proposition, especially as dual citizenship is allowed. What are the rules for becoming a Norwegian citizen if your relatives are from Norway? 


Question: My grandparents were Norwegian. Can I become a Norwegian citizen and move to Norway? 

Several countries allow foreign nationals to become naturalised if they are connected to the country through ancestry, such as grandparents. 

Norway only allows the first generation born to Norwegian nationals to become citizens. This means that you will not be eligible for citizenship if you have a Norwegian grandparent or grandparents.

The same applies to other extended family members. 

READ ALSO: Eight key advantages of Norwegian citizenship

What are the rules? 

All children born to a Norwegian citizen after September 1st 2006, automatically become Norwegian citizens at birth. The rule applies regardless of whether the child was born abroad or the child's parents were married at the time. 

The rules for offspring before 2006 are tighter, though. Those born before this date are Norwegian citizens from birth if their mother was Norwegian.

They also become citizens if their father was Norwegian and married to the mother before the birth, if the father died before birth and was married to the mother at the time of his death. 

If the father was Norwegian and not married to the mother, those under 18 can easily become Norwegian citizens by handing in a notification of Norwegian citizenship. This can be done in Norway or from abroad. This rule will no longer exist when the last child born after September 1st turns 18. 


Those before 1979 are required to contact the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, as per the immigration directorate's advice. 

If these rules do not apply to you, but you had a Norwegian parent when you were born, then you can apply for a residence permit

The residence permit requires one of your parents to have been Norwegian when you were born, and you are required to have an income of at least 296,550 kroner. This is on top of paying an application fee. 

Once you have a permit, it is possible to work towards becoming eligible for Norwegian citizenship through the other requirements, such as language skills, earnings, residence length, passing a citizenship exam, and obtaining a police certificate. 


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