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Reader question: Are Norway's citizenship rules easier if you marry a Norwegian?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Reader question: Are Norway's citizenship rules easier if you marry a Norwegian?
Norway's citizenship rules are slightly less strict if you are married. Pictured are two people who have recently been married. Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Many see Norway's citizenship requirements as quite strict. How do the rules change if you are married to a local?


Reader question: I have been living in Norway and married my Norwegian partner a few years ago. Will this make citizenship easier? 

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Norway's citizenship rules, with the residence requirements, language tests, citizenship test and police certificate, can be quite long-winded. 

Thankfully, things are slightly easier if you have a Norwegian spouse or partner. 

Those with a Norwegian partner will still need to pay the costly application fee and have their identification verified. 

They will also need to have passed the oral test in Norwegian at B1 level or A2 level if they meet certain conditions

This is in addition to passing the citizenship exam and ordering a police certificate to prove good conduct. 

Norwegian citizenship applicants are also required to hold permanent residence or be eligible for permanent residence. 

However, one big difference is the residence requirements. Typically, those applying for citizenship must have been a legal resident for six or eight out of the past 11 years. 

Those with a sufficient income are able to apply for citizenship after six years, and those without one can apply after eight.


The rules for those married to Norwegians differ because they can become eligible for citizenship after just five years. 

This applies to those who have lived in Norway for five out of the previous ten years and have held legal residence during this period (residence permits valid for more than a year if you come from outside the EEA). 

Although, the applicant has to have a combined marriage and residence period of seven years. Time spent married or living together abroad counts towards the total. The marriage period begins the day you were married. 

For example, a couple can be married in another country and live abroad for two years. After five years of living in Norway, they will have met the residence and marriage period. 

The couple must also still be together at the time of the application. 

If the applicant fails to meet the other requirements, their application will be rejected. 

Therefore, while not the biggest boost to one's citizenship chances, being married to a Norwegian citizen can help you obtain citizenship between one and three years earlier than otherwise stated. 


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