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Norwegian citizenship For Members

When can I start counting my residency in Norway towards citizenship?

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
When can I start counting my residency in Norway towards citizenship?
We've covered all the rules you need to know when it comes to working out your residence length for Norwegian citizenship Pictured are crowds of people in Norway for May 17th. Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash

Applicants for Norwegian citizenship need to have been living in Norway for a certain amount of time in order to qualify. At what point does your time spent in Norway start to count towards citizenship?

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How long must I have lived in Norway to qualify for citizenship?

As a general rule, you need to have lived in Norway for eight of the past eleven years with valid residence permits, with EU right of residency, or with EU right of residency followed by post-Brexit residence status for Brits who arrived in Norway before Brexit. 

For those applying on the basis of EU right of residency, the last three of those years need to be continuous, with no trips abroad lasting more than two months. 

For non-EU citizens applying on the basis of residency permits, any stay outside of Norway lasting more than two months will be deducted from time spent in Norway.

Normally, each residency permit must have had a duration of at least one year (although exceptions can be made for people on work permits for jobs lasting less than a year and their dependents).  

If you are married or a long-term live-in partner (or samboer) with a Norwegian, you need to have lived in Norway or been married/cohabiting with a Norwegian for a combined seven years, with years of residency and years of marriage, both counting. You must, however, have been living in Norway for at least five of those years. 

Asylum seekers also have a shorter wait to qualify for citizenship, needing to have been in Norway for a total of seven of the past ten years, with all residency permits valid for at least one year. 

People who, in the last year before applying, earned at least three times the “basic amount” (a total of 329,352 kroner or higher in 2022) only have to have been in Norway for six of the past ten years, with a right of residency for the past three years. 

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When can I start counting from?

This depends.

For non-EU citizens, the following rules apply:

If you had a permanent residence permit or a permit to live in Norway when you entered Norway (for example, you applied for and were granted a work permit for a job to be carried out in Norway, then you can count from the day you arrived in Norway.

If you did not have a permanent residence permit or a permit to live in Norway when you arrived in Norway, you can count from the date you submitted your application for a Norwegian residence permit.

If you are married to/registered as cohabiting with a Norwegian, the marriage period is counted from the day you were married/registered as cohabitants, but you can only count time towards citizenship from the moment you actually started living together. 

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For EU/EFTA citizensthe countdown starts from the date you were granted legal residence in Norway. This can be the date you came to Norway or the date you applied for a registration certificate or residence card.

If you delayed doing so by several months, you can only count the months where you can prove you were in Norway with the right of residency through, for example, submitting a work contract or payslip. 

If you are self-employed, you need prove the start of your residency, by, for instance, including your company’s registration or tax certificates.

If you were supporting yourself financially, you could include rental agreements or bank statements. You will also have to prove that you have had sufficient funds to support yourself and your family over the whole period. 

If you are a non-EU national who has come to Norway after being granted family reunification with an EU/EEA national, you will need to prove the start of your residency by submitting a transcript from the National Population Register (Folkeregisteret), or proof of a home purchase, rental contract, or a joint insurance policy for your home.

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