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What rights do you have if you are married to a Norwegian?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What rights do you have if you are married to a Norwegian?
Being married to a Norwegian comes with a number of benefits and rights. Pictured is a couple in Oslo. Photo by Lawrence Chismorie on Unsplash

Many people move to Norway for love, coming to the country to be with their Norwegian spouse. Being married to a Norwegian comes with several benefits.

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Many of those who move to Norway can be split into two categories. There are those who have moved for work or studies and those who have moved for love. 

If you are married to a Norwegian, you may wonder whether that comes with any advantages that make life in Norway easier.  

For starters, it opens up an avenue to move to Norway if you hail from a non-EU country. Being married, among other things, is one of the conditions for the family immigration permit. There are several other requirements, such as the marriage being a genuine one, and earnings requirements. 

Additionally, both parties must be older than 24 years old. More information about the requirements can be found on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration's (UDI) website. 

Later down the line, if the love lasts and you've adapted to Norway, it can also help you become a citizen. 

If you have a long-term partner or Norwegian spouse, you can apply for citizenship after five years of living in the country. Normally, the residency requirements are between 6-8 years.

In total, you will need to have a combined residency and marriage period of seven years. For example, if you were married for two years while living abroad, you only need to live in Norway for five to meet the residency requirements for citizenship. 

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

If things keep going well and your spouse already owns a property in Norway, you can choose to buy into the property. When doing so, you aren't required to pay stamp duty. Stamp duty usually amounts to 2.5 percent of a property's value. 

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There are other financial benefits when it comes to taxes, too. Both spouses receive a parental deduction, even if any children are from a different relationship or marriage. 

Wealth tax considerations are also a factor for married couples. The threshold for paying wealth taxes is double for married couples who are assessed jointly. This means married couples only pay wealth tax if they have a combined net wealth of over 3.4 million kroner

Should things not work out in Norway, but you and your partner are still going strong, you can move with them to another EEA country as the family member of an EEA national. This perk also applies to those in long-term relationships with a Norwegian – so you won't need to pop the question to enjoy this benefit. 

If the worst were to happen and your partner passes away, you may be eligible for a survivor's pension. New rules will be brought in from 2024, and the survivor's pension will be replaced with what the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) has called the "adjustment allowance." 

Essentially it's a financial support scheme for those who have lost their spouse. An overview of the rules on the survivor's pension and adjustment allowance can be found on NAV's website

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Under Norwegian inheritance law, a spouse also has the right to take over their deceased partner's estate. This is called "uskiftet bo" in Norwegian, and it means that the estate is not divided until the last spouse passes away. There are exceptions to this rule, most importantly in cases where the spouses do not have the same heirs, that is, children with another partner.

Those who live together but are not married may have some similar rights – but this is conditional. 

A foreign citizen married to a Norwegian may be due between 50 and 25 percent of the will, depending on whether the deceased had children. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about estate planning in Norway

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