Norwegian citizenship For Members

Reader question: Can I apply for Norwegian citizenship and then leave the country?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Reader question: Can I apply for Norwegian citizenship and then leave the country?
Can you leave Norway after applying for citizenship? Pictured are houses in Ålesund. Photo by Robert Noreiko on Unsplash

For whatever reason, you may apply for Norwegian citizenship and then need to leave the country. Here’s what the rules say.


Question: I’ve applied for citizenship in Norway, but I need to travel out of the country. Will my application be rejected?

Applying for Norwegian citizenship is a lengthy process. Once you’ve passed the language and citizenship exams, you could still be left waiting months after filing your paperwork for a decision. 

For whatever reason, you may need to leave the country, be that to go on holiday, for work, to take care of a sick relative – or for other reasons. 

One of the key requirements for obtaining Norwegian citizenship is to live in Norway and wish to continue living in the country in the future. This requirement is vague and doesn’t define how long the “future” is. Although, it gives the impression that you cannot apply for citizenship after moving away. 

It also isn’t clear how the UDI will know that you intend to move away or how they will enforce the requirement. However, it is still a requirement nonetheless, so if you permanently relocate outside the country straight after applying for citizenship, you can technically have your application turned down. 

To apply for Norwegian citizenship, you are required to hold both permanent residency or meet the requirements for permanent residency. 

If you spend too long outside of Norway, you will lose your residence rights and no longer be eligible for citizenship. For permanent residence holders, this is up to two years, and for temporary residence holders, this is up to six months (although this can differ depending on your situation). 

This means that your application can be rejected, even if you intend on returning.


However, you are allowed to travel outside of Norway while you wait for your application to be processed – provided you uphold your residency during this period. 

This can be for whatever reason you wish to travel. 

You can even be granted citizenship while out of the country, and you will receive confirmation online. However, your residence permit becomes void when you are granted citizenship. 

This means travelling abroad and travelling to Norway again can be complicated.

As you will not have received your Norwegian passport, so you cannot prove that you are a Norwegian citizen. 

This means that you may need a visa to enter certain countries, or the authorities may think you are subject to the 90 out of 180 days rule for travel within the Schengen area. 

You will also need to wait a week for the National Population Register registration to be updated. Once this is updated, the authorities in Norway will be able to see that you are a Norwegian citizen. 

After the national population register has been updated, the authorities at the Norwegian border can see you are a Norwegian citizen at least. 


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