Residency permits For Members

Explained: Can simply being born in Norway grant you residency rights?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Explained: Can simply being born in Norway grant you residency rights?
Being born in Norway doesn't automatically grant residence or citizenship rights. Pictured is a newborn baby. Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash

Can being born in Norway grant you or your children residency rights later in life? The answer depends on several factors, such as the nationality of the parents.


The residence and citizenship rules for children born in Norway can be quite complicated. If the child is born to at least one parent who is a Norwegian citizen, things are a bit more straightforward. 

Having just one parent who is a Norwegian citizen at birth can make a child born in the country, or anywhere else in the world, eligible for a Norwegian passport (provided they were born after 2006 - before then and the rules are more complicated).

In some cases, however, they may need to apply to retain their Norwegian citizenship when they get older

The requirement to retain Norwegian citizenship applies if the child holds another citizenship and the family relocates outside of Norway for an extended period. 

Obviously, being a citizen takes care of all residency requirements for Norway, so what about children born to two foreign parents? 

Children born in Norway are not automatically granted residence permits either. Instead, parents are legally required to obtain residence for their child before they turn one. 

If the child’s parents live in the country under the rules for EEA nationals, they will also be required to register the child as an EEA national living in the country

The child will need a passport to attend the police appointment to register. If the child holds citizenship from a country outside the EEA, the child can apply for a residence card for an EEA national family member


In cases where both parents hail from outside the EEA and hold residence permits to live and work in Norway, they can apply for a residence permit for family immigration for the child. The child will need a passport for this, too. 

If it is dangerous for the parents to contact the home country, they can apply for a Norwegian immigrant passport. 

Should both parents hold permanent residence, they can apply for permanent residence for their child. This will need to be done before the child is one, though

This secures longer-term residence, but permanent residence can be revoked after too long outside of Norway and previously holding it doesn't help when moving back to Norway. 

Children born to parents in political asylum will be given the nationality of their parents. If the parents are from a country where you are only granted citizenship by being in the country the child, the child will be stateless.

What about later in life? 

The rules are pretty straightforward for those who were born in Norway, and want to move back to the country later in life, and are from the EEA. They can move to the country under the EEA regulations. 

However, the rules for those who were born in Norway and do not hold EU/EEA citizenship are slightly more complicated.


Essentially, they will need to be aged between 18 and 21 and have previously been a resident of Norway. Otherwise, they will need to apply under the regular rules for immigration to Norway. 

This means they can move to Norway provided they meet the immigration requirements for workers, family reunification or studying. 

Some people who slip between citizenship and residence at birth cracks may be able to apply for a residence permit as a person who had a Norwegian parent when they were born.

This applies in cases where one had a Norwegian parent but did not automatically become a Norwegian citizen or may have lost it upon taking up another nationality. 

This comes with an application fee and income requirement



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