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How long does it take to get Norwegian citizenship in 2024?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How long does it take to get Norwegian citizenship in 2024?
Norway's UDI has said that a backlog of cases is behind longer processing times for Norwegian citizenship. Pictured is a stock photo of a filing cabinet full of papers. Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

Median waiting times for getting Norwegian citizenship have increased by over four months in just over a year and a backlog of cases is to blame, authorities have told The Local.


The median waiting time for a Norwegian citizenship application was 404 days - or just over thirteen months - as of mid-February, figures The Local has obtained from the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) show.

This means half of citizenship cases took either longer or shorter than this to receive an answer.

The current estimated waiting time for citizenship listed on the UDI's website is around 24 months. Although some factors, such as nationality, may increase or decrease this waiting time. 

The figures from February show that the median time has increased by 135 days, or almost four and a half months, compared to the end of 2022.

A large backlog of applications from 2021 and 2022 is the reason behind the increase in waiting times.

"We currently process a higher number of applications than we receive, but because of the large number of incoming applications in 2021 and 2022, the waiting times continue to increase," Line Marie Andersen, head of residence at UDI, The Local in an email.

"This will change over time as we continue to process more applications than we receive," Andersen said.

The cause of the backlog, according to the UDI, was a surge in applications following Norway's move to introduce dual citizenship in 2020.

"In 2020, dual citizenship was allowed in Norway, resulting in a significant increase in the number of applications compared to previous years. For comparison: While approximately 18,000 Norwegian citizenship applications were submitted in 2019, this figure rose to nearly 50,000 in both 2021 and 2022," Andersen told The Local.

Andersen said that while figures for 2023 were not finalised, a decrease in applications compared to the previous two years had been noted.


Some cases are processed in a much shorter amount of time, though. Last year, around 39 percent of Norwegian citizenship applications were fully automated, meaning a case handler wasn't involved in the process.

All applications are automated to an extent, however when a process can only be partially automated a case handler becomes involved – which typically leads to a longer waiting time.

READ ALSO: Why do some Norwegian citizenship applications take much longer than others?

Some applications are ineligible for fully automated processing, such as those from applicants who hail from countries where it may be difficult to verify their identity.

Similarly, applications from individuals who still need to complete the required oral Norwegian language test and/or citizenship test but have documented that they meet exceptions from the requirements require manual assessment by a case handler.

Cases that are likely to fall short of the requirements are always manually processed by a case handler.

Applicants do not get to choose whether their case will be automatically processed, and the UDI has previously told The Local that the only way to tell if a case has been processed automatically would be if the applicant receives an answer within a few months of applying.

The UDI recently cut its contact hours to prioritise casework


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