Norway - Apply for Citizenship
Norwegian nationality law follows the principle of Jus sanguinis which means, Norwegian citizenship is conferred by birth to a Norwegian parent, or by naturalisation in Norway.
Rules for applying for a Norwegian citizenship are simpler for many Nordic citizens and their children. They do not have to apply, but submit a notification instead.
General Requirements to Obtain Citizenship
If you hold a valid residence permit in Norway, you can apply for Norwegian citizenship. In order for your application to be granted, you must, among other things:
- be older than 12 years of age (see the exemptions below)
- have documented or clarified your identity. As a rule, you must have a valid passport when the Immigration Authority decides about your application.
- be a resident in Norway and intends to continue to living in Norway and meets the conditions for a permanent residence permit (see the exemptions below)
- have stayed in Norway for a total of seven years during the past ten years on permits, each of which must have been granted for at least one year (see the exemptions below)
- have completed 300 hours of tuition in the Norwegian language or have documented sufficient skills in Norwegian or Sami (Note: applies to applications submitted after 1 September 2008 and to persons between the ages of 18 and 55, If you are the requirements are that:
- you have completed approved tuition in the Norwegian language, or
- you can document that you have sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami.
- have been released from your original citizenship (unless it automatically expires when you become Norwegian)
NOTE: If you do not have a permanent residence permit, it is very important that you make sure that you have a valid residence permit the whole time while you are waiting for a decision on your application for citizenship. If your residence permit is about to expire, you must renew it as normal.
Residence requirement and the calculation of period of residence
To become a Norwegian citizen, you must in principle have resided in Norway for seven years during the past ten years. Stays in Norway more than ten years ago are irrelevant.
You must have stayed here on work or residence permits that were each valid for at least one year. You must be permanently resident in the country when you apply for Norwegian citizenship and when your application is being processed.
If you were granted a permit before you entered Norway, or if you are a Nordic national, your period of residence will be reckoned from the date on which you arrived in Norway. If the date is unknown, your period of residence will be reckoned from the date on which you were registered with the police or in the Population Register, or from the date on which you can document in some other manner that you arrived in Norway.
If you were granted a permit after entering Norway, your period of residence will be reckoned from the date on which you applied for a permit.
Illegal stays in Norway will not be included in the period of residence.
The period from one permit expires until a new application is submitted is not included in the period of residence.
You can stay abroad for up to two months during a calendar year without this affecting the calculation of the residence period. This means that such stays abroad are regarded as residence in Norway, i.e. the time spent abroad will not be deducted. If you stay abroad for more than two months during a calendar year, however, the whole period abroad will be deducted, not just the part of the stay that exceeds two months.
NOTE: The UDI is revising the way we process applications for Norwegian citizenship. This means that most likely the case processing time will be much shorter than it used to be.
Therefore, it is important that you do not apply for Norwegian citizenship until you believe that you have stayed in Norway with a residence permit for the required number of years. If you apply too soon, the application may be rejected.
Exemptions from the residence requirement:
The following exemptions from the residence requirement apply:
- If you came to Norway before you reached the age of 18 years, you must have lived here for a total of five years during the last seven years.
- If you are married to, or are the registered partner or cohabitant of a Norwegian national, the time you have lived in Norway and the total time you have been married, registered partners or cohabitants must be at least seven years. You must have lived in Norway for a total of at least three years during the last ten years. It is a condition that you are still married, registered partners or cohabitants and live together at the time of the decision.
- If you are a Nordic national or have previously been a Norwegian national, it is sufficient that you have lived in the country for the past two years in order to be granted Norwegian citizenship. You may not have to apply,just submit a notification
- If you are stateless and above the age of 18, you must have lived in Norway for the past three years.
Exemptions from the settlement requirement
An exemption is granted from the permanent residence permit requirement
- if you are a Nordic national
- if you hold a settlement permit pursuant to the old Immigration Act
- if you have right of residence pursuant to the EEA Agreement or the EFTA Convention. You must have stayed in Norway for the past three years with right of residence pursuant to the EEA Regulations. Residence periods on a permit granted for five years and residence periods with right of residence are added together.
- if you have previously been a Norwegian national
- for children whose parents are Norwegian or who apply together with their parents.
The good conduct requirement
If you have been convicted of a crime, fined or ordered to undergo enforced psychiatric treatment or care, this may result in your application being rejected and you not being entitled to Norwegian citizenship until a certain period of time has elapsed. The length of this period depends on the seriousness of the sentence or the size of the fine. If you are charged with or are under investigation for criminal offences, the processing of your application will be suspended. When the criminal case has been decided, you must yourself take steps to ensure that the processing of your application is resumed.
Applicants who have had a Norwegian passport
If you have held a Norwegian passport and believed in good faith that you have therefore also been a Norwegian citizen, you are not required to meet all the general conditions for being granted Norwegian citizenship. The following exceptions apply:
- You do not need to hold a valid permit or meet the conditions for a permanent residence permit (or hold a settlement permit pursuant to the old regulations).
- You are not required to have held permits during the period you have stayed in Norway.
You must meet the requirement for residence period in Norway, however. This usually means that you must have stayed in Norway for a total of seven of the past ten years, unless you are covered by one of the exemptions from the residence requirement.
If there are strong grounds for doing so, the immigration authorities can also grant exemptions from one or more of the other conditions.
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Applicants who are applying in Oslo, need to book an appointment for handing in their documents. This also applies to those who are getting themselves residence cards. Most applicants can book their appointment online through the Application Portal Norway: https://selfservice.udi.no/
More information for applicants in Oslo: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/News/2011/Information-for-applicants-in-Oslo/
A list which displays the kind of information which is required to complete the procedure. e.g. 1. Date of Birth. 2. City or County of Birth.
- Register your application for citizenship online through the Application Portal Norway: https://selfservice.udi.no/
- When you register your application online, you pay the fee at the same time and book an appointment to hand in necessary documents to the local police.
- Applicants who cannot register their applications online must fill in a form. The form must be handed in to the police together with necessary documents.
- In larger towns there is often a special police office for such requests. Please contact the police to ask where and when you can hand in the documents and application form. To contact the police: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Contact-UDI/How-to-contact-the-police-/
- You pay the fee online when you register your application or to the police when you hand in the documents.
- Once your application has been submitted, the police will check if it has been completed correctly and that the papers are in order, and they will then send the case to the Directorate of Immigration for a decision.
- You will be automatically notified by post that the immigration authorities have received your application. The notification will contain information about the case-processing time.
- If your application for citizenship is rejected, you may appeal the decision. Appeals against rejections shall be sent to the same place you submitted the application. The Immigration Appeals Board is the appeal body.
- Case Procedure - Norwegian Nationality by Application: http://www.udi.no/upload/info/norwegian_nationality_by_application.pdf
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- Follow link to view checklist of requirements to apply for Norwegian citizenship: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Central-topics/Citizenship-/Checklists-citizenship/
Citizenship - 3.500 NOK
- More information regarding permit fees, who must pay and how to pay the fees: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Oversiktsider/Fee-payment-when-submitting-applicationX/
- There is no fee for giving notification for Norwegian citizenship.
Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid. e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever
Download forms for application and notification of Norwegian citizenship: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Oversiktsider/Application-forms/Application-to-retain-Norwegian-citizenship/
Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.
The UDI's case processing times always vary depending on the number of applications it receives. You will find links to pages with overviews of the expected case processing times for the different situation.
Can I request that my applications is given priority?
Most applicants would like their applications to be processed faster. To ensure equal treatment, we are not able to prioritize applications, unless there are special circumstances concerning the application that must be considered.
Some applications are processed by the police or the foreign service missions. Unfortunately, the Immigration Authority cannot give any general information about their case processing times. You can ask when you submit your application. The case is normally processed more quickly if the police or a foreign service mission is processing it.
- For more info: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Oversiktsider/Case-processing-times/Can-I-request-for-priority/
When does the case processing time begin?
The case processing times given here state how long it will take from an application is submitted to the police or foreign service mission until we make a decision. The police or foreign service mission usually sends the application to the UDI within around one week. In some cases, however, applications can remain longer with the police or the foreign service mission. The case processing times may then be longer than stated.
- NOTE: Most applicants want their cases processed as quickly as possible, the Immigration Authority request that you do not contact them to check the status of your case before the stated case processing time has been exceeded. That will allow them to spend more time processing cases instead of answering your enquiries.
Prioritization of cases
To ensure that applicants are treated as fairly as possible, the Immigration Authority will only prioritize an application if there are exceptional grounds for doing so. If you think that your case is exceptional, you must contact the UDI in writing (letter or email), so that we can assess whether your application can be processed more quickly than other applications.
- Processing of application for different case types: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Oversiktsider/Case-processing-times/
Case processing times in asylum cases
Case processing times in asylum cases will very depending on the complexity of the case. In many asylum cases, it is necessary to carry out investigations in the country the applicant comes from, and this often leads to longer case processing times.
- To know more: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Central-topics/Protection/publications/Case-Procedure---Asylum/
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration
Postboks 8108 Dep.
The e-mail address cannot be used if you have questions regarding applications or rules and procedures. Contact: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Contact-UDI/The-Information-Service-OTS/ for these types of inquiries.
Hausmanns g. 21
- For general inquiries, please call the switchboard at +47 23 35 15 00 between 8.00–15.45, Mon-Fri
- For fax numbers for the different departments: http://www.udi.no/Kontakt-oss/Faksnummer/
Contact Information for the Police: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Contact-UDI/How-to-contact-the-police-/
More contact info: http://www.udi.no/contact
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
More information about requirements for completed Norwegian tuition for you who wish to apply for Norwegian citizenship.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 55 the requirements are that:
- you have completed approved tuition in the Norwegian language, or
- you can document that you have sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami.
You must hand in documentation with your application
When the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) processes your application, they consider whether:
- the requirements of the law regarding completed tuition in Norwegian or adequate knowledge of Norwegian or Sami have been met, or
- there are grounds for granting an exemption.
It is therefore important that you enclose the necessary documentation with the application.
Do you already have a permanent residence permit?
In order to get a permanent residence permit (formerly known as a settlement permit), you are also required to have completed Norwegian tuition.
If you have a permanent residence permit (or a settlement permit) and have completed tuition in Norwegian and social studies in order to get that permit, you do not have to complete tuition in the Norwegian language or document knowledge of Norwegian or Sami again in order for your citizenship application to be granted.
This will be relevant for anyone between the ages of 16 and 55 who was granted a residence or work permit after 1 September 2005 and was not exempted from the requirement according to the Norwegian Introduction act.
Persons who were granted residence permit before 1 September 2005 were not required to document that they have completed tuition in the Norwegian language. These applicants must however document completion of approved tuition or demonstrate sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami.
They are not required to document tuition in social studies.
Applicants who are covered by the EEA-agreement or the EFTA-convention must document that they have completed 300 hours of approved tuition in the Norwegian or Sami language, or document that they have sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami.
Applicant from a country outside the EEA/EFTA-area'
If you are between the ages of 18 and 55 and are from a country outside the EEA/EFTA-area these rules apply:
- If you were granted your first residence permit that formed a basis for permanent residence permit before 1 January 2012, you have a right and a duty to complete tuition in the Norwegian or Sami Language (at least 250 hours) and social studies (at least 50 hours).
- If you were granted your first residence permit that formed a basis for permanent residence permit after 1 January 2012, you are required to have completed tuition in the Norwegian or Sami Language (at least 550 hours) and social studies (at least 50 hours).
Labour immigrant from outside the EEA/EFTA-area
If you are a labour (work) immigrant from a country outside the EEA/EFTA-area or a family member of such a labour immigrant, you have a duty to take part in Norwegian tuition and you do not have the right to free tuition. You must complete 250 hours of Norwegian tuition and 50 hours tuition in social studies.
Where can you study Norwegian?
The Norwegian tuition must be offered by the municipality (kommunen) or by someone who the municipality have approved or by an approved educational institution.
You must document that you have completed the Norwegian tuition by attaching a certificate with your application.
What is meant by “sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami”?
If you feel that you have sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami, you must document that you fulfill one of these requirements:
- You have passed a language test (Norskprøve 2 – Level A2 or Norskprøve 3 – Level B1, which are organised by the municipalities and administered by Norsk språktest in cooperation with Folkeuniversitetet).
- You have completed tuition in Norwegian or Sami in accordance with the curriculum for the subject in primary/lower secondary or upper secondary school and you have been given a grade in the subject.
- You have completed tuition in Norwegian or Sami at a university or university college in Norway or abroad corresponding to 30 credits.
- You have met the admission requirement for studying Norwegian or Sami at a university or university college in Norway.
Exemption for special health-related or other weighty reasons
You can be exempted from the requirement of Norwegian tuition or sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami if you are completely unable to participate in Norwegian tuition and if you will not be able to complete Norwegian tuition within three years.
If you have been exempted previously, you must submit a copy of the decision you received from the municipality (kommunen).
If you have not been exempted previously by the municipality, the UDI will consider whether there is a basis for granting you an exemption.
Exemption for special health-related reasons
It is possible to be exempted from the requirement of Norwegian tuition or sufficient knowledge of Norwegian or Sami if you are suffering from a serious or chronic illness. We will among other factors consider what kind of illness/disability you have, how long you have had it and how serious the illness/disability is.
If you believe that you meet the requirements for exemption, you must submit a medical certificate together with your application.
Exemption for other weighty reasons
In special cases, it is possible to be exempted for ‘other weighty reasons’. We will only do this if it is clearly unreasonable for the person not to be granted an exemption from the requirement.
The Immigration Authority will do a concrete overall assessment to decide whether they will grant you an exemption.
If you wish to be granted an exemption due to ‘other weighty reasons’, you must provide the UDI with information about the circumstances you believe make it clearly unreasonable for you not to be granted an exemption.
Such an exemption is only given in very rare cases
Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate. e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.
- Norwegian Nationality Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_nationality_law
- Norwegian Directorate of Immigration: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Central-topics/Citizenship-/Requirements-to-obtain-Norwegian-citizenship-by-application/
- Requirement for release from previous citizenship: http://www.udi.no/Sentrale-tema/Statsborgerskap/Dobbelt-statsborgerskap/Kravet-om-losning-fra-tidligere-statsborgerskap-/
- How to renew your residence permit: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Central-topics/Work-and-residence/How-to-renew-your-residence-permit/
- Calculation of residence for those who are married, registered partner or cohabiting with a Norwegian citizen: http://www.udi.no/Sentrale-tema/Statsborgerskap/Beregning-av-oppholdstid-for-den-som-er-gift-registrert-partner-eller-samboer-med-norsk-borger/
- Norwegian citizenship for children by application: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Central-topics/Citizenship-/Citizenship-for-children/Norwegian-citizenship-by-application/
- Become a Norwegian citizen by email: http://www.udi.no/Sentrale-tema/Statsborgerskap/Hvem-kan-bli-norsk-statsborger-ved-melding/
- Citizenship for Nordic citizens: http://www.udi.no/Norwegian-Directorate-of-Immigration/Central-topics/Citizenship-/How-do-I-apply-for-Norwegian-citizenship/