Nationality law of Norway: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Norwegian nationality law is based on the principle of Jus sanguinis. In general, Norwegian citizenship is conferred by birth to a Norwegian parent, or by naturalisation in Norway.

Norway restricts, but does not absolutely prohibit, dual citizenship.


Birth in Norway

In general, birth in Norway does not, in itself, confer Norwegian citizenship.

Descent from a Norwegian parent

A child (born in Norway or elsewhere) acquires Norwegian citizenship at birth if:

  • the father is a Norwegian citizen; or
  • the mother is a Norwegian citizen.

From 1 September 2006 the law no longer requires the father to be married to the mother. Norwegian mothers have only been able to automatically pass on Norwegian citizenship since 1 January 1979.

Naturalisation as a Norwegian citizen

In principle, it is possible to naturalise as a Norwegian citizen after residing in Norway seven years over the last ten years.

  • it is necessary to qualify for permanent residence and not have a criminal record. (If the foreigner has a criminal record a "quarantine" period dependent on the crime committed must lapse before the foreigner is allowed to apply for citizenship)
  • citizens of other Nordic Council countries may naturalise after a two-year residence
  • a person married to a Norwegian citizen may naturalise after three years residence during the last ten years, provided that the total period of time resident in Norway plus the total period of marriage equals at least seven years. (The time of residence and marriage may be earned at the same time; in effect foreigners married to Norwegian citizens can therefore obtain citizenship after four years marriage if they have been residing in Norway for at least three of them)

This rule also applies to non-married cohabiting partners and homosexuals in civil unions

  • Former Norwegian citizens may naturalise after one year's residence during the last two years.

From 1 September 2008 an applicant for Norwegian citizenship must also give evidence of proficiency in either the Norwegian or Sami language or give proof of having attended classes in Norwegian for 300 hours.

Persons becoming naturalised Norwegian citizens are after acquisition of citizenship generally expected to prove they have lost or renounced any foreign citizenship they have.

Children aged under 18 years become Norwegian citizens upon the naturalisation of their parents if they have resided in Norway the last two years (though the residence period is not necessary for children aged under 18 years who are citizens of another Nordic Council country).

Notification of Norwegian citizenship

Norwegian citizenship may be acquired by notification to the Directorate of Immigration. This is a simplified form of naturalisation exempted from application fees.

As with naturalisation, a person becoming Norwegian by notification must normally renounce any other citizenship held, unless exempted.

The following categories of persons are eligible for citizenship by notification

  • a child aged under 18 who was born before 1 September 2006 to a Norwegian father and a foreign mother who were not married (renunciation of foreign citizenship not required)
  • a child aged 12-18 adopted by a Norwegian citizen after 1 October 1999 but before 1 September 2006 (renunciation of foreign citizenship not required)
  • a citizen of another Nordic Council country who has lived in Norway for 7 years
  • a former Norwegian citizen who has, since the loss of Norwegian citizenship, only been a citizen of another Nordic Council state (no residence period is required provided the person has settled in Norway).

Norwegian citizenship by adoption

As from 1 September 2006 a child under 18 adopted by Norwegian citizens acquires Norwegian citizenship automatically. In cases where children are adopted outside Norway, the consent of the Norwegian government is required.

Loss of Norwegian citizenship


Acquisition of another citizenship

A Norwegian citizen who voluntarily acquires another citizenship automatically loses Norwegian citizenship.

Norwegian permanently residing outside Norway

Norwegian citizens who acquire citizenship by birth but have resided less than 2 years in Norway or 7 years in Nordic Council countries must apply to retain Norwegian citizenship before turning 22 years of age. Applicants are not required to renounce other citizenships, but are required to demonstrate "adequate ties" to Norway. Often, frequent travel to Norway or a year of study in Norway are accepted.

Dual citizenship

If you wish to become a Norwegian citizen it is required as a principal rule that you renounce any other citizenship (thereby avoiding dual citizenship). In certain cases there are exemptions from this requirement, and double citizenship is allowed:

1. The legislation in the applicant’s former home country does not permit citizens to be released from their citizenship, or such release is deemed to be practically impossible.

2. The authorities in the former home country have rejected an application for release.

3. For reasons for personal safety, the applicant should not be required to contact the authorities of his or her former home country in order to apply for release.

4. More than one year has elapsed since Norwegian citizenship was granted or since the applicant reached the age at which it is possible to obtain release pursuant to the legislation of the former home country but the granting of release has not been documented, and the home country has provided no information as regards expected processing time. If it is known that the applicant’s former home country does not reply to applications for release from nationality, an exemption may be granted from the requirement regarding release in connection with the granting of Norwegian citizenship.

5. The authorities in the applicant’s former home country set unreasonably burdensome conditions for release. Whether the fee charged for release is unreasonably burdensome shall be assessed on the basis of ordinary income. If the fee exceeds four per cent of the applicant’s income, the release fee is deemed to be unreasonably burdensome. The same applies if the applicant is responsible for the care of children under 18 years of age, and the release fee, including any release fee for children, exceeds two per cent of the applicant’s income. However, a release fee of up to and including NOK 2,500 is not deemed to be unreasonably burdensome. In the case of orphans, any release fee is deemed to be unreasonably burdensome.

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