Wondering How To Become a Norwegian Citizen?

Norway is seen as an attractive place to live by many, so it’s no wonder that so many people want to become citizens. But can any person become a Norwegian citizen? Is it an easy process?

To become a Norwegian citizen, the requirements depend on where the applicant is from, their age, and marital status.

Most people applying for citizenship must have lived in Norway for at least 7 of the last ten years. This time is reduced for Nordics or people married to Norwegians.

This article will explain how to become a Norwegian citizen and every requirement in more detail. Keep reading to learn more!

Also, see Is Black Metal Popular in Norway? to learn more.

Is It Hard To Become a Citizen in Norway?

It is somewhat hard to become a citizen in Norway because most applicants must live there for at least 7 years, which is a long time.

Plus, all citizenship applicants must be able to prove they have Norwegian language skills, which requires plenty of learning and study time.

It’s much easier to become a Norwegian citizen for citizens of other Nordic countries, such as Denmark or Sweden.

In those cases, the amount of time the applicant must have lived in Norway before applying is greatly reduced.

So, one could say that it’s not hard to become a citizen in Norway once the applicant is fluent in the language and has been in the country for the minimum required number of years.

However, if the applicant doesn’t meet those requirements, obtaining citizenship will be challenging.

What Is Needed To Become a Norwegian Citizen?

Below are some of the most essential things needed to become a Norwegian citizen.

Permanent Residency

In order to obtain citizenship, the applicant must be legally permitted to live in Norway. Additionally, they must have lived in Norway for 7 of the last 10 years if applying through standard naturalization (i.e., not through being married to a Norwegian citizen). 

Any extended periods the applicant has spent living outside of Norway in the last 7-10 years can affect their application.

If married to a Norwegian citizen, the applicant must have been living in the country for at least three years to apply for citizenship [1]. 

A citizen of a different Nordic country can apply for Norwegian citizenship after living in Norway for two years.

Alternatively, Nordic citizens can give a “notification of citizenship” if they have lived in the country for at least 7 years [2].

Criminal Record Certificate

All applicants must request a criminal record certificate form from the Norwegian police before applying for citizenship.

There’s no way to progress the application without one, so applicants must obtain one as soon as possible.

Someone with a criminal history is less likely to be granted citizenship as quickly as someone with no criminal record.

This rule isn’t specific to Norway–many other countries across Europe and the wider world have similar laws regarding criminal records.

While having a criminal record can delay the process of gaining citizenship, it doesn’t necessarily rule the applicant out completely. Instead, there will be a disqualification period [3].

The system is more lenient than other countries (like Denmark), where a criminal record is an instant rejection.

The more severe the crime and penalty, the longer the applicant must wait to gain citizenship in Norway.

For example, an applicant who was imprisoned for five years will have a more extended disqualification period than someone detained for one year.

Adequate Norwegian Language Skills

Norwegian is one of two official languages in Norway, so citizenship applicants must display Norwegian language skills.

A test is generally required to prove the person can adequately speak and understand the language. It’s impossible to gain citizenship after failing a Norwegian language test.

Applicants will need to pass an A2 or B1 language test, and there are only a few ways to be exempt from this requirement [4]. For example, a person who has attended school in Norway and taken official exams may be exempt. 


It’s necessary to pay for a Norwegian citizenship application, so anyone who wants to obtain citizenship must ensure they have some money set aside. As of 2022, the application fee for most adults has a cost of 6,500 NOK (655.67 USD).

It’s cheaper for Nordic citizens who are using the “notification of citizenship” method, costing them only 2,700 NOK (272.36 USD) as of 2022 [5]. 

If the applicant is under 18, there is no cost.

How To Become a Norwegian Citizen

Below is an essential guide on how to become a Norwegian citizen:

  1. Get a criminal record certificate. The first step to becoming a Norwegian citizen is to get a criminal record certificate. These records will detail any previous convictions that may affect the application process.
  2. Take a language test if applicable. Most people looking to gain Norwegian citizenship will need to pass an A2 or B1 language test.
  3. Make an appointment. Once applicants have their criminal record certificate, they can make an appointment online. Then, they’ll be given a date and time to visit an office in person.
  4. Go to the appointment. When the day comes, the applicant must go to their citizenship appointment, ensuring they have all the necessary documents. Such documents may include a birth certificate, passport, and residence permit.
  5. Wait for a decision. Once the appointment is over, the application will be submitted, and the applicant must wait for a decision. 

Does Norway Allow Dual Citizenship?

Norway allows dual citizenship, but this hasn’t always been the case. Before January 2020, anyone wishing to apply for Norwegian citizenship had to revoke their original citizenship.

Today, people can have one or more citizenship along with their Norwegian one.

This also allows Norwegians to gain citizenship from another country without renouncing their original citizenship.

However, it’s essential to check other countries’ rules because not all states allow dual citizenship.

For example, China does not allow dual citizenship, so a Chinese person looking to gain Norwegian citizenship would have to revoke their Chinese citizenship and passport before accepting their new citizenship.

Here are some of the countries that allow dual citizenship (along with Norway):

  • UK
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Cyprus
  • Lebanon

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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