If you are granted Norwegian citizenship, that means that you are no longer a foreign national. You are Norwegian, with all the rights and obligations that this entails. There are several conditions you have to meet in order to become a Norwegian citizen.
One of them is that, as a rule, you should have lived in Norway with a permit for at least seven years. This is what we call the period of stay condition. There are several exceptions from this general rule.
On the Directorate of Immigration's (UDI) website (external link), you can can find information about other conditions for becoming a Norwegian citizen. Below you can find information about how we assess some of the conditions.
We reverse relatively few of UDI’s decisions; just under 5 per cent. The most common reason for us not reversing UDI's decision is that the complainant's identity is unclear. This means that we are not sure who the persone is. The reason for this is often that the complainant has provided different information about his or her identity in another country and has not submitted reliable documentation. Another common reason for us not reversing UDI's decision is that the complainant has not met the requirement for completed tuition in the Norwegian language and social studies.
What do we consider?
In order for a person to be granted Norwegian citizenship, his or her identity must be clarified, meaning that we have to know who the complainant is. In many cases, this is the most important issue to assess. That is why we usually require the complainant to submit a passport. The main rule is that the complainant has to submit a passport, or other identity documents, that we can trust to be correct. For some people this will not be possible because the documents are not reliable enough, for example for citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia.
In such cases, two things in particular are important when we assess the identity as clarified or not: the documents the complainant has submitted, and the complainant’s information about who he or she is. If there is more than a 50 per cent probability that an complainant has provided correct information about his or her identity, we will consider the identity to be clarified.
Special rules concerning identity apply to e.g. persons born in Norway or persons who came to Norway as children and have one parent whose identity is clarified. We do not consider many such cases.
An important reason for not believing information about a person's identity is if they provided different information in another country. In such cases, the complainant has often provided a different name and date of birth to the authorities of another European country.
Another reason could be that the complainant has submitted false or forged documents. It may also be the case that an age examination has concluded that the complainant is older than he or she said. In other cases, we doubt whether the complainant has stated the correct nationality, for example because the complainant doesn’t know much about the country he or she claims to be from.
We cannot give a clear answer to what it takes to substantiate who the complainant is if he or she has given rise to doubt. It varies from case to case depending on how serious the doubt is and what documents the complainant has submitted. If the complainant has created doubt about his or her identity and does not have reliable documents, it could be very difficult to substantiate their identity.
There are several conditions that a person must meet in order to become a Norwegian citizen. One of them is that, as a rule, the complainant should have lived in Norway with a permit for at least seven years. This is what we call the period of stay condition. There are several exceptions from this general rule.
Another condition that we often consider is the requirement for completed tuition in the Norwegian language. As a rule, the complainant has to document that he or she has attended a sufficient number of hours of Norwegian language tuition. The number of hours required varies. For many, it is also a requirement to have attended 50 hours of tuition in social studies. We can make exceptions from this rule. For example, the complainant can submit a certificate documenting that he or she has passed written and oral Norwegian at a Norwegian lower or upper secondary school. We will not reverse the UDI’s decision based solely on the complainant’s Norwegian language proficiency. As a rule, a requirement applies for people who applied for citizenship after 1 January 2017 to have passed an oral Norwegian language test and a social studies test given in Norwegian.
We consider several cases where the complainant requests exemption from the rules due to poor health or other difficulties. It is rare that we grant exemptions in such cases. We often require that the complainant can prove that he or she has tried to conduct the test with special adaptaions, and has failed. At Kompetanse Norge you can read more about how you can apply for special adaptations in order to conduct the test (external website).
If a complainant has been convicted of a criminal offence or been fined by the police, the complainant may have to wait for a while before he or she can be granted Norwegian citizenship. This waiting time is called a waiting period. The duration of the waiting period will depend on the penal sanction imposed. We do not assess whether the sanction is appropriate, but calculate the waiting period on the basis of the sanction imposed.
Norway allows dual citizenship. This means that you will be allowed to remain a citizen of your home country, even if you wish to become a Norwegian citizen. This will also apply for Norwegian citizens who wish to become citizens of another country.
In order for you to have dual citizenship, the other country you are a citizen of must also allow this. You must check this with the authorities in your country.
According to the new rules, it will be possible to have your Norwegian citizenship reinstated if you have lost your Norwegian citizenship because you became a citizen of another country, or because you did not renounce your original citizenship within the deadline you were given.
You will then be able to submit a notification, which is a simplified application process and means that it will for instance not be required that you are currently living in Norway. Please see more information about requirements and how to submit a notification on UDIs website (external link).
Most rejections will not be reversed by UNE. The most common reasons for us reversing a decision are that new documentation is submitted or that a condition has been met after the UDI made its decision. For example, documentation can be submitted to show that the complainant can be exempt from the requirement for Norwegian language tuition. In other cases, the period of stay is long enough when we make a decision in the case, even though it was not when the UDI made its decision. In a small number of cases, our assessment of the information or documentation provided by the complainant differs from UDI's. This may, for example, be information about identity.
We can reverse UDI's decision in any case if there are particularly strong grounds for so doing. This happens very rarely. Complainant's will often ask to be exempt from one of the conditions because they are well integrated, speak Norwegian well and have lived here for a long time. We do not consider this particularly strong grounds, as they apply to many who apply for Norwegian citizenship.
What happens after we make a decision depends on whether or not we reversed UDI’s decision. If we did not reverse UDI's decision, you can remain in Norway for as long as your residence permit is valid. You can also submit another application for Norwegian citizenship if you meet the conditions at a later date.
If we reverse UDI's decision you will be granted Norwegian citizenship. You will be notified in writing by UNE. You will be asked to visit your local police station within three months, in order to receive the decision.