Who becomes a Norwegian citizen at birth?
All children born after 1 September 2006 become Norwegian at birth if the father or mother is a Norwegian citizen. If you were born before 1 September 2006, you can check with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) whether you are a Norwegian citizen. The Directorate is the agency that handles issues concerning citizenship in Norway.
If you are Norwegian, but live abroad and have children, you can apply for a Norwegian passport for your child at the embassy or permanent mission in the country where you live.
Are you a Nordic citizen and want Norwegian citizenship?
Nordic citizens can obtain Norwegian citizenship in two ways: notification or application. Since 1 January 2020, Norway has allowed dual citizenship, bringing it into line with the other Nordic countries. This means that, if you are a Nordic citizen, you no longer need to give up your other citizenship when you apply for or give notification of Norwegian citizenship.
When applying for citizenship, you must submit a Criminal Record Certificate (politiattest). You apply to the police for this certificate, stating the purpose of the application. The reason can be ‘application for citizenship’, ‘notification of citizenship’ or ‘notification of getting back Norwegian citizenship’. The applicant must choose the one that is relevant.
If you are a Nordic citizen aged over 18, and have lived in Norway for at least seven years, you can give notification of citizenship. If you are under 18, you can become Norwegian through notification if you have previously been Norwegian and subsequently have only been a citizen of Nordic countries. There is no charge to give notification of citizenship, but you must be able to show a Criminal Record Certificate. Children under 18 become Norwegian citizens automatically if a parent becomes Norwegian by notification, providing the child lives in Norway.
If you have a Norwegian father or were adopted by Norwegian adoptive parents before 1 September 2006, you can give notification of Norwegian citizenship after your father/adoptive parents. This notification must be submitted before your 18th birthday.
During the course of 2020, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration will be introducing automatic processing of citizenship cases, which will make the processing time very short.
Nordic citizens who are older than 12 and who have lived in Norway for the past two years can apply for Norwegian citizenship. If you want to apply for Norwegian citizenship, you must be able to prove that you understand Norwegian. Before you apply, you must also be able to prove you do not have a criminal record. You must therefore allow time to apply for a Criminal Record Certificate from the police.
Rights and obligations associated with Norwegian citizenship
Norwegian citizenship involves a number of rights and obligations. For example, only people with Norwegian citizenship can vote in and stand as a candidate in parliamentary elections (Stortingsvalg). Norwegian citizens can be called up for National Service, hold a Norwegian passport, and be entitled to consular assistance abroad. You must generally be a Norwegian citizen before you can represent Norway in a sporting event, or receive student finance from the State Educational Loan Fund (Statens lånekasse) for education. Some positions in the public sector and in the Police and Norwegian Armed Forces require Norwegian citizenship.
However, for most other rights and obligations, such as membership of the social insurance system (folketrygden), right to primary and lower secondary education, and tax issues, citizenship has no or very little significance. These generally depend on where you live and/or work.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.