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:
Please 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. Read about how to renew your residence permit here.
The 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.
Please 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. Read more about how to calculate the residence period for spouses, partners or cohabitants.
- 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.
- Read more about citizenship for children when the parents are or will become Norwegian citizens.
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.