Changes in Norwegian language requirements for obtaining Norwegian citizenship


The Storting has decided to raise requirements for proficiency in spoken Norwegian to the B1 level for those seeking to obtain Norwegian citizenship. The changes will enter into effect on 1 October 2022. Here you will find more information on the changes.

Published: 30.10.2020 - Last changed: 30.08.2022

The Storting has decided to raise the requirements for proficiency in spoken Norwegian to level B1. At the same time, applicants will no longer be required to complete a Norwegian language training programme. Certain changes will also be introduced regarding who will be eligible for an exemption from the requirements for a test in spoken Norwegian and passing the citizenship test. 

The requirement for passing the oral test in Norwegian at the B1 level will apply for those who submit an application for citizenship on or after 1 October 2022. For applications submitted before that date the current requirement of passing the test at level A2 will still apply.

If you register your application on or after 24 September, you cannot count on being able to obtain an appointment with the police before 1 October 2022.  

If you have registered and submitted your application via the application portal prior to 24 September 2022, but it is not possible for you to hand in your application to the police before 1 October, we will consider your application to have been submitted before 1 October 2022. In such case, it is the requirement that you pass a test at level A2 that applies.

Requirements for those applying after 1 October 2022:

  • You must have passed an oral test in Norwegian at level B1 at the minimum, or
  • You must have passed an oral test in Norwegian at level A2 at the minimum, if you are:
    • a stateless person
    • over 55 years of age and came to Norway on the basis of an application for protection or as a resettled refugee, or
    • over 55 years of age and receive disability benefits, and
  • You must have passed the citizenship test or the Norwegian social studies test in Norwegian

Requirements for those applying before 1 October 2022:

  • You must have passed an oral test in Norwegian at level A2 at the minimum, and
  • You must have passed the citizenship test or the Norwegian social studies test in Norwegian
  • If UDI has not processed your application before 1 October 2022, the requirement related to having completed Norwegian language training or compulsory training in Norwegian and Norwegian social studies in accordance with the Introduction Act to obtain citizenship will no longer apply for you.

As of 1 October 2022, you may be granted an exemption from the oral test in Norwegian if you have:

  • attended school in Norway and are able to document that you have:
    • final assessment grade or examination grade in Norwegian or Sámi (minimum grade of 2) from primary education, or
    • a half-year assessment, final assessment grade or examination grade in Norwegian or Sámi (minimum grade of 2) from secondary education, or
    • a certificate of competence showing both that you have completed Module 1 in modular education and vocational training (modulstrukturert fag- og yrkesopplæring (MFY)) and that the module has been approved
  • completed studies equivalent to 30 credits in Norwegian or Sámi at the university or university college level in Norway or abroad
  • fulfilled the entry requirements for studies in Norwegian or Sámi at a university or university college in Norway. You have fulfilled the entry requirements if you have:
    • passed both the oral and written tests of the Norwegian as a second language exam (Bergenstesten). If you took the written test before autumn 2009, you must have at least 450 points. If you took the oral test before autumn 2009, you must have at least 500 points
    • passed the Level 3 (Trinn 3) exam at university 
    • passed a VG3 (previously referred to as VK2) exam in Norwegian (oral and written)
    • reached the age of 25 and have had an assessment of real competence at the VG3 level approved
    • been accepted for a study programme at a university or university college in Norway where the primary language of instruction is Norwegian 
    • completed a study programme instructed in Norwegian
  • health-related issues or other personal considerations that prevent you from passing the test at the B1 level
  • been granted an exemption by your municipality from compulsory Norwegian language training and/or the oral test of Norwegian. If you have used the registration scheme for EU/EEA nationals or you were granted a first residence permit that forms the basis for a permanent residence permit prior to 1 September 2005, then you are not covered by the Introduction Act or the Integration Act and are not eligible for exemption.

As of 1 October 2022, you may be granted an exemption from the citizenship test if you have:

  • attended school in Norway and are able to document that you have:
    • final assessment grade or examination grade in social studies (minimum grade of 2) from primary education, or
    • a half-year assessment, final assessment grade or examination grade in social studies (minimum grade of 2) from secondary education, or
    • a certificate of competence showing both that you have completed Module 1 in modular education and vocational training (modulstrukturert fag- og yrkesopplæring (MFY)) and that the module has been approved
  • studied social studies yielding knowledge about Norway equivalent to 10 credits at the university or university college level. The studies must cover the subjects included in the Curriculum for Norwegian language training for adult immigrants (pdf, 473 kB)
  • completed studies in Norwegian or Sámi at the university or university-college level in Norway. You must document that you have credits from studies in Norwegian or Sámi
  • health-related or personal issues that prevent you from passing the test, or there are other compelling reasons for why you are unable to pass the test
  • been granted an exemption by your municipality from compulsory Norwegian social studies training and/or the Norwegian social studies test. If you have used the registration scheme for EU/EEA nationals or you were granted a first residence permit that forms the basis for a permanent residence permit prior to 1 September 2005, then you are not covered by the Introduction Act or the Integration Act and are not eligible for exemption

You will have to apply for an exemption if you are unable to pass the test due to health-related issues, extenuating circumstances or personal considerations beyond your control. 

If such factors prevent you from taking the Norwegian oral test at level B1, you must either pass the test at the A2 level or document that there are compelling reasons why you are unable to take the test or pass it at the A2 level.

More information about exemptions and the documentation required for applications is available here. UDI will assess the documentation you have submitted and whether you can be granted an exemption simultaneously as we assess your citizenship application.

Would you like to help us improve our website?

Did you find what you were looking for?