Norwegian citizenship by descent
Many people become a citizen of Norway immediately when they are born or adopted, or when their parents become Norwegian citizens. Currently, only the first generation of Norwegian ancestors can apply for Norwegian citizenship. Norway changed its dual citizenship law under the Norwegian Nationality Act, and has now allowed dual citizenship.
Who acquires Norwegian citizenship at birth?
If either the father or mother is a Norwegian citizen, all children born after September 1, 2006, become Norwegian citizens at birth.
If you were born before September 1, 2006, you can find out if you are a Norwegian citizen by contacting the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). The Directorate is the Norwegian government institution in charge of citizenship matters.
If you are a Norwegian parent but reside abroad and have children, you can apply for a Norwegian passport for your child at the Norwegian embassy or permanent mission in your home country. We’ll go through this in greater depth later.
Who is eligible to apply for Norwegian citizenship by descent?
Currently, only the first generation of Norwegian ancestors can apply for Norwegian citizenship. The following scenarios describe who is eligible for Norwegian citizenship in more detail:
1) Children born in Norway to a Norwegian mother or father (born after 2006)
- If you were born on or after September 1, 2006, and have a Norwegian father or mother, you are automatically a Norwegian citizen. This is true whether you were born in Norway or elsewhere, and whether or not your parents were married.
2) Children born in Norway to a Norwegian mother or father (born before 2006)
- If you were born before September 1, 2006, you were born a Norwegian citizen.
- your mother was Norwegian, or your father was Norwegian and married to your mother when you were born, or your father died before you were born but was a Norwegian citizen and married to your mother when he died
- You did not immediately become a Norwegian citizen if your father was Norwegian but was not married to your mother. However, if you are under the age of 18, you can quickly become a Norwegian citizen by submitting a Norwegian citizenship notification.
Born prior to 1979
- If you were born before 1979 and are unsure whether you became a Norwegian citizen at birth, you can get more information from the UDI.
If you do not match the qualifications to become a Norwegian citizen, you may apply for a residence permit for individuals who were born to a Norwegian parent.
3) Children of parents from Nordic countries who became Norwegian after notifying the government
- If your one of your parents is a Nordic citizen from other Nordic countries (Swedish, Danish, Finnish, or Icelandic citizens), who became Norwegian citizens by submitting notification before you reached 18, you automatically become a Norwegian citizen if you were born in Norway.
4) Children with unmarried parents or one parent with a registered partner living in Norway
- Children under the age of 18 automatically become Norwegian at the same time as you if they live in Norway and are not married or registered partners (see Citizenship Act 22).
- Before you can apply for a Norwegian passport for your children, they must be enrolled in the National Register as Norwegian. You must contact the Tax Office on your own.
5) Children who were adopted
- If you were adopted after September 1, 2006, you are eligible.
- If you were adopted by a Norwegian citizen on or after September 1, 2006, you automatically became a Norwegian citizen.
- If you were under the age of 18 at the time the adoption license was obtained by Norwegian authorities, or the international adoption is approved/valid in Norway
- If you were adopted prior to September 1, 2006,
- If you were adopted before September 1, 2006, you may have become a Norwegian citizen at the time of your adoption or later after submitting a notification or application.
- If you have not yet become a Norwegian citizen and are under the age of 18, you can do so immediately by submitting a notification. Please contact the UDI for more information on how to become a Norwegian citizen.
6) Children born via surrogacy
- Surrogacy is when a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to give birth to a child and then pass the child over to someone else. Although surrogacy is not permitted in Norway, some people prefer to enter into surrogacy agreements with women from other countries.
- There are no explicit rules for determining or transmitting the identity of the mother and father of a child born through egg donation/surrogacy. This means that the child’s mother is the woman who gives birth to the child, and paternity is determined in the same way as it is for other children, as outlined in The Children Act.
- Even if the egg or sperm is donated by a Norwegian citizen who wants the kid, the infant does not become Norwegian until parenthood is transferred. When parenting is transferred, the child becomes Norwegian automatically.
7) Naturalization grants Norwegian citizenship
- If you have resided in Norway continuously for at least seven years under a permanent residence permit, you can petition to obtain Norwegian citizenship. If you are married to a Norwegian citizen and have resided in Norway for the last three years, you can petition for Norwegian citizenship.
Norway Citizenship for Norwegian Spouses or Partners
To apply for Norwegian citizenship, you must have resided in Norway with your spouse/partner for the previous three years. In addition, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your marriage must last at least seven years, and you must spend these years in Norway.
- For example, if you and your partner have been married for four years and have lived together in Norway for the last three years, you may apply for Norwegian citizenship.
- Your previous three residence permits must have been valid for at least one year each.
- At the time of application, you must have a valid Residence Permit. Throughout the entire processing time, you must have a valid Residence Permit.
- You must finish and pass the Norwegian Language and Social Studies lessons.
- You must hand over a criminal record certificate.
- You must now reside in Norway and intend to do so in the future.
If you submit your application and meet these requirements, you will be granted citizenship of Norway, and you can keep your previous citizenship.
Children’s Citizenship Requirements in Norway
For children under the age of 18, regardless of whether they apply alongside the kid or not, the parent or legal guardian conducts the application process for Norwegian citizenship. The requirements varies based on the child’s age:
- Children aged 2 to 18: Must have lived in Norway for the previous two years.
- Each preceding Residence Permit must have been valid for at least one year.
- If the youngster is 15 or older, they must also produce Criminal Records.
- If the child is over the age of 12, they must grant permission for the parent/legal guardian to apply on their behalf.
Children under the age of two:
- Must have a valid residence permit or have applied for one at the time of application.
- The child must be a resident of Norway at the time of application and must remain so in the future.
Children aged 12 and up who apply on their own:
- The youngster must have spent five of the last seven years in Norway.
- During that time, they must have possessed valid residence permits for at least one year.
- If the youngster is 15 or older, they must also produce Criminal Records.
- Consent to a parent or guardian applying for Norwegian citizenship on their behalf.
Norway Requirements for Citizenship (Adults With Permanent Residency)
If you are an adult who has lived in Norway permanently (for example, as a Skilled Worker), you must meet the following requirements in order to apply for Norwegian citizenship:
You must have spent at least seven of the last ten years in Norway.
At the time of application, you must hold a valid Permanent Resident Permit. It must also remain valid for the duration of the application procedure, until a decision is reached.
You must be familiar with the Norwegian language, society, customs, and history.
You must be a resident of Norway at the time of application and intend to remain there during the application process and afterwards.
Your criminal records must be turned in. If you have a criminal record, it may affect the length of time you must wait to become a citizen as well as the ultimate success of your application.
Norway’s Dual Citizenship Regulations
The Norwegian government now permits dual citizenship as of January 2020, after changes made to the Norwegian nationality law.
This means that you do not have to relinquish your current citizenship if you apply to become a Norwegian national, and can maintain double citizenship.
1. You are a foreign national seeking Norwegian citizenship. By becoming a Norwegian citizen, you will no longer immediately lose your foreign citizenship. It also works the other way round, where a Norwegian citizens will retain Norwegian citizenship when acquiring a foreign citizenship.
2. You previously lost your foreign citizenship when you acquired Norwegian citizenship. If you lost your present citizenship under the former regulations, you will be able to seek to recover your original citizenship beginning in February 2020.