How to Become a Citizen of Norway
Citizens of other countries generally can apply to become citizens of Norway after having legally lived in the country for 7 years. Unless you are a citizen of the EU, this means you must obtain a permanent residence permit before you can apply for citizenship. The Norwegian people are proud of their language and culture, and this is reflected in the fact that you must study and pass tests in Norwegian social studies and the Norwegian language before you can become a citizen of the country.
Obtaining Permanent Residency
Hold a valid residency permit for at least 3 years.Generally, you become eligible to apply for permanent residency only after having legally lived in Norway under a residence permit for at least 3 years. Residency permits typically are granted for work or study in the country.
- If you are a spouse or unmarried partner cohabiting with a Norwegian national who works in a Norwegian embassy or consulate, you are exempt from the residency requirement.
- If you are an EU national, you automatically acquire permanent residency in Norway after living there for 5 years. You must provide proof that you have been living legally in the country for 5 years, and that you are working, studying, or otherwise self-sufficient.
Become proficient in the Norwegian language.Although many Norwegians speak English, if you want to become a permanent resident of the country, you must demonstrate your proficiency in the national language. Free online courses in Norwegian are available at .
- There are other options available for learning Norwegian for free, or you can pay for commercial courses or private tutoring. Find links to additional language resources at .
Take Norwegian language and social studies tests.If you are between the ages of 16 and 55, you must pass an oral test in Norwegian at a minimum level of A1, and pass a written test in Norwegian social studies given in the language of your choice.
- For the Norwegian language test, go to . On this page, you can register to take the test either in the summer (June 5 – 12) or winter (November 26 – December 6). The page includes links to study materials and a practice test.
- To sign up for the social studies test, go to .
Keep your criminal record clean.During the 3 years you live in Norway prior to applying for permanent residency, you can't have any criminal convictions. You also won't be eligible for permanent residency if you were ordered into involuntary psychiatric treatment or care.
- Having a conviction doesn't mean you can never become a permanent resident of Norway. However, you may have to wait until at least 3 years has passed since the date of conviction before you can apply.
Register on the Application Portal.Most applicants can complete their application for permanent residency using the online Application Portal for the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Go to to create your user account.
- From your user account on the Application Portal, you can fill out your application, submit your forms, book appointments, and check the status of your application.
Demonstrate that you have financially supported yourself.UDI only grants permanent residency to applicants who demonstrate that they met the minimum income requirements for the previous year. In 2019, this amount was NOK 238.784.
- The applicable minimum income requirements and documentation required to prove your income will be listed on your application.
- You also cannot have received any social security payments during your residency period prior to submitting your application.
Pay your permit fees.As of 2019, the permanent residence application fee for adults is NOK 3.100. There is no fee for children under 18. To check the latest application fees and get information on method of payment, visit the UDI website.
- If you completed and submitted your application online, you can pay your fees online at the same time using a Visa or MasterCard.
- Review your responses to all the questions on your application before you submit it. Once you've clicked through to the payment screen, you won't be able to go back and make any changes.
Take your supporting documents to the nearest police station.Once you've submitted your application, you can also make an appointment to hand in the necessary supporting documents at your local police station.
- To generate a checklist of the documents you're required to bring with you to your appointment, go to and answer a few questions about your application.
Wait for notification.After you've submitted your application, UDI will begin the review process. It typically takes from 3 to 6 months to process an application for permanent residence. You may be contacted if additional information or documentation is required to before your application can be granted.
- You can find out the approximate wait time for your application to be processed by visiting and answering a few questions.
- If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision. Information on how to appeal will be included with your notification.
Book an appointment at the police station.If your application for permanent residency has been approved, you must visit the police station nearest you to complete the process and get your permanent resident card. Police will take your fingerprints and photo, then order your card for you.
- You can also book an appointment online from the Application Portal, if you have an account set up there.
- If you have problems setting up an appointment online, call the police station directly. You cannot book an appointment through UDI.
Receive your residence card in the mail.Your card will be mailed to you when it's ready. Expect it to take at least 10 business days to arrive. If you have travel plans overseas, make sure to leave plenty of time to get your residence card before you leave the country. Otherwise, you may have difficulty when returning.
- Even though it has your photo, your residence card is not considered proof of identity. When traveling outside of Norway, you still must carry your passport.
Meeting Citizenship Conditions
Live in Norway for at least 7 years.The "period of stay" condition is the first condition you must meet to be eligible for Norwegian citizenship. Most applicants must live in Norway with a residency permit for at least 7 uninterrupted years.
- Exceptions are made for some special groups of applicants, such as spouses of Norwegian nationals, athletes, or members of Norwegian nationals living abroad on foreign service missions at a Norwegian embassy or consulate.
- Brief visits outside the country are allowed without your period of stay being interrupted. However, if you are outside the country for more than 2 months in any given year, your period of stay starts over.
Maintain a clean criminal record while living in Norway.To become a citizen of Norway, you must be able to prove that during your period of stay, you have had no criminal convictions or ordered psychiatric treatment.
- If you have a criminal conviction, you may still be able to get Norwegian citizenship. However, you typically have to wait. The length of your waiting period depends on the penal sanction that was imposed as a result of your conviction.
Have your identity clarified.The Norwegian government must confirm your identity with reliable documentation before you are eligible for citizenship. In most cases, this requires you to provide a valid passport from your home country.
- If for some reason you no longer have a valid passport, other documents, such as a birth certificate, may be used.
- Norway does not consider documents from some countries, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, to be reliable. This is generally because the governments of these countries are not stable, or were recently unstable. If you come from such a country, there are additional steps needed to confirm your identity.
Pass an oral Norwegian test at the A2 level.To become a citizen of Norway, you must demonstrate proficiency in the Norwegian language at the A2 level or higher. If you passed the Norwegian test for your permanent residency at the A1 level, you must take it again to reach the A2 level.
- If you already passed the oral Norwegian test at the A2 level for your permanent residency, you do not have to take the test again.
- Information about the language test is available on the Skills Norway website at .
Pass the Norwegian citizenship test.When you took the social studies test for permanent residency, you were allowed to take it in the language of your choosing. If you took the test in your own language, you must take it again in Norwegian to qualify for citizenship.
- Information about the citizenship (social studies) test is available on the Skills Norway website at .
- If you took the Norwegian citizenship test in Norwegian for your permanent residency, and passed, you do not have to take it again when you apply for citizenship.
Applying for Citizenship
Complete your application.You can apply for citizenship online using the UDI's Application Portal at . If you already registered with the Application Portal for your application for permanent residency, you can use the same account to apply for citizenship.
- Once you log onto your user account, click through to complete the necessary citizenship application forms. Make sure all your answers are as thorough and detailed as possible. All fields marked with a yellow star must be completed before your application will be accepted.
Pay your application fee.The fee for a citizenship application, as of 2019, is NOK 3.700. Check the UDI website for the most current application fees. There are no fees for children under the age of 18.
- If you submit your application through the Application Portal, you can pay your application fee at the same time using a Visa or MasterCard.
- Once you click the "go to payment" button, you will not be able to make any changes to your application online. If you make a mistake, you can correct it when you attend your appointment at the police station.
Take your supporting documentation to the police station.After you submit your application, you can book an appointment with the police station nearest you to turn in all required documents that support statements you made in your application.
- While documentation varies, it generally will include your birth certificate, marriage or partnership certificates, passport, tax return, police background check, proof of your language study, and test results for your language and social studies tests.
- Go to and answer the questions to get a checklist of documents you must bring with you.
Wait for an answer to your application.The UDI will begin processing your application after all supporting documentation is received. You may be called in for an additional interview, or asked to submit different documents to support your application.
- To get a reliable estimate of the processing time for your application, go to and answer the questions. #*If your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision. Information about the appeal process will be included in your notification of the UDI's decision.
Book an appointment to pick up your citizenship decision.If the UDI grants your citizenship application, you can pick up your papers at the police station nearest you. Your citizenship decision must be picked up in person within 3 months of the decision being made.
- Once you get your citizenship decision papers, you can apply for a Norwegian passport.
- Take the notification letter you received with you to the police station, along with your old passport and your permanent residence card.
Renounce your former citizenship.Dual citizenship is not permitted in Norway. If you want to become a Norwegian citizen, you must formally renounce your former citizenship. Go to the nearest embassy or consulate for your home country to find out what steps are required to do this.
- The government has proposed allowing dual citizenship. However, until a law is passed by parliament, you still must renounce your former citizenship to become a Norwegian citizen. If a law was passed, this rule would not change until 2019 at the earliest.
Participate in the citizenship ceremony.Once citizenship is granted, you will receive an invitation to a citizenship ceremony where you will formally be made a Norwegian citizen. While this ceremony is voluntary, it is a special event for most new citizens.
- If you opt not to participate in the ceremony, you're still a Norwegian citizen.
Video: Permanent resident in Norway
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