Norwegian citizenship gains popularity, but the pandemic slows the application process

On January 1 2020, Norway followed its Nordic neighbours and allowed for dual citizenship. The law change led to a massive increase in the number of citizenship applications: 30.000 applications were submitted during the first six months of the year. By contrast, the number of applications have remained stable at around 20.000 annually, from 2014 to 2019.

Prospective new citizens have to show more patience than ever before, however. When applying for a Norwegian citizenship, applicants have to meet up in person at one of the police immigration offices, among other things to show identity documents. Since the corona pandemic broke out, the police immigration offices and the Service Center for Foreign Workers have been operating a limited service. Additionally, efforts of automatize the application process have increased the waiting time, as do the general massive increase of applications.

The Ministry of Education and Research, which is responsible for issues concerning citizenship and integration, expects an additional 60.000 applications in 2021-2022 as a direct response to the acceptance of dual citizenship in Norway. In its budget proposition, the current Government proposes to increase the funding of the police and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) to speed up the application process in the years to come.

For more information on the citizenship policy in Norway, check out the country profile or contact our country expert Arnfinn H. Midtbøen, University of Oslo, who is the author of this news item.