10 months after introducing dual citizenship law, Norway has over 41,000 applicants

Norwegian passportPhoto: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB
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When it comes to dual citizenship, Norway has been receiving much interest. The country introduced a new dual citizenship law in January of 2020. As of October 2020, more than 41,000 applicants already have put in for citizenship.

The new law allows foreign citizens to keep their original citizenship when they become Norwegian citizens.

On the other hand, it also grants that Norwegians don’t have to give up their Norwegian nationality to become citizens of another country.

In either case, it allows for people to have two citizenships (given their applications are approved).

And it would appear that this was a demand just waiting to be met; in July, Norway had 26,000 applicants, and now, there are over 41,000.

We spoke to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (Utlendingsdirektoratet, abbreviated UDI) about the applications.

A large number of applicants

Linda Kartawich, head of division in the Managed Migration Department, told us: “More than 41,000 application forms for citizenship have been filled in for automatic processing of applications. However, only 8,800 of these have been sent from the police or the Embassies to the UDI for further case processing. The UDI is now waiting for more than 32,000 further applications.”

There is a clear increase in the amount of applications.

“From January 2020, Norway’s New Dual Citizenship Law increased the number of applicants considerably, with 27,000 in comparison with the same time last year”, says Kartawich.

What waiting times can applicants expect?

“It normally takes 12 months from when an applicant hands in their documents to the police, until they get an answer to their application”, Kartawich tells us.

She continues, “If they submit a notification of citizenship as a Nordic citizen, or just apply to keep their Norwegian citizenship, it normally takes 4 months.”

Do waits vary from country to country?

“The waiting time varies to some degree for different countries of origin. If the UDI has to make additional investigations, it may take longer until you get an answer”, says Kartawich.

Find further official information regarding the waiting time here. Updates are published once a month.

What about application processing?

Kartawich clarifies the process of the processing itself: “The automatic processing of notification of citizenship for Nordic citizens started in August 2020.

“The plan is to start processing other applications for citizenship during October.

“People do not apply for dual citizenship specifically; rather, everyone applies for citizenship in general. So, the statistic of applicants does not differ between these two groups.

“All applications registered since February 2020 will be automatically processed if all conditions are fulfilled.”

Becoming a citizen of Norway

The new law doesn’t make becoming a Norwegian citizen easier. Immigration to Norway has, in fact, become subject to stricter requirements during Erna Solberg‘s time as Prime Minister.

Exact requirements vary from country to country, but residing in Norway for some time and knowledge of the language are a few possibilities. If you have never been a citizen of Norway before, look for more information here.

What about those who were previously Norwegian citizens but lost their citizenship?

Kartawich notes: “You can submit a simple notification of citizenship if you have previously been a Norwegian citizen, and lost your Norwegian citizenship because you became a citizen of another country or did not give up your previous citizenship.”

If you’re in such a situation, you can find more information here.

For all other things dual citizenship, Norway has a dedicated information page.

Source: Norway Today

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