Six out of ten new Norwegians have dual citizenship

Norwegian PassportNorwegian Passport. Photo: Norway Today Media

Although the main rule is that Norway doesn’t allow dual citizenship, six out of ten new Norwegian citizens may retain their old passport.


Eritreans and Somalians make up the two largest groups that have retained their old citizenship after becoming Norwegian citizens last year, wrote Bergens Tidende newspaper. Next on the list are Thailand,Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, according to figures issued by the Immigration Directorate.

Last year, 12,500 people, 59% of those who obtained Norwegian citizenship, retained their old citizenship.

The percentage was the same the year before. The explanation is that there are a number of exceptions to the main rule that one can’t have dual citizenship in Norway. The exceptions apply, for example, if the other country doesn’t allow for the state to be renounced.

Other reasons may be that a state device has collapsed, or that it is unreasonably expensive or risky to get rid of the other citizenship due to factors such as war or persecution. Persons who are born with dual citizenship may also be granted exemptions.

Venstre and the Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV) have been eager to allow double citizenship, and last year, Høyre and the Fremskrittsparti (Frp) turned from no to yes. Thus, it is expected that the government will receive a majority for a proposal to change the rules.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today