The government has sent out a hearing on a new proposed bill that will allow dual citizenship in Norway. Norwegians Worldwide will participate in this hearing and would like to hear your opinions on what the new law should look like. Read our take on the new bill here.

The hearing on a new Citizen’s Act gives individuals and organizations a chance to influence the political decision by presenting their views. Norwegians Worldwide will send a statement on behalf of all Norwegians living abroad.

Send us your input by Sunday March 11 to info@nww.no

Read our draft for the hearing here (in Norwegian only)

We encourage all our members to read our review of the new proposed bill and come with their input if there are issues missing or something that can be improved.

 

The principle of dual citizenship

Today’s legislation:
The main rule is that Norwegians should only have one citizenship.

New legislation:
The proposed changes to the bill will abolish the principle of one citizenship. This means that Norwegians will be allowed to have several citizenships at the same time.

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
Norwegians Worldwide welcomes this change and is happy the government is finally taking the challenges of today’s legislation seriously, and will abolish the principle of one citizenship.

Opening up to dual citizenship will make it easier for Norwegians to settle abroad and participate in their local communities, without losing their ties and belonging to Norway. It will also facilitate and make it more attractive for Norwegians to move back home to Norway, where they will have a chance to contribute with international experience and knowledge to the Norwegian society.

 

The possibility of reclaiming Norwegian citizenship

Today’s legislation:
Former Norwegian citizens can reclaim their Norwegian citizenship (called ”gjenerverv” in Norwegian) as long as they are staying in Norway, have given up other citizenships, have not been sentenced for any crime, and fulfill the requirements of sufficient knowledge of Norwegian language and society.

New legislation:
If you have lost the Norwegian citizenship because you have taken another citizenship, or have lost it because the authorities retracted the Norwegian citizenship due to the principle of one citizenship, you have the right to become Norwegian citizen again by notification. You have to prove that you have not been sentenced to unconditional imprisonment abroad after losing your Norwegian citizenship, and you must have stayed at least six months in Norway before turning 22.

With this change, there will still be former Norwegian citizens with no right to reclaim their citizenship. This applies for instance to those who have lost the citizenship because they have lived too long outside of Norway. For them, the existing legislation will still apply, with the difference that they will not have to give up another citizenship.

Separate rules apply for Nordic citizens. See Nordic citizens at the end of this article.

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
Norwegians Worldwide wants to make it easier to reclaim Norwegian citizenship. We support this change, but the law should also include former Norwegians who have lost their citizenship because they have not stayed long enough in Norway and/or applied to keep their Norwegian citizenship before turning 22.

 

Requirement to stay in Norway to keep citizenship

Today’s legislation:
If you have another citizenship you will lose your Norwegian citizenship if you have not lived in Norway for at least two years, or seven years in the Nordic countries, before turning 22.

Persons who do not fulfill the requirement, but can document adequate ties to Norway, may apply to keep their Norwegian citizenship. This must happen before turning 22. Today’s regulations on the Citizen’s Act, state that adeqaute ties to Norway is defined through a comprehensive assessment, but that stays of at least six months altogether, is considered sufficient.

New legislation:
No changes have been proposed.

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
A new law on dual citizenship must reflect the new principles that the changes in the legislation entail, and thus ensure that more people under 22 years of age, who are in danger of losing their Norwegian citizenship because of absence from the country, will have an easier path to keep their Norwegian citizenship.

NWW suggests to change the requirement of two-year residence in Norway or seven years in the Nordic countries, to a requirement of overall stay in Norway and that the period of stay in Norway is lowered from two years to six months, so that this paragraph better reflects today’s regulation of the law. This will help people get their Norwegian citizenship back even if they have another citizenship. We also wish that people with adequate ties to Norway, who do not fulfill the requirement of sufficient stay, should keep their Norwegian citizenship by notification instead of by application.

 

Alerts

Today’s legislation:
People in danger of losing their Norwegian citizenship before turning 22 because of absence from the country, have no right to be alerted that they might lose their Norwegian citizenship.

New legislation:
The new law does not suggest any changes to the current practice. 

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
Norwegians Worldwide asks the authorities to look for a solution to alert people who are in danger of losing their Norwegian citizenship in due time, so they have a chance to notify of the retention of their citizenship before it is lost.

 

Children as secondary characters’ right to citizenship

Today’s legislation:
Children under 18 of people who obtain Norwegian citizenship, can apply to get Norwegian citizenship, as long as they fulfill certain requirements. The child must live in Norway and have stayed in Norway the last two years, clarified its identity, not have been convicted for a felony, and must give up other citizenships.

New legislation:
The new law eliminates the requirement to give up other citizenships.

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
Norwegians Worldwide asks that these children are treated equally as children born abroad with Norwegian parents, so that they can get Norwegian citizenship by notification, and not by application, as long as they have clarified their identity.

 

Cost

Today’s legislation:
The regulations of the Citizen’s Act state that the cost of application for citizenship is 4200 NOK.

New legislation:
Proposed new regulations of the law state that persons who deliver a notification to reclaim their Norwegian citizenship (gjenerverv) can expect a cost of 1500 NOK. For people who need to send an application for a Norwegian citizenship, the current cost of 4200 NOK is sustained. 

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
Norwegians Worldwide thinks the cost to reclaim (gjenerverv) should be as low as possible and we are positive towards the suggested cost of 1500 NOK to reclaim Norwegian citizenship.

However, the cost is too high for people applying for Norwegian citizenship for their children who are under 18. Norwegians Worldwide wants the cost for children who apply for citizenship due to their parents reclaim of Norwegian citizenship, to be the same as their parents, 1500 NOK.

We also ask that the cost for those who apply or notify to keep their Norwegian citizenship before turning 22, must be equated with the cost of notification of reclaim (gjenerverv), 1500 NOK.

 

Nordic citizens

Today’s legislation:
If you have become citizen of another Nordic country, you can reclaim your Norwegian citizenship by notification as long as you live in Norway and have given up your other citizenship.

Children under 18 of people who have obtained Norwegian citizenship after being a Nordic citizen, will automatically get Norwegian citizenship as long as the other citizenship has been given up.

New legislation:
You will not have to give up your other citizenship by obtaining Norwegian citizenship. 

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
For former Norwegian citizens with another Nordic citizenship who want to reclaim their Norwegian citizenship, Norwegians Worldwide wants to remove the requirement to live in Norway.

 

Requirement of police record

Today’s legislation:
Anyone applying for citizenship in Norway must deliver an exhaustive police record documenting that they have not been convicted of crime.

New legislation:
The new proposed law sustains this principle and expands it to also apply to people reclaiming their Norwegian citizenship by notification.

Norwegians Worldwide’s opinion:
Norwegians Worldwide wants the process of reclaiming Norwegian citizenship to be as non-bureaucratic and inexpensive as possible. To make this process as easy as possible for former Norwegian citizens, we want the requirement of police record removed. For children under 18 the requirement of a police record seems especially unnecessary.

 

E-mail us your input by March 11 to info@nww.no