Dual citizenship now a possibility for expats in Norway

Published:  25 Feb at 6 PM
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Expats in Norway wishing to become dual Norwegian citizens have been caught off guard due to a flood of applications.

On January 1, dual citizenship for expatriates living in the Scandinavian state became possible for the first time, but officials underestimated the strong demand. As a result, many expats’ dreams are being put on hold until the backlog is cleared, with applicants hoping against hope they can register before next year’s general election.

Foreigners living and working in Norway who’ve achieved permanent residency are already able to take advantage of the vast majority of rights and obligations afforded Norwegian citizens, with the exception of general election voting rights. Even expat residents who’re not bothered about voting are keen to get citizenship and a Norwegian passport as it gives a convenient means of identification. For those with Norwegian spouses and children, it’s important that all family members have the same official status, especially if travelling overseas is part of the lifestyle.

Until now, Norwegian dual citizenship was banned, but it’s now estimated that up to 60,000 expats are entitled to qualify for the benefit after 10 years of legal residence. USA and UK expatriates make up the bulk of would-be applicants, mostly because it gives access to the EU’s freedom of movement as well as the EEA’s business opportunities. Also, the new rule allows the thousands of Norwegians living overseas who’ve given up their home country citizenship when becoming citizens of their new country of residence to reapply for citizenship of their country of birth. .
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