Moving to Norway as a Nordic Citizen

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The northern lights above the Nordic region of northern Europe

Obtaining residency of Norway is much easier when you're a citizen of another Nordic country. Here's how relocation works in Scandinavia and the Nordics.

Do you dream of moving to Norway? You're not the only one. Running a website about living in Norway as a foreigner, I receive countless emails with queries. Many are simple questions about what the rules are for relocation.

Relocation to Norway

The simple fact is that whether you can move to Norway depends principally on where you're from. Thanks to the EEA agreement, its much easier to move if you're a citizen of Europe (EU/EEA/Schengen). Things are much more difficult for everyone else.

But there's another piece to the puzzle. For those with Nordic citizenship, the process is even easier. Let's take a look at how immigration to Norway works for citizens of the Nordic region.

Map of the Nordic region with flags of each country

Relocation for Nordic citizens

For the purposes of immigration, the definition of the Nordic region is Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

If you are a citizen of any of the other four countries, moving to Norway is straightforward. All you need to do is to report a move to the Norwegian population register.

If your stay in Norway will be for less than six months, you don't need to register. However, if you will be working in Norway, you do have to order a tax deduction card.

If your stay will be for more than six months, you must submit a notification in person. To do this, book an appointment at the tax office in order to verify your ID.

The flag of Iceland
Citizens of Iceland are among those who can use an easier process to move to Norway.

Acceptable ID includes a passport or driving licence, along with a certificate from your national population register confirming your citizenship. This must be dated within three months, stamped and signed.

You'll also need proof of address such as a rental contract, and evidence of employment or business activity.

This process is for citizens, not residents

Norway's immigration process works on a citizenship basis. If you are a resident of a Nordic country but not a citizen there, you cannot follow this process. You must follow the relevant one for your country of citizenship.

This means that if you're an American citizen living in Finland, for example, you cannot use this process. You would have to use the process for moving to Norway for non-European citizens.

Scandinavia by night
Citizens of many northern European countries can move to Norway fairly easily.

Obtaining Norwegian citizenship as a Nordic citizen

There is also an easier process for Nordic citizens wishing to become a citizen of Norway. For most foreigners, residency of seven years along with proof of Norwegian language competence is required to apply for citizenship.

If you are a Nordic citizen over the age of 18 and you have lived in Norway for seven years, you can submit notification of citizenship instead of applying. Any children you have under the age of 18 that live in Norway can also become citizens if you submit this notification.

From January 2020, Norway introduced the concept of dual citizenship.

Nordic cooperation

Cooperation across the Nordic region is facilitated by the Nordic Council. This inter-governmental organisation counts Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland as members.

Formed in 1952, the Nordic Council has 87 members from across its member countries.

“First and foremost, the Nordic Council’s politicians are driven by the desire to make the Nordic region one that people want to live and work in. This is also the primary objective of the ideas and proposals for co-operation that are borne out of the Nordic Council” – Nordic Council

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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