African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

State toughens passport rules

Posted by African Press International on August 23, 2008

Starting September 1, persons applying for Norwegian citizenship will have to prove their proficiency in the Norwegian language. That’s in addition to paying a fee of NOK 2,500 (nearly USD 500).

It’s getting tougher, and more expensive, to get a Norwegian passport.

PHOTO: STEIN J BJRGE

All persons aged 18-55 who apply for Norwegian citizenship from September 1 will have to document that he or she has successfully completed 300 hours of Norwegian language courses. That alone can cost around NOK 15,000.

If they can’t document such courses, they’ll have to pass a language exam administered by Folkeuniversitetet or their local adult education program. That, too, will incur a fee.

Last year, 4,001 persons sought Norwegian citizenship in Oslo alone. They didn’t have to document their language skills, but now they will.

In addition to meeting the new language requirements, applicants must have lived in Norway for seven of the last 10 years. They need a clean police record, must give up their existing citizenship and pay a fee of NOK 2,500 upon delivery of their application.

If citizenship is granted, the new Norwegians can participate in a citizenship ceremony but that’s not obligatory. More information on citizenship rules can be found on the website for Norway’s immigration agency UDI, www.udi.no.

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API/Source.aftenposteneng

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