the Norwegian Passport: Everything You Need To Know


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The strength of the Norwegian passport goes beyond its borders. Globally, it’s recognized as one of the most powerful travel documents. Norwegian passport holders enjoy the privilege of visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a vast number of countries. This freedom not only simplifies international travel but also signifies the high regard and trust that other nations place on Norwegian citizens.

For foreigners in Norway or those considering making Norway their home, understanding the value and significance of the Norwegian passport can offer insights into the nation’s global position and the benefits they can enjoy as potential citizens.

Key Takeaways

  • A Norwegian passport offers numerous global benefits, including visa-free travel.
  • Eligibility for a Norwegian passport is based on naturalization or descent.
  • The application process requires specific documents, photos, and in-person visits.
  • Renewing a Norwegian passport is similar to the initial application but requires fewer documents.
  • Dual citizenship in Norway is permissible, but it’s essential to understand its implications.
  • Losing a passport abroad necessitates immediate reporting and contacting Norwegian embassies.
  • Proper care and handling can extend the life and efficiency of your passport.

Benefits of Holding a Norwegian Passport

Visa-free Travel to Numerous Countries

One of the most prominent advantages of holding a Norwegian passport is the ease of travel it offers. Norwegian passport holders can visit numerous countries without the need for a pre-arranged visa. This visa-free or visa-on-arrival access extends to destinations across continents, from neighboring European countries to far-flung locations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Such extensive access simplifies travel preparations and provides flexibility for both business and leisure trips.

Access to European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European Economic Area (EEA) Benefits

Being a member of both the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway offers its passport holders a plethora of benefits. These privileges range from the right to live, work, and study in any of the member countries to accessing social and economic benefits. While Norway is not a member of the European Union, its affiliation with EFTA and the EEA ensures that its citizens enjoy many of the same rights and conveniences that EU citizens do.

Rights and Benefits in Norway Itself

Beyond the international advantages, holding a Norwegian passport reaffirms one’s rights as a citizen within the country. It stands as a proof of one’s Norwegian citizenship, allowing for:

Voting Rights: Participate in the democratic process, voting in local and national elections.

Access to Public Services: Benefit from Norway’s extensive public services, including its world-class healthcare, education, and social welfare systems.

Ease of Transactions: Whether it’s purchasing property, opening bank accounts, or other official processes, having a Norwegian passport can simplify documentation and verification procedures.

Related: Travel Insurance in Norway

Eligibility Criteria for Applying for the Norwegian Passport

the norwegian passport

Obtaining a Norwegian passport is a symbol of one’s bond and affiliation with Norway. However, before applying for this significant document, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria. A Norwegian passport is primarily issued to those who hold Norwegian citizenship. Here’s a closer look at what’s involved:

Citizenship Requirements: Naturalization vs. Descent


For those who weren’t born in Norway or to Norwegian parents, the primary route to obtaining Norwegian citizenship is through naturalization. This means becoming a citizen after fulfilling specific residency requirements and demonstrating a commitment to integrating into Norwegian society.

  • Residency: Generally, adults need to have resided in Norway continuously for seven of the past ten years, with each year comprising at least six months in the country. However, there are exceptions, such as for refugees or individuals married to Norwegian citizens.
  • Integration: This typically involves passing a test in spoken Norwegian and a societal knowledge test in a language they understand.


If you were born to a Norwegian parent (either mother or father), you might automatically be a Norwegian citizen, regardless of where you were born. This right by descent is essential for ensuring that children with a Norwegian heritage maintain a connection with the country.

Age-related Specifications (Children, Adults)

Even though children can’t apply for a passport by themselves, they can be issued a Norwegian passport if they hold Norwegian citizenship. Their application process might be slightly different, requiring parental or guardian consent.

Adults over the age of 18 have a different application procedure and set of required documents. It’s essential to ensure that adults meet all eligibility criteria, especially concerning residency and integration, before applying for a passport.

How to Apply for a Norwegian Passport

Obtaining a Norwegian passport is a systematic process that ensures both the identity and eligibility of the applicant. For those who have ascertained their eligibility and are ready to apply, here’s a step-by-step guide to simplify the procedure:

Gathering the Necessary Documentation

Before heading to apply, you need to ensure that you have all the required documents. These typically include:

  • Proof of Identity: This could be any previous passports, birth certificates, or any government-issued ID that clearly indicates your name, date of birth, and photograph.
  • Proof of Norwegian Citizenship: For naturalized citizens, this will be your citizenship certificate. For those claiming citizenship by descent, relevant documents proving your Norwegian heritage will be needed.
  • Other Documents: Depending on individual circumstances, you might need marriage certificates, documents indicating name changes, or proof of residence in Norway.

Photograph Requirements

The Norwegian passport requires specific standards for the photographs:

Size35mm x 45mm
BackgroundLight grey or off-white
ExpressionNeutral (eyes open, mouth closed)
HeadgearGenerally not allowed unless for religious or medical reasons; face must be fully visible

Ensure that your photograph adheres to these guidelines, as it aids in the accuracy of biometric features used for identification.

Fees Associated with Applying

Obtaining a passport does come with an associated fee, which can vary based on age and other factors. It’s advisable to check the current rates on the official Norwegian government website or at the police station where you’re applying.

Where and How to Submit the Application

Applications for a Norwegian passport are typically submitted in person at local police stations equipped to handle passport applications. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Appointment: It’s recommended to book an appointment online to avoid long waiting times.
  2. Personal Appearance: Biometric details, such as fingerprints, will be taken during the appointment.
  3. Document Verification: Officials will verify all provided documents to confirm eligibility.
  4. Payment: Once everything is verified, you’ll be required to pay the passport fee.

After completing these steps, you will be informed about when to expect your passport. The waiting time can vary, so planning ahead, especially if you have imminent travel plans, is crucial.

Renewing a Norwegian Passport

Your Norwegian passport serves as a key to the world, and like all keys, it occasionally needs refreshing. Renewing a Norwegian passport is a straightforward procedure but requires attention to specific details. Here’s a guide to ensuring your passport is up-to-date and ready for your travels:

When to Renew: Expiration Period and Travel Considerations

A Norwegian passport typically has a validity period of ten years for adults and five years for children under the age of 16. However, it’s recommended to begin the renewal process well in advance of the expiration date. Additionally, many countries require travelers to have passports with at least six months of validity remaining beyond their planned stay. Keeping this in mind can help prevent any travel disruptions.

Steps for Renewal: Differences and Similarities with the Initial Application Process

1. Gather Your Current Passport and Necessary Documents: While you might not need as many documents as the first time, having your current passport and any other relevant paperwork is crucial.

2. Ensure Updated Photographs: If your appearance has significantly changed since your last passport photo, you will need a new picture. Make sure the photograph adheres to the Norwegian passport photo guidelines.

3. Visit Your Local Police Station: Similar to the initial application process, passport renewals are handled at local police stations equipped to process them.

  • Book an Appointment: To ensure a seamless process, it’s advisable to book an appointment online.
  • Biometric Details: Even if you’ve given these before, the authorities will take your biometrics again for security and verification purposes.

4. Pay the Renewal Fee: Just like with the initial application, there will be a fee associated with renewing your passport. It’s best to check the current renewal rates beforehand.

Updating Personal Details if There Are Changes

If there have been any significant changes in your personal details since the last time you obtained your passport—such as a name change due to marriage or any other reason—it’s essential to provide documentation supporting this change. This ensures that your renewed passport is accurate and up-to-date.

Additional Notes for Foreigners

For foreigners residing in Norway or those considering moving, understanding some of the nuances related to the Norwegian passport can be incredibly beneficial. While the primary processes of application and renewal have been covered, there are some specific situations and considerations that might be particularly relevant for those from other countries.

Dual Citizenship Considerations

Norway has, in recent years, allowed for dual citizenship. This means that, as a foreigner, you can potentially hold both your original citizenship and Norwegian citizenship concurrently. This is a significant aspect to consider, especially for those who want to maintain ties to their home country while also enjoying the benefits of being a Norwegian citizen.

However, it’s essential to:

  • Check with Your Home Country: While Norway allows dual citizenship, not all countries do. Ensure that your home country permits dual nationality to avoid any legal complications.
  • Understand the Rights and Responsibilities: Holding dual citizenship means you are a part of two nations, and you may have obligations (such as tax or compulsory military service) in both.

Lost or Stolen Passport: Immediate Actions to Take

Misplacing a passport or being a victim of theft can be stressful. If you find yourself in such a situation:

  • Report Immediately: Before anything else, report the loss or theft to the nearest police station.
  • Notify Your Embassy (if applicable): If you’re holding dual citizenship or are in the process of acquiring Norwegian citizenship, it’s wise to inform your home country’s embassy or consulate about the lost passport.
  • Apply for a Temporary Passport: If you’re abroad and need to return to Norway, you can apply for an emergency travel document at a Norwegian embassy or consulate.

Contacting Norwegian Embassies or Consulates Abroad for Assistance

If you’re a Norwegian passport holder and face issues while abroad, the Norwegian embassies or consulates can be of assistance. They can help with:

  • Emergencies: Whether it’s a lost passport or any other crisis.
  • Guidance: Provide information on local rules, regulations, or any other necessary guidance.
  • Services: Assisting in renewing or replacing passports, among other consular services.

Caring for Your Norwegian Passport

Your Norwegian passport is not just a document—it’s a symbol of your identity, your rights, and your bond with Norway. Given its significance and the freedoms it provides, taking proper care of this document is paramount. Here are some tips to ensure your passport remains in pristine condition and serves you efficiently during its validity:

Safe Storage: Keeping It Away from Harm

  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Store your passport in a cool, dry place. Exposure to heat, cold, or dampness can damage the passport and the information page.
  • Protective Cover or Pouch: Use a protective cover or pouch. This not only shields the passport from wear and tear but can also keep it safe from spills or stains.
  • Away from Children and Pets: If you have curious kids or pets at home, it’s wise to keep your passport out of their reach.

Guard Against Unauthorized Use

  • Regular Checks: Ensure you know where your passport is at all times. Regularly check its safe spot, especially if you don’t use it often.
  • Awareness during Travel: When traveling, ensure that your passport is safely stored, either in a secure section of your luggage or in a travel pouch you wear. Avoid leaving it in hotel rooms or other public spaces where it might get lost or stolen.

Handling Guidelines

  • Avoid Bending or Folding: Always handle your passport with care. Avoid bending, folding, or wrinkling the pages. This can affect the readability of important information or the embedded chip.
  • Use Clean Hands: Whenever you handle your passport, make sure your hands are clean. Oils, dirt, or other residues can deteriorate the pages or make them smudged.

Ensure Readability

The biometric chip embedded in your passport and the information page are the most vital parts. Ensure they remain undamaged.

  • Avoid Magnetic Fields: Don’t place your passport near devices or items that produce magnetic fields. This could corrupt the biometric chip.
  • Keep it Clean: Ensure that no marks, stickers, or scribbles are made on any part of the passport, especially on the photo and the information page.

Related: New to Norway: Embracing Life in Norway


Born in Trondheim and armed with a degree in International Relations, Sofia is our go-to Relocation Expert. She combines local know-how with international experience to offer tailored, empathetic advice for a seamless move to Norway.

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