“As we allow double citizenship, we are ensuring that Norwegian law follows developments in a more globalised world, with more and more connections to more countries,” said Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of Knowledge and Integration.
If voted through, the bill will allow Norwegians to retain their Norwegian citizenship, even if they become citizens of another country. The same will apply to foreign citizens who wish to become Norwegian.
“This is very good news for Norwegians living overseas,” said Hanne K. Aaberg, Secretary General of Norwegians Worldwide.
Currently citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia are permitted to retain their former citizenships even after becoming Norwegian.
“The regulation today has a number of exceptions. Among other things, over half of those seeking Norwegian citizenship can retain their original citizenship,” Sanner said.
The proposed bill also sets up a simple procedure through which Norwegians who have lost their Norwegian citizenship when becoming citizens of another country can reclaim it.
Sanner said one of the advantages of dual citizenships was that it would make it easier to strip citizenship from Norwegian citizens with foreign backgrounds who carry out terror offences.
“The possibility of depriving some people of citizenship could in some cases be crucial to safeguarding our security,” he said.
“This has great emotional and practical significance for our members. Many Norwegian families abroad are heavily affected by the proposed legislative amendment.”
The bill will be debated and voted on in the parliament in the autumn.
Norway is now the only Nordic country which does not permit dual citizenship, and one of only three countries in Europe, together with Austria and The Netherlands, who do not allow dual citizenship.