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How will Brexit affect British citizens living in Norway?

Information for British citizens and their family members living in Norway.

This information will be updated regularly.

The UK has left the EU. British citizens are no longer citizens of the EU, and the UK is no longer a member of the European Economic Area (EEA).

On 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU, with a Withdrawal Agreement in place. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, there will be a transition (or implementation) period, during which much will remain the same.

The transition period is due to last until 31 December 2020, but it may be extended if the EU and the UK agree to this. The Storting (Norwegian parliament) has adopted an act that makes a transition period applicable in Norway too. During the transition period, the UK will be treated as if it were still a member of the EU and EEA. The rules on free movement will continue to apply, and the rights of British citizens and their family members in Norway will remain unchanged during this period.

Norway and the other EEA EFTA States have now signed an agreement with the UK (the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement) that, among other things, safeguards the rights of British citizens and their family members living in Norway and similarly protects the rights of EEA EFTA citizens living in the UK. The Separation Agreement largely mirrors the Withdrawal Agreement reached between the EU and the UK. The purpose of the Separation Agreement is to ensure that British citizens who are living in an EEA EFTA country at the end of the transition period can continue to do so and will continue to enjoy broadly the same rights as they do now. 

Detailed information about Norway and Brexit can be found on the Government’s website: regjeringen.no. The UK Government has also published guidance for UK nationals living in Norway

The EU and the UK have approved the Withdrawal Agreement. Consequences for UK nationals in Norway.

In December 2018, Norway and the other EEA EFTA States announced that they had reached an agreement with the UK (the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement) on protecting citizens’ rights and resolving separation issues arising from the UK’s exit from the EU. This Separation Agreement largely mirrors the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK.

Part Two of the Separation Agreement between the EEA EFTA States and the UK, on citizens’ rights, will enter into force at the end of the transition period. Under Part Two of the Agreement, British citizens and their family members will, subject to certain conditions, be able to continue to live and work in Norway after the end of the transition period, provided that they were legally residing in Norway, in accordance with the EU’s Free Movement Directive, before the end of the transition period.

British citizens in Norway will retain the right to family reunification that they have under current EEA legislation, provided that that the family relationship is established before the end of the transition period, i.e. by 31 December 2020. This also applies to children born or adopted after the end of the transition period. 

British citizens and their family members who want to live or work in Norway after the end of the transition period will be subject to the same rules as non-EEA/EU citizens (as set out in the Norwegian Immigration Act).

Questions about Norwegian citizenship

The processing of applications for Norwegian citizenship for British citizens will not be affected by Brexit. The UDI (Directorate of Immigration) processes applications for Norwegian citizenship in the order in which they are received. There will be no special priority scheme for applications from British citizens. You can check the average processing time for applications for Norwegian citizenship on the UDI website. 

On 6 December 2018, the Storting adopted a resolution allowing dual citizenship for anyone who is or wishes to become a Norwegian citizen. This means that you will no longer have to renounce your current citizenship in order to become a Norwegian citizen.  More information is available on the UDI website.

Find out more about the rules for Norwegian citizenship here.

Questions and answers about British citizens’ rights in Norway during and after the transition period

1) I have right of residence in Norway that will be valid on the date the transition period comes to an end, but I am planning a trip abroad and will be returning to Norway after that date. What documents should I have with me to confirm that I have right of residence when I enter Norway again?

Your current registration certificate (for EU/EEA citizens) or residence card (for third country nationals) will continue to be accepted as proof of your right of residence in Norway until you get your new residence card. In addition, a residence certificate, issued by the Norwegian Tax Administration, can be used to document that you were resident in Norway on the date the transition period came to an end, and will also be accepted as proof of right of residence until you can get a new residence permit or residence card.

Residence certificates can be ordered from the Norwegian Tax Administration via Altinn. The certificate will be sent to your official Norwegian address as listed in the National Population Register. Norway will communicate the information that these documents confirm right of residence in Norway to the EU, and it will be included in the list in Annex 22 of the Commission’s Practical Handbook for Border Guards (Schengen Handbook).   

2) I have permanent right of residence in Norway. What will my status be once the transition period is over? Will I have to apply for residence in Norway again? 

If you are a British citizen with permanent right of residence in Norway on the date the transition period comes to an end, you will retain this right, but you will have to apply for a permanent residence permit and residence card. Norway will be issuing a new type of residence permit for British citizens who live in Norway or move to Norway before the end of the transition period.

The new application procedures are being developed, and are due to be introduced on 1 January 2021. Information about the new application procedures will be published on the UDI website later this year. Applications for the new type of residence permit will have to be sent in through the UDI Application Portal. In the meantime, you have the right to continue to reside in Norway. It is not possible to apply for this type of residence permit yet.

3) Can I stay in Norway if I have not been granted permanent right of residence before the end of the transition period?

Yes. If you are a British citizen and have right of residence in Norway on the date on which the transition period ends, but have not yet been granted permanent right of residence (after five years), you will still have the right to reside in Norway.

4) I was issued with a permanent residence permit many years ago, and do not have a registration certificate or a residence card. How can I prove that I am legally resident in Norway?

If you are a British citizen and were issued with a permanent residence permit or a permanent settlement permit under previous immigration legislation, you will not lose your right of residence even if you do not have a registration certificate/residence card, unless you have stayed outside Norway for a continuous period of more than two years.

If you have a residence/settlement permit and a Norwegian national identity number (11-digit personal identifier), you can assume that you are legally resident in Norway. When the transition period comes to an end, you will have to order a residence card. You can do this through the UDI Application Portal. In the future, your residence card will be proof that you are legally resident in Norway.   

5) Will I have to meet new requirements in order to continue living in Norway?

No. If you are a British citizen with right of residence in Norway before the end of the transition period, you will not need to meet any new requirements in order to retain your right of residence. However, you will be required to apply for a residence permit and residence card once new legislation has entered into force. Norway will be issuing a new type of residence permit for British citizens who live in Norway or move to Norway before the end of the transition period.

The new application procedures are being developed, and are due to be introduced on 1 January 2021. Information about the new application procedures will be published on the UDI website later this year. In the meantime, you have the right to continue to reside in Norway. It is not possible to apply for this type of residence permit yet.

If you do not have a registration certificate (for EEA/EU citizens), a residence card (for family members who are third country nationals), or a permanent residence permit/permanent settlement permit, you will have to provide proof that you moved to Norway before the end of the transition period and that you qualify for residence under the EU Free Movement Directive. We recommend that you register with the Norwegian authorities as soon as possible after your arrival in Norway. More information is available here.

6) Will my spouse be able to move to Norway after the end of the transition period?
Yes, if you are a British citizen residing in Norway, your spouse will still be able to apply for family reunification after the end of the transition period under the current rules for EU/EEA citizens, provided that you were married before the date on which the transition period comes to an end. This is included in the Separation Agreement signed by the UK and the EEA EFTA states.

7) I am a British citizen residing in Norway with my spouse. We are planning to have a child. If our child isn’t born before the end of the transition period, will he/she be entitled to residence in Norway?  

Yes, children who are born or adopted after the date on which the transition period comes to an end will also be covered by the Separation Agreement.

8) Will I still be able to reside and take up work in other EU/EEA states?

The right of free movement for British citizens will end at the end of the transition period. The right of residence and employment in other EU/EEA states will depend on the rules in these states and on their future relationship with the UK.

9) I am a British citizen with the right to reside in Norway. Will I have to apply for a visa to travel to other countries in the EU/EEA after the end of the transition period?

It has been decided that British citizens who visit Norway or other countries in the Schengen area for a short stay (up to 90 days in the course of a 180-day period) will not require a visa.

10) I am a British citizen and I want to move to Norway before the end of the transition period. What do I have to do to ensure that I have right of residence in Norway? 

Until the end of the transition period, British citizens will be treated in the same way as EU/EEA citizens, in accordance with the Free Movement Directive. If you want to work or live in Norway for more than three months, you are required to register with the Norwegian authorities. More information is available here. We recommend that you register as soon as possible after your arrival in Norway.  

11) I am a British citizen and I want to live and work in Norway after the end of the transition period. Which rules will apply then?

After the end of the transition period (i.e. after 31 December if the transition period is not extended), you will be treated according to the rules that apply to citizens of countries outside the EEA/EU (third country nationals). These rules will apply to British citizens and their family members who want to work and/or reside in Norway, and to British service providers posted to Norway on assignment.

The main categories of workers from countries outside the EEA who are eligible for residence in Norway are skilled workers, posted workers, self-employed workers and seasonal workers. More information about the rules on right of residence for third-country nationals is available on the UDI website.

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  • Updated 29 June 2020: Questions and answers about British citizens’ rights
  • Updated 1 February 2020: Updated to reflect the fact that the UK left the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement in place.
  • Updated 17 January 2020: Up-to-date information on dual citizenship added.
  • Updated 5 November 2019: Link to temporary regulation on the right of continued residence for British citizens and their family members.
  • Updated 18 March 2019: Information added on the use of British driving licences after Brexit.
  • Updated 7 March 2019: Information added on the documents needed to confirm right of residence.

 

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