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Citizenship: How powerful is a Norwegian passport?

One of the key benefits of dual citizenship is a second passport. Exactly how useful is the Norwegian identification and travel document? 

Here's how handy the Norwegian passport is for travel. Pictured is a mock passport,
Here's how handy the Norwegian passport is for travel. Pictured is a mock passport, Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

It’s been almost two years since dual citizenship was introduced in Norway, making becoming a Norwegian citizen a much more viable option than it was before. 

A Norwegian passport is meanwhile one of the strongest travel documents in the world, meaning it could save you the hassle of costly and timely visa applications.

The rules for applying for citizenship in Norway rely heavily on specific factors like your existing nationality, how long you have lived in Norway, when you came to Norway and whether you are married or the partner of a Norwegian. 

In most cases, you must have lived in the country for at least seven of the past ten years to be considered eligible.

READ MORE: How to apply for Norwegian citizenship

For those who have made the most of the new citizenship rules and bagged a Norwegian passport, then congratulations, the passport is among the most powerful in the world in terms of visa-free travek.

A Norwegian passport allows visa-free or visa on arrival travel to 185 countries across the world, according to an index by the London law firm Henley & Partners. Overall the passport is ranked 7th in its power rankings. 

This puts it on a par with UK and US passports, according to the law firm, but below its Nordic neighbours Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The 7th place power ranking places it above the likes of Australia, Canada and Poland, however.  

The most powerful passports in the world belong to citizens of Japan and Singapore, who can visit 192 countries worldwide without a visa.

Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have the weakest passports in terms of areas citizens can travel to without an entry permit – they have visa-free access to less than 30 countries worldwide.

The law firm Henley & Partners evaluates data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), among other factors, and provides travellers with information on which countries they can travel to with their passports and whether a visa is required.

Each passport is scored on the total number of destinations that the holder can access visa-free. If no visa is required for each travel destination, then a score of 1 is given to that passport. This also applies if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) upon entry.

The rankings from Henley & Partners don’t take into account current Covid-19 travel restrictions, however. 

One set of rankings that does, however, is the one provided by Passport Index. With Covid-19 entry bans accounted for the Norwegian passport remains the seventh most powerful globally. 

According to the rankings that take Covid into account, Norwegian passport holders can enter 99 countries visa-free and be granted a visa on arrival in a further 38. This gives the dark purple document a global reach of 71 percent. 

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Tell us: How will the changes to Germany’s dual nationality rules affect you?

Germany's traffic light parties have announced plans to allow people to hold more than one nationality - a decision that could transform the lives of millions of non-EU migrants living in the country.

Turkish and German passport
A man displays a Turkish and German passport. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Britta Pedersen

Until now, most non-EU citizens were asked to give up their previous citizenship if they wanted to become German. 

The rules have meant that many people end up living in Germany for decades but never gain citizenship or the right to vote in elections. It has been a source of stress and controversy for many migrants – including Brits who were stung by the tough rules after Brexit and Turkish families whose relatives came over as guest workers in the fifties or sixties.

Were you happy to hear of the decision to allow multiple nationalities in Germany? Will it affect your decision to become ‘German’? Have you already given up an old citizenship and are wondering if you can get it back when the rules have changed? Do you have any concerns about the changes?

Whatever your thoughts are, we’d love to hear from you.