7.12.5 Eligibility for naturalisation

The criteria for naturalisation in general stayed at the forefront of political debates, but there were relatively few developments in 2019. 

Amendments to the regulations on acquiring and losing the Norwegian citizenship came into force in 2019, and persons who are convicted or received a fine may be disqualified from naturalisation for a longer period. The Norwegian Parliament also put forward a proposal to amend the Citizenship Act and raised the requirement of language knowledge to Level B1 from A2 to be eligible for naturalisation.

The Court of Appeal in Ireland clarified the rules around the continuous residence requirement to be eligible for naturalisation. The Supreme Court in Ireland also ruled on the absence of providing a fully-justified decision for rejecting an application for naturalisation due to national security considerations. The Court recognised that decisions on naturalisation are at the discretion of the Minister and that the court can only decide on the lawfulness of such decisions. Nonetheless, it held that an independent assessment could have established whether any version of the information could be provided in a way that would not affect state interests.

The fee for naturalisation of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection was reduced from EUR 700 to EUR 550 in Greece.

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