This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål
I am a Norwegian, born in Norway, and have two gorgeous daughters with my Australian wife.
Our daughters were born in Norway in 2005 and 2007, respectively. You would think they have Norwegian citizenship.
My wife has lived here since 1998, has permanent residency in Norway, and we have lived here in Norway most of the time since then. She is truly integrated in Norwegian society.
When the children were born they obtained their birth certificates, and also Norwegian passports – just like any other Norwegian children.
Last Friday our world almost fell apart – I was reading a thread on Facebook and realised that there is a big chance that our children have lost their Norwegian citizenship!
They were born in Norway, and I simply can’t understand the logic that UDI takes that strips them of their Norwegian citizenship – I am a Norwegian, they are born here in Norway, they have lived most of their life in Norway. They simply are Norwegian!!!
Here is a bit of background about us and our current situation:
When our daughters were born we chose to spend time in Australia to allow our children to get to know their mother’s home country.
A child born to an Australian citizen overseas qualifies for Australian citizenship by descent (this is the same as, for instance, a US citizen who gives birth here in Norway).
In order to adhere to Australian rules, we contacted Australian immigration experts before we entered Australia with our first-born daughter. My wife was given the information that our daughters qualified for citizenship by descent, and that they then had to enter Australia on an Australian passport. The paperwork for the citizenship by descent was to be organised by my wife. Note that I did not need to sign anything on the form she sent in.
We followed all the Australian rules stated to us, and through the Norwegian rules and legislation we found out (interpreted) that our daughter could keep her Norwegian citizenship – at least until the age of 22.
It should be mentioned that the Australian immigration expert told us that she could keep both citizenships for life. This has been verified through information from consulates/other Norwegians’ stories. Even as late as the 16th of July this year the information was verified in an answer from from one of the Norwegian consulates in Australia.
When our second daughter was born, my wife again took out Australian citizenship by descent for her.
Last year we moved back to Australia for family reasons. The original plan was to stay in Australia for up to 12 months initially.
Last weekend was simply terrible. It came to our attention that one other Norwegian – a Norwegian parent with children born both in Norway and Australia – has not been allowed to return to Norway with her family. The reason is apparently that her twins born in Norway were judged to be no longer Norwegian by UDI. Furthermore, their Norwegian citizenship had been revoked because their Australian parent had taken citizenship by descent for them.
Even more confusingly, her daughter born in Australia had no problems – she is legally both Australian and Norwegian. The rules are such that for children born to a Norwegian in, for instance, Australia, will be Australian from birth. If our daughters were not born in Norway, but rather Australia, we could legally have applied for citizenship in Norway for them. Then our daughters would legally have been both Norwegian and Australian.
Imagine that – you are more Norwegian if you are born in Australia than in Norway!
The information was, mildly speaking, disturbing. Have my Norwegian, Norway-born daughters really lost their Norwegian citizenship?
Have my daughters lived in Norway illegally most of their life? What will happen to them now? Will we ever be able to move back to Norway as a family?
I cannot see that I have done anything wrong. I have NEVER signed or legally consented to the Australian citizenship by descent. This is purely a process where the Australian parent applies the rights that she/he has when she/he has children overseas. We – the Norwegian parent(s) – simply don´t have anything to do with it!!
The situation also seems so unfair. Australia seems to be one of the few countries where this causes a problem with UDI. Australia, UK, Canada, England, etc. all give the right for their citizens to take citizenship by descent for their children. Norway has no problem with any of the other countries listed above, but make a distinction with Australia, and claim that in the Australian system you send in what is referred to as a form/registration/application in various situations, and that in, for example, the USA, you send in a registration form. UDI discriminates against us that have Australian partners, because they say that as opposed to in the USA, an “application” has to be filled out in the Australian system.
Can UDI really be allowed to discriminate against us simply because the different systems have a natural difference in wording? In either case this is simply “CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT” for the children of a parent that gives birth away from their home country. It just seems SO unfair!
This is so frightening and depressing. And it just doesn’t seem fair! The situation where my wife simply used the rights that she has as an Australian citizen giving birth in Norway directly punishes my daughters, and they are not able to freely live/move back to Norway with us – their parents…