Nordic citizens and Danish citizenship

Denmark offers different benefits and opportunities to Nordic citizens who wish to obtain Danish citizenship. Here, we will explore the process of obtaining Danish citizenship for Nordic citizens, the requirements and benefits, and what it means to be a Danish citizen.

Overview of Nordic citizens and Danish citizenship

Nordic citizens are free to enter, study, work, and reside in Denmark , if they bring proof of identification. This can be your passport, driving license, or other types of formal identification.

That means, if you are planning to stay in Denmark for a longer duration of more than 6 months, you must apply for a Danish CPR number. Read more about CPR numbers here.

Moving to Denmark as a Nordic citizen

Nordic citizens are citizens of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Due to the Nordic Passport Union, they have certain rights and privileges in each other’s countries, which allows them to move and work freely across borders.

Nordic citizens have certain rights in Denmark that other non-EU citizens do not have, such as the right to work and live in Denmark without a work permit. In addition, Nordic citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship in Denmark and their home country.

This means you can move to Denmark without applying for a visa or residence permit beforehand - if you’re a Nordic citizen. Still, if you plan to stay in Denmark for more than 6 months, you’ll need to register with local authorities and be issued a CPR number you can use for administrative purposes, including opening a bank account and accessing Danish healthcare.

Are you not a Nordic citizen - but an EU/EEA citizen? Read more about residence in Denmark for EU/EEA citizens here.

Becoming a Danish citizen

You can obtain Danish citizenship as a nordic citizen - either by declaration or by naturalization .

Citizenship by naturalization

Nordic citizens can obtain Danish citizenship through naturalization (by law) if they meet these criteria:

  1. Residency requirements: Nordic citizens must have been living in Denmark for a certain period of time before they are eligible to apply for citizenship. This period can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances. If you are a Nordic citizen, you must have resided in Denmark for at least 9 years - but can, in some instances, apply after only 2 years of uninterrupted residence.
  2. Language requirements:
    You must demonstrate proficiency in Danish, either by passing a language test or by completing a Danish language course.
  3. Criminal record requirements:
    You must not have been convicted of any criminal offenses during your time in Denmark or be a threat to Danish national security.
  4. Age requirements:
    You must be at least 18 years old to apply for Danish citizenship.
  5. Financial self-sufficiency:
    You must also document that you can support yourself financially, provide a steady income, and pay for your living expenses without relying on social welfare. Furthermore, you cannot have any debt to the state. 
  6. Proof of employment or self-employment:
    You must provide proof of employment or self-employment in Denmark for at least 12 consecutive months before applying for citizenship.
  7. Must make a declaration of fidelity and loyalty to Denmark:
    If your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony, where you will swear an oath of loyalty to Denmark.

View all the conditions at the Ministry of Immigration and Integration here (in Danish).

Danish citizenship by declaration

Nordic citizens can obtain Danish citizenship through declaration if they fulfill these criteria.

  • Have a permanent address in Denmark - and have had so for the last 7 years
  • Have not been convicted of any criminal offenses
  • Have not been declared bankrupt
  • Is 18 years or older

There might be exceptions to the residency requirement for Nordic citizens seeking Danish citizenship through naturalization. Read more here.

The process of obtaining Danish citizenship

The process of obtaining Danish citizenship - as part of the naturalization procedure - for Nordic citizens involves different steps:

  • Required documents:
    You must provide documents such as their passport, residence permit, and proof of language proficiency.
  • Citizenship test and interview:
    Other than getting a certificate of knowledge of the Danish language, you must pass a test that assesses their knowledge of Danish society, history, and culture. You may also be required to attend an interview.
  • Application fees and processing time:
    There is a fee for applying for Danish citizenship (currently 1,100 DKK) , and the processing time can take up to two years.

The application form will ask you to provide information about your background, including your name, address, and nationality. You’ll also need to provide information about your employment history, education, as well as your criminal record.

When your application is approved, you’ll be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where you’ll swear an oath of allegiance to Denmark and receive your citizenship certificate.

Moving to Denmark? Don’t forget your Danish bank account

Lunar is a Danish, award-winning digital bank. If you become a user, you can open a free Danish bank account that includes a digital card as well as an easy-to-use banking app.

You can also open your NemKonto with Lunar, which you’ll need to receive payments from the Danish authorities and welfare system.

The sign-up process is easy and 100% digital, meaning you can do it from the comfort of your home.

Last updated August 18, 2023. This article is based on general information, and there may be special rules and circumstances that you should be aware of. This should not be considered counseling.