New arrivals face integration demands

Asylum seekers and immigrants arriving in Norway will soon face new demands aimed at ensuring better integration and competence in the Norwegian language. Education Minister Jan Tore Sanner of the Conservative Party claimed a proposed “integration law” marks the “biggest change in integration policy in Norway since 2003.” That’s when Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who […]

Debate rises over language training

Immigrants and asylum seekers arriving in Norway are immediately urged to learn the language in order to get a job. Only some receive any public support for often-expensive language training, however, and now the government is under criticism for making more language demands. Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, who also leads the opposition in […]

Anonymity can aid job applicants

Government Minister Monica Mæland thinks it’s probably much easier for people with names like “Lars” or “Kristin” to get a job in Norway than it is for those with names that suggest non-Norwegian heritage. Her ministry is thus launching a new approach to affirmative action by testing a digital form of anonymous job applications. “In the […]

Parliament approves dual citizenship

UPDATED: It was a big day for long-term expatriates in Norway and Norwegians who’ve moved abroad. After years of debate, a majority in Parliament finally approved dual citizenship in Norway on Thursday for all those who have strong ties to both their homeland and their country of residence. “I think this is a day of […]

Bestseller bound to break boundaries

Zeshan Shakar grew up in Oslo’s Stovner district and wrote a book about it that’s been winning rave reviews. Now his revealing story about two boys caught between their immigrant parents’ hopes and limitations, compounded by their own choices in the Norwegian capital, is about to be translated into English and just may strike a […]

Dual citizenship still a few years away

Norway’s conservative coalition government has decided to send a proposal to Parliament that would finally allow dual citizenship on a formal basis. It still may take a few years, however, until the application process is in place. Many foreigners living in Norway and abroad currently have dual citizenship, but they’ve won it as an exception […]

Record number became Norwegian citizens

A total of 21,600 people obtained Norwegian citizenship last year, setting a new record by a wide margin. The number of officially new Norwegians was up by nearly 8,000 over 2016. Fully 80 percent (18,200) of those who applied for and received Norwegian citizenship come from countries outside Europe. That’s not so unusual, since residents […]

Listhaug quits after losing confidence

UPDATED: She’d lost the confidence of a majority in Parliament and would have been held responsible for the collapse of Norway’s conservative coalition government. Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug ultimately suffered the consequences of her controversial behaviour by announcing Tuesday morning that she would resign her cabinet post and instead take one of her Progress Party’s […]

Somalian leader to probe ‘Koran schools’

Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with her Somalian counterpart at the World Economic Summit in Davos this week, and he promised her that he would investigate concerns about alleged brutality at so-called “Koran schools” in Somalia. Hassan Ali Khaire, who retains a Norwegian passport after arriving in Norway as a refugee in 1989 before returning […]

Ban looms on marriage between cousins

Both ends of the political spectrum in Norway seem to agree on a proposal to prohibit marriage between what Norwegians call søskenbarn, the children of brothers and sisters. The conservative Progress Party and the Labour Party support a ban and will move the proposal forward in Parliament. Norway’s own royal family has earlier engaged in […]