Citizen Rules on Voting Rights in Nordic Countries

In the Nordic region, you are so welcome to enjoy your longer stay as a dual citizen. By this it means, you will retain your home citizenship and still belong to the Nordic country in question. Amazingly, all five Nordic countries have finally conformed to accommodating inside and outside citizens. However, each of the countries has its rules when it comes to voting rights.

Although the Nordic countries accommodate their residents as well as foreigners, it does not end there. To some extent, there is a thin line drawn between aliens and born citizens. That is where political, economic, and social disparities come about.

An insider (citizen by birth) is more privileged than an outsider (another Nordic citizen or alien). Besides, foreign citizens only share a few common things. In terms of service provision, job opportunities, and many more, non-European citizens get the least.

As an ex-pat, it is such a daunting task to choose the best Nordic country for relocation. Worry not, for this piece will direct your compass to your landing point. Once you are there, adapting to the new environment is important. Depending on your years of stay, you can think of becoming a citizen too. Thanks to the Pan-Nordic for enabling dual citizenship. At least you can stand a chance to be an eligible voter in the country in question.

Who is Eligible to Vote in Nordic Countries?

The one crucial aspect that is undoubted is being a citizen before you vote. It is only for the few like in Denmark where non-citizen residents can vote at municipal levels. It will force outsiders to wait a little longer before they qualify for citizenship.

Additionally, you are not eligible to vote at a younger age than 18yrs. That voting is no kid’s affair. Therefore, mark your calendar correctly to only vote after celebrating your 18th birthday. The age issue is not a joke. It applies across the five Nordic countries.

Many a time, born citizens wonder if they have a right to vote away from home. Yeah, it’s possible to vote from abroad. Mark you, the condition is, your name must exist in the population register. Besides, this applies to aliens and born citizens alike. Alien citizens, however, must consistently stay within their home municipality for a predetermined number of days. For instance, Finnish voting rules work 51 days before an election to assemble the register.

Citizen Rules Impact on Voting Rights in the Nordic Countries

Without much thought, answering the question of who votes where and how, tells it all. Citizenship highly affects the positions in which one can vote in each of the Nordic countries. They believe that there are some positions you can get the chance to vote while in others, it is only their citizens who are allowed. Below, we will discuss the way citizen rules affect voting rights in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and Norway.


Unlike Norway, foreigners relocating to Sweden only visit for five years before they think of citizenship. In addition to good conduct, financial stability also matters to any adults above 18yrs. On arrival, you are likely to notice the fluency of Swedes in speaking English. This will go a long way to aid in easy communication for the sake of interactions. To great extent, you will realize how soon and simple it is to acquire citizenship there compared to other Nordic countries.

It is only appropriate to become a Swedish citizen if you wish to take part in voting. It does not stop there, a visit to the population registrar is necessary, thirty days before Election Day. Just to enlighten you a bit, only Swedish born-citizen can take part in Riskdag elections. Meaning, foreign citizens- be they Nordics or aliens, have restrictions to voting in municipal elections.

Nonetheless, all eligible citizens with an EU membership should vote in European elections. Besides, this only works if you make early notification at the European electoral roll. Among the reasons like flexible methods of translating votes, Sweden has ever since shown high voting turnout.

Denmark Voting Rights for Residents and Citizens

Did you mean a whole nine years, of waiting? Well, that is how it goes for dual citizenship in Denmark. Out of the five Nordic countries, Denmark is more stringent on bent laws. In fact, any slight crime against the state will straight land you in jail. As if that is not enough, you are further entitled to permanent exclusion from acquiring citizenship through naturalization.

While voting is necessary for all citizens, there are few reservations about insider citizens. Apart from Danish (by birth) citizens residing in Faroe Island and Greenland, the rest can vote in parliamentary and referendum elections. Besides, they join foreign citizens to vote in Municipals because they are non-members of the EU.

Because Denmark is solid on residence period, you had better count it right. The day you registered at the Danish Civil Register marks day one of counting. Besides, if you are a Danish citizen, above 18 years and have a membership with the EU, you can vote in European elections. Despite having multiple memberships with the EU, you will vote in honour of one country.

Finland Voting Rights for Residents and Citizens

Voting rights differ depending on whether they are municipal, European Parliament, Finnish Parliament, or the Presidential elections. For instance, for the municipal elections, Finland citizens and European Union member states are allowed to participate. The other people allowed to participate are Norway and Iceland citizens. However, one must be 18 years and above. As I said before, age matters a lot when it comes to voting.

Are you from another country and wondering if you can participate in the municipality elections? The answer is yes if you are 18 years and above. However, you should have been residing in the municipality where you want to vote 51 days before the elections day. The municipal elections take place after every 4 years.

For the European Parliament, any Finnish is 18 years before the election day can vote. The place or country or residence does not matter in this case. Citizens from the other European Union have the right to vote. However, they should have stayed in the municipality where they are voting for 51 days before the election day. The elections are normally held after every 5 years.

As a Finnish citizen who is 18 years and above, you are allowed to participate in the Finnish parliamentary elections. In this case, your residence place does not matter. However, you have to remember that the election registered is assembled 51 days before elections. The parliamentary elections are held after every 4 years.

Lastly, for the presidential elections, Finnish citizens who are 18 years and above can participate. Since the population register is assembled 51 days before the election, only the citizens who have been registered may participate. The elections take place after every 6 years. However, to be part of the presidential contestants, you must be a native Finnish citizen.


In Iceland, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian citizens legally residing in Iceland can participate in the elections. Besides, other foreigners who have been residing in the country for three consecutive years have a right to be part of municipal elections.

Unlike other Nordic nations, foreign nationals are not allowed to take part in national referendums, parliamentary elections, or even presidential elections. However, Danish citizens who have been residing in Iceland for the past 10 years can participate. Also, Danish citizens, who resided in Iceland in 1946 March 06 can participate.


In Norway, even foreigners are allowed to vote. However, this is only applicable in the county as well as local elections. For the people from the other Nordic nations, they should have been registered as staying in Norway before June 30th of the year of the elections are conducted. However, for foreigners, one should have been staying in the country for the past 3 years consecutively.

In Norway, every individual who is entitled to vote does get a voting card in the post. The card has information regarding the election including the location. As an eligible foreigner, ensure that you participate in the elections. It is only through it that you can get good representatives. The representatives can help make laws for elderly care, health, public transport, and education.