Officials are having to clear up after some 58,000 foreigners were mistakenly given Norwegian citizenship, reports say.
According to the Directorate of Taxes, the error occurred after transition from the old card-based system to a computerised one around 1990.
“Everyone recorded as having emigrated [from Norway] between 1960 and 1975 was registered as a Norwegian citizen,” assistant director Harald Hammer told Aftenposten, Sunday.
The issue was only spotted by the Norwegian embassy in Morocco’s Rabat in 2007 when several Moroccans arrived asking for Norwegian passports.
While it is unlikely that anyone who is registered as a Norwegian citizen by mistake will realise officials’ slip-up, 64,501 people total have now had their citizenship altered to ‘unknown’, the paper writes.
It has taken five years for the bureaucrats to initiate measures to try to put matters straight, and some 6,000 genuine Norwegian citizens will only find out when renewing their passports,
“We can’t send out letters because we don’t know where they live,” said Harald Hammer. “We wondered what we should do and it putting things in order manually was a major job. In my defence, I’d like to say that this happened 22 years ago, long before my time.”
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