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Country Update 2021: DENMARK

Contributed by: Helle Holm Thomsen (Advokat Kompagniet)

June 2021

1. Country Overview

The main themes regarding immigration law in Denmark in the year June 2020 – June 2021 has been within the asylum area where especially in spring 2021 the media (both national and international) has focused on the withdrawal of residence permit for refugees from Syria. However, the Refugee Appeals Board had already begun to reject subsidiary protection to Syrian nationals in December 2019, with the withdrawals increasing in 2020. It is Syrians from Damascus and Rif-Damascus with subsidiary protection (only being granted protection due to the general situation) that are at risk for the moment. So far, no persons from other areas in Syria are at risk and not persons who have been granted refugee protection due to personal circumstances.

Further, within Business immigration the authorities have difficulties in meeting the service goals for processing time due to the COVID-19 situation so there are delays in decisions andprolonged processing time for work permits.

The COVID-19 situation has also had an impact on the rules for entry into Denmark and countries will be divided into colour categories based on health authorities’ determination of the perceived COVID-19 risk in that country; there are different rules for entering Denmark for each colour category. Further information can be seen here:

2. Legislative Changes

A new proposal on moving the asylum treatment out of Denmark outside EU is expected to be approved. This is the initial law proposal that should make it possible for Denmark to send asylum seekers entering Denmark to a third country outside Denmark. The asylum seeker will have an evaluation on whether there are any special circumstances why they should not be sent out. If they are sent to a third country, it is this country that will deal with the application and the refugee if accepted will get the refugee status in that third country. No agreements have yet been made with any specific country, both there is initial talks with e.g. Rwanda.

New regulations took effect from 1 January [2021?]for a number of schemes in the area of work and study, for example requiring that salaries for persons with work permits must be paid to a Danish Bank account, regardless of the category of work permit.

Once again, the rules for obtaining Danish citizenship have been tightened, e.g. applicants should have permanent residence for a period of two years and have worked for 3½years within the previous 4 years. It is also still a requirement that applicants have no debt to public authorities, have no conviction, are being self-supported, have passed the Danish [language] test 3 and Danish history test, and applicants must shake hands with the mayor in the city in which they live (this is to ensure no Muslim extremist will get citizenship, but a bit of a crisis with the COVID-19 situation).

3. Business Immigration

I have described the new regulation above under legislative changes, but further information could be found at

4. Family based immigration

No new amendments has been made

5. Asylum

See description above.

6. Deportation

No forcible deportation of Syrian [refugees?], however they are housed in deportation centers and pressure is applied for them to leave “voluntarily”.

7. Citizenship

See the abovementioned.

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