Q&A for refugees right now

Many refugees are nervous about what the new Financial Act Deal will mean for them – read our answers here.

UPDATED version after presentation of the proposal text, February 2019.


- Have the changes been passed?
Yes. The various parts will enter into force from March 2019 until November 2021. Read the whole proposal here (175 pages in Danish).

- Has the term refugee been changed?
No, but they will change the wording on the residence card, the sentence “med mulighed for varigt ophold” will be changed to “med henblik på midlertidigt ophold”. This could affect the right to free education above high school level, but the Ministry has replied that access to education or any other rights for various refugee groups will not be changed. In other words, it is still only refugees with a 7(3) status who do not have free access.

- How will a recognised refugee be affected by the restrictions?
At first, it will only be in the form of more focus on returning home voluntarily parallel with the aim of self support in the Job Center. A somewhat contradictory job for the local caseworkers.

On the longer view there will be a much higher risk of losing the residence permit. But it is no longer neccessary to apply for extension, this will be done automatically.

Parents (both couples and single) will lose 2,000 DKR per month per family after 3 years legal residence, if they still receive Integartion benefit (and the name will change to Self support and return benefit).

If you live in temporary housing, you will no longer have the right to be offered a permanent housing.

- What is the risk of being sent back if you are still in danger of persecution?
If you have asylum under article 7(1) quite severe changes must take place in your home country before yiou can lose it. But Immigration Service could call you in for interview and decide that you are no longer in danger according to the Refugee Convention, if the situation in Syria changes (for example if amnesty is given to people who fled form military service).

If you have asylum under article 7(2) or 7(3) even small changes for the better could mean that your permit will be revoked (for 7(2) depending on your asylum motive). The revoking will also include persons who have been family reunified to you. Good integration in terms of job, education, Danish language etc. will no longer be enough to stay.

- Do you think, Syria will be considered a safe country for returns on the short run? (months, few years)
Yes, some areas will probably be considered “safe” quite soon, so that people with asylum under art. 7(3) can be returned. But it might take a long time to actually carry this through in practice. And all cases must go through Refugee Appeals Board first.

- Which advise do you have for the ones with refugee status in Denmark right now?
Continue your education or job! No matter if you are going to stay or go back, it will be an advantage.

Don't panic. If the authorities consider revoking your permit, they will send you a letter and call you in for interview. You can prepare for this by talking to Refugees Welcome or other counsellors in time. Before the final decision you will get a lawyer to represent you in the Refugee Appeals Board.

If you are still here legally after 8 years you can apply for permanent residence (after only 4 years if you live up to ALL the hard conditions + the supplementary ones). It will still be possible to apply for permanent residence if and when you live up to the criteria, even if it says “med henblik på midlertidigt ophold” on your residence card.

if you are in a realtionship or married to a person with EU citizenship or just permanent residency, you might consider applying for family reunification. In some cases this will now be more safe than asylum. However, you can not apply for asylum in another EU country.