Harder to become a Danish citizen

A new circular has been passed – the leading expert explains the new criteria on REFUGEES.DK

Eva Ersbøl s the leading expert on citizenship in Denmark, working for many years at the Danish Institute on Human Rights. We are happy that she has agreed to write a detailed fact page for us to explain the new rules as well as the procedure – read the whole text here, in English or Danish:.

FAKTA: Dansk statsborgerskab
FACTS: Citizenship in Denmark

A child acquires Danish citizenship automatically at birth, if one of the parents are Danish. But for immigrants and descendants, it has over the last 20 years become increasingly difficult to get Danish citizenship. Only one quarter of all foreigners living permanently in Denmark are Danish citizens, and the length of stay before obtaining it is going up.

A number of requirements have been tightened recently in a new deal between the government, Dansk Folkeparti og Socialdemokratiet. The new rules will cover applications sent in from July 5th 2018. Besides, they apply to pending applications received in the ministry back to February 5th 2017.

The tightenings concern language skills, self-support and criminal sentences. The access to dispensation for health reasons will also be restricted. More people will be excluded from ever obtaining the citizenship, and more people may possibly lose it again one day. A new ceremony will be introduced, which is mandatory to participate in – involving a much-debated handshake.