Refugees misunderstand letters and panic for no reason
"It means that I can't live a normal life, as my case will be assessed every second year without access to apply for permanent residence permit. Among other things I can't obtain a loan, and if I get sent back to my home country as an elderly person I will have no pension to live from, and I would have to start all over in a country that I don't know anymore."
A refugee wrote these words to Refugees Welcome the other day. We replied that we know it has become very hard to obtain permanent residence permit, but why did he think he was not allowed to apply for it?
That was how he had understood a letter he recieved from Immigration Service in November last year, as a consequence of the so-called Pradigm Shift. In spite of his perfect Danish, he had misunderstood the content of the letter. We had to swictch to English in order to explain to him that nothing had in fact changed, except the words on his residence card.
As a refugee from Iran he can count on an extension every second year, unless he commits a crime or visits Iran. The parliament did pass some rules making it easier to revoke residence permts, but for most refugees it will not be possible because of international conventions.
And he is by far not the only one who misunderstood the symbolic change. Many refugees have become stressed over the letter, and also over the fact that the municipality now informs all refugees about the access to a lot of money if they go home voluntarily.
Before the change, there was a destinction between "residence permit allowing for durable stay" (asylum under Danish art. 7(1), 7(2) and 8, and "residence granted for temporary stay" (humanitarian stay and asyl under 7(3). Since February 2019, all refugees are under the second wording – but everybody still has the access to apply for permanent stay.
There is also a problem in the wordings on the two asylum statuses 7(2) and 7(3). The first is called "Protection status", the second "Temporary protection status". But they are both temporary! 7(3) should be called "General protection status" and 7(2) "Individual protection status". Read more about asylum status here.
If you are in doubt about a letter or your rights, you are alwasy welcome to contact our free counseling in Refugees Welcome, in person, via Facebook, on e-mail or on the phone (click the link for info).
Read more about the rules for pemanent residence permit here.