What does the Danish decision to grant asylum to all Afghan women mean for you and your family?
The Danish Refugee Appeals Board has followed the lead from Sweden and the EU Asylum Agency and decided to grant convention asylum status to ALL women and girls from Afghanistan – simply based on their gender, as Taliban’s policy amounts to gender persecution.
Since then, we have received a lot of messages from Afghans in Denmark and in Afghanistan, asking about their own options. The authorities have also been overwhelmed with calls. So here comes some general information:
It is still only possible to apply for asylum if you are physically on Danish territory. The new rules only affect the following groups:
1) The evacuated Afghans, most of whom have been granted a stay under the Special Act. They should apply for asylum immediately if they haven’t done so already, both men and women.
2) Rejected Afghan women and girls in the Danish asylum camps. Their cases will be re-opened automatically by the authorities.
3) Afghan women and girls who have a residence permit based on other grounds, usually due to family reunification. They should go to their local police or to Sandholm and apply for asylum. Immigration Service will call them in for interview later.
4) Afghan women and girls who have been granted asylum under §7,2 at any time. They should write an e-mail to the Refugee Appeals Board (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for a status change to §7,1.
5) Afghan women and girls who have been rejected earlier and left Denmark will only be able to apply again if they come back to Denmark, and only if they have not obtained a permit in another safe country meanwhile.
Other useful information:
• The convention status (§7,1) is very hard for Danish authorities to revoke, so no need to worry about losing it again, such as other refugees have done in recent years – they did not have the §7,1 status.
• If a woman is granted asylum, authorities will in most cases include her husband and her children under 18 years, so they will get protection based on their wife or their mother.
• Denmark has unfortunately no visa admission programs for women and girls who are still in Afghanistan (or other countries), but Germany has a program with special criteria. However, you cannot apply as an individual, only certain NGOs can apply for you.
• Family reunification from Afghanistan has become difficult, as Taliban no longer issues new passports, and Pakistan has stopped issuing visas to Afghans. For those reasons, it has become very hard to access a Danish embassy for identification and receiving the permit if such one is granted.
If you have questions, please contact us.
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