What is the change? Denmark has adopted stricter qualification criteria for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence permits.  

What does the change mean? The new rules increase the minimum requirements to eight years of legal stay, regular full-time employment for 3 ½  of the previous four years, and not having received public benefits within the previous four years. Applicants may qualify for permanent residence after only four years of legal stay if they meet certain minimum salary, employment tenure and language skills requirements and pass a citizenry exam.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. The changes took effect March 15.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign residents applying for permanent residence permits.
  • Business impact: Foreign employees will generally need to wait an additional two years to become eligible for permanent residence, unless they meet the requirements to apply within four years.

Background: Under the new rules, foreign nationals must meet all of the following rules to be eligible for permanent residence:

  • Older than 18 years of age.
  • Fulfill all requirements of their current legal immigration status.
  • Have legally resided in Denmark for eight years.
  • Have not committed certain types of crimes.
  • Have no overdue public debts.
  • Have not received public benefits for the last four years.
  • Accept the declaration of integration.
  • Dansk Prøve 2 or higher language test.
  • Regular full-time employment for the last 3½ years of the last four years.
  • Still employed.

Individuals may apply for permanent residence after four years of legal stay if they meet all of the following:

  • Passed the active citizen exam test or have demonstrated active citizenship in Denmark for one year.
  • Full-time employment for four years in the last 4½ years.
  • Minimum annual taxable income of 275,400 kroner (about US$41,400) in the last 2 years.
  • Dansk Prøve 3 or higher language test.

BAL Analysis: Employers and individuals should be aware of the longer waiting period and stricter qualifying requirements to obtain permanent residence permits.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Denmark. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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