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Permanent residence

Here you will find information concerning the rules for being awarded a permanent residence permit in Denmark. Please note that the information is a simplified and revised version of the rules. If you have any doubt or would like additional information, you can read the rules in their entirety or you can contact the Danish Immigration Service.

You can apply for a permanent residence permit at anytime
Read more about how to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Please note that there are special requirements if:

You have had asylum in Denmark (refugees) for the past eight years, and have shown a willingness to integrate. Read more

You are between the ages of 18 and 19, and have worked or studied continuously since completing primary school (folkeskolen). Read more

You have a strong conncetion to Denmark. Read more

You are a pensioners or early age pensioner. Read more


  • You must still qualify for temporary residence
  • You must be over the age of 18
  • You must have resided in Denmark legally for at least five years. Read more
  • You must not have a criminal record. If you have been sentenced to more than 18 months in prison you are disqualified from receiving permanent residence. If you have been sentenced to less than 18 months in prison (whether suspended or served) you are temporarily disqualified from receiving permanent residence. Read more
  • You must not have any overdue public debts. Read more
  • You must not have received certain types of public benefits for a period of three years prior to submitting your application for permanent residence, or while your application is being processed. Read more
  • You must have submitted a signed declaration of integration and active citizenship in Denmark. Read more
  • You must have passed the Danish language test 1 or a Danish language test of an equivalent or higher level. Read more
  • You must have held a regular full-time employment and/or been enrolled in an educational programme in Denmark for at least three of the five years prior to submitting your application for a permanent residence permit. Read more
  • You must continue to be working or studying at the time when the Danish Immigration Service decides the case

If you do not meet the requirements for a permanent residence permit 

If you do not meet the requirements you cannot obtain a permanent residence permit, unless you belong to the special group that is exempt from one or more of the requirements or if Denmark's international obligations require that you be granted an exemption. Read more about the special consideration

If you do not meet the requirements for a permanent residence permit, you can instead apply for an extension of your temporary residence permit and then apply for a permanent residence permit at a later time.

Collateral requirement

An application for temporary residence as a family-reunified spouse will normally not be approved unless the spouse living in Denmark has posted collateral in the form a financial guarantee. This collateral requirement is set out in Aliens Act Section 9 (1) (1) and Section 9 c (1).

In order for the Immigration Service to approve an application to renew a residence permit, the original financial guarantee must either be renewed or a new one must be posted.

Read more about applying for family reunification

Once permanent residence has been granted, a financial guarantee will no longer be required, and any funds held by the family-reunified spouse’s local council as collateral will be returned.

If you reside in Denmark under EU rules, you will need to meet other requirements for a permanent residence permit 

If you are covered by the EU rules on freedom of movement (either as an EU citizen or as a family member of an EU citizen), and you have a right to stay in Denmark, you can qualify for permanent residence under the EU’s requirements after residing in Denmark for five years.

Read more about the EU’s requirements for residence on the Regional State Administration’s website.

Read more about special rules apply to family members of a Danish citizen who is covered by the EU’s free movement of persons rule. (Only in Danish) 

Last update: 4/1/2015
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Published by: The Danish Immigration Service