Frequently asked questions about seeking asylum in Denmark
What is an asylum seeker?
An asylum seeker is a person who applies for the right to reside in a foreign country and to be protected as a refugee by that country, but who has not yet been approved as a refugee. See also: spontaneous asylum seeker.
What is a spontaneous asylum seeker?
A spontaneous asylum seeker is a person who applies for asylum without already holding a residence permit (such as a family reunification residence permit).
What is a registered spontaneous asylum seeker?
A registered spontaneous asylum seeker is a person who has entered Denmark and applied for asylum and whose application Denmark has agreed to process. Registered spontaneous asylum seekers do not face being sent to another EU country, as called for by the Dublin Convention, or a safe third country.
What is an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker?
Asylum seekers under the age of 18 are considered 'unaccompanied' if they do not enter Denmark together with a parent or guardian. Read more about unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.
What does it mean to be non-deportable?
A non-deportable person is a person whose application for asylum has been rejected, but who cannot return to his/her country of origin. Read more about hindrances to deportation.
What is a refugee?
A refugee is a person whose application for asylum has been approved. See also: convention refugee and quota refugee.
What is a convention refugee?
A convention refugee is a refugee as defined by the UN Convention on Refugees. According to the convention, refugees are individuals who have a well grounded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, association with a specific social group or political beliefs.
What is a quota refugee?
A refugee residing outside of Denmark can be resettled in Denmark following an agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) or a similar international organisation.
What is a humanitarian residence permit?
A foreign national can receive a humanitarian residence permit if humanitarian considerations warrant it. Decisions about humanitarian residence permits are made by the Ministry of Justice. Read more about humanitarian residence permits.
Can I apply for a humanitarian residence permit even though my application for asylum has not been rejected?
Yes, you can apply for a humanitarian residence permit as soon as you have been registered by the Danish Immigration Service as an asylum seeker in Denmark. If you apply for a humanitarian residence permit within 15 days of being registered, you will be permitted to remain in Denmark until both applications are fully processed.
What is protected status?
In addition to the categories of refugees named in the UN Refugee Convention, Denmark also extends protection when required by other international conventions to which the country is a party. This means that Denmark grants residence to asylum seekers who face the death penalty, torture or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment if they return to their country of origin.
What are the steps of the asylum application procedure?
In the first step of the application procedure, the police question the individual to determine your identity, situation and route before arriving in Denmark. Next, the Immigration Service will determine whether the application is to be processed in Denmark or another country (cf the Dublin Regulation). If the application is to be processed in Denmark, the asylum seeker will be given help to fill out the necessary forms and will then be called to a meeting with the Immigration Service. After the meeting the Immigration Service will decide whether the applicant qualifies for asylum. Read more about applying for asylum.
How is an application for asylum processed?
There are three different ways to process asylum requests: the 'normal' procedure, the 'manifestly unfounded' procedure, and the expedited version of the manifestly unfounded procedure. Read more about all three procedures.
Is it possible to apply for asylum in Denmark from abroad?
An application for asylum in Denmark can only be made by a person in Denmark. It is not possible to apply for asylum at a Danish diplomatic mission or by writing to the Immigration Service or the Ministry of Justice.
What is a white card?
A white card is given to asylum seekers whose applications are being processed. The card is used as a proof that the foreign national has permission to reside in Denmark while his/her case is being processed.
What is an accommodation centre?
In Denmark, asylum seekers are generally required to live in accommodation centres while their applications are being processed.
What is repatriation?
Repatriation is the process in which a foreign national who holds a residence permit voluntarily returns to his/her country of origin for the purpose of settling there permanently. The regulations for repatriation are defined in the Repatriation Act. The repatriation process is administered by the Danish Refugee Council.
What is a safe third country?
Safe third countries are countries that have ratified and live up to the UN Refugee Convention.
If an asylum seeker has travelled to Denmark via a safe third country, the Immigration Service can, in certain situations, send the anylum seeker back to that country without processing his/her application for asylum.
What is the Dublin Regulation?
The Dublin Regulation is an agreement amongst the EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein regulating which state is responsible for processing an application for asylum. Read more about the Dublin Regulation.
What return procedure does the Dublin Regulation establish?
According to the Dublin Regulation Denmark may request that an asylum seeker's country of first registration accept that the he/she be returned from Denmark to that country, if the country is a part of the agreement.
What is the Dublin Regulation's transfer policy?
According to the Dublin Regulation, if an applicant has been in contact with authorities in another EU country, his or her asylum application may not be processed in Denmark. Instead, the asylum seeker will be sent to the country of first registration, where his/her application will be processed.
What is the Schengen Agreement?
The Schengen Agreement is an agreement facilitating the free movement of persons and services across the internal borders of the Schengen Area. At the same time, the agreement also increases control of the external borders of the Schengen Area and strengthens efforts to prevent cross-border crime and illegal immigration.
Which countries are in the Schengen Area?
Schengen countries have all ratified the Schengen Agreement. Currently these countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
What is the UN Refugee Convention?
The 1951 convention covering the rights of refugees (the UN Refugee Convention) and its 1967 protocol is the primary piece of international law governing Denmark's treatment of applications for asylum.
What is the Danish Refugee Council?
The Danish Refugee Council (Dansk Flygtningehjælp) is an independent, private humanitarian organisation that assists in the processing of manifestly unfounded and the expedited version of the manifestly unfounded asylum cases. The Danish Refugee Council advises and aids asylum seekers and refugees. Read more about the Danish Refugee Council.
What is Red Cross?
Red Cross is a private humanitarian aid organisation. Red Cross is responsible for running most of the accommodation centres where asylum seekers in Denmark live. Read more about Red Cross.
What is the Refugee Appeals Board?
The Danish Refugee Appeals Board (Flygtningenævnet) is the body that decides in Immigration Service cases that have been appealed. The Refugee Appeals Board functions as a court of justice, and makes its decisions by majority vote. Appeals are heard and decided upon by a three-member panel. The panel is made up of: a chair, who is a judge, a member appointed by the Ministry of Justice, and a member appointed by the Danish Council of Lawyers (Advokatrådet). Read more about the Refugee Appeals Board.
What is the UNHCR (UN High Commission for Refugees)?
The UNHCR is a humanitarian non-governmental organisation that provides protection for refugees and people living in refugee-like situations. Read more about the UNHCR.
What should I do if I have information about serious crimes committed abroad?
If you have information relating to serious crimes committed abroad by a person currently in Denmark, you should contact the Special International Crimes Office of the Danish Public Prosecutor. Such crimes include, but are not limited to: war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, acts of terrorism, murder and torture. Reporting such crimes will ensure that individuals who have committed them do not find safe harbour in Denmark, that the crimes are investigated and prosecuted and that the guilty parties are punished.