Apply for residency as a parent to a minor child who is a Danish citizen
You want to apply for a residence permit because you have a child under the age of 18 who is a Danish citizen. You, the applicant, is the child’s parent.
The expected maximum processing time is
Who may be granted residence permit as a parent to a minor child?
You can only be granted a residence permit because you have a child under the age of 18 who is a Danish citizen if there is a relationship of strong dependency between the two of you. So much so that the child will be forced to leave Denmark, if you are refused residency in the county.
It is the child’s best interest that is taken into consideration when determining whether you can be granted a residence permit.
What requirements do you have to meet?
When you are the family member of a Danish citizen, you can normally not be granted a residence permit due to the EU regulation on free movement, as they do not apply to purely internal conditions such as family conditions. However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that a third-country citizen can be granted an exceptional right to residence under the EU regulation.
This means that when you are a parent to a minor child, who is a citizen in an EU country, under particular circumstances you can be granted a residence permit in the EU country where the child either lives or must travel to and stay with you (derivative right of residence). This might be the case if a rejection of a residence permit will mean that the child will have to leave the EU.
A derivative right of residence thereby protects your Danish child's right as an EU citizen to enter, reside, and remain in his/her member state and ensures that the child is not forced out of Denmark because you are denied residence in this country.
A derivative right of residence is generally only relevant if you do not have another residence permit in Denmark, as you - and thereby your child - can remain in Denmark based on this.
If the requirements for being granted a residence permit no longer may be considered to be fulfilled – for example in connection with an application for an extension – then the Danish Immigration Service will assess on its own initiative if there is a basis for granting you a derivative right of residence instead.
The requirements you must meet depend on whether the minor child is living with both of his/her parents or not.
When a minor Danish child lives with both his/her parents (where you is a third-country national and the other parent is a Danish national) and when both parents share in daily caretaking of the child and the legal, emotional and financial maintenance of the child there is a presumption of a dependency relationship between the child and both parents.
The presumption rule implies that in such a situation you should normally be granted a residence permit. However, this does not apply if there are specific circumstances that contradict the existence of a dependency relationship between you and the child.
It is the assessment that there is a presumption of a dependency relationship of a nature that can form the basis for granting a residence permit to you, when there is a real and stable family life present. In assessing this, the duration of the family life, in particular the period during which you have lived with the child and the child's other parent, will be given considerable weight, just as requirements may be made to the actual exercise of family life in practice.
It is the Immigration Service who must specifically refute the presumption of a dependency relationship when there is a family situation in which the child lives with both parents who broadly share in the daily caretaking of the child.
In connection to this, the European Court of Justice asserted that in each specific case it will be determined who the child’s actual caretaker is and whether a relationship of dependency exists between the child and the parent, who is applying for a residence permit.
The Immigration Service conducts a specific assessment of the child’s best interest based on the following circumstances:
The child’s age,
physical and emotional development,
the degree of emotional attachment to you as well as the child’s other parent, who is a Danish citizen,
assessment of the risk that separation from you entails for the child’s stability.
The child’s Danish citizenship is a requirement for being granted residency as a parent to a minor child.
You can read more in a guidance on the right to residency as third-country family members to Danish citizens that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Integration has issued 14 August 2020 (in Danish only).
What type of residence permit will you be granted?
Temporary residence permit
You will initially be granted a temporary residence permit under the Aliens Act section 9c (1) typically valid for 2 years. If you and the child in Denmark still meet the requirements for residency, your residence permit can be extended.
If your child turns 18 within 2 years, you will instead get a residence permit valid until that time. This is because your residence permit is conditional on your child being under 18 and you will therefore not be able to have your residence permit extended if your child is no longer a minor at that time. However, in certain cases, a further extension will be possible if your personal circumstances make a refusal of extension particularly burdensome for you. You can read more about the circumstances that may be taken into account in this assessment
If you are married or cohabiting with the child’s other parent in Denmark, you can apply for family reunification as a spouse instead. You can choose to do this instead of applying on the basis of your Danish child from the beginning or when it is no longer possible to have your derived right of residence extended because your child has reached the age of 18. In both cases, you will have to submit a first-time application and you and your spouse/partner will have to meet the general conditions for family reunification as a spouse.
You may work in Denmark
If you are granted a residence permit in Denmark, you may work during the same period as the residence permit is valid.
Here you can get an overview of what to do when you as a third-country parent wish to apply for a residence permit based on your minor child, who is a Danish citizen.
You must fill in an application form and enclose documentation. Therefore, it is a good idea to gather documentation in advance.
You may need:
to fill in the application form
You, who apply for a residence permit, need to fill in the application form.
The application form includes detailed instructions for how to fill it in and which types of documentation you must attach.
You can fill in the application form in Word format on your computer before printing it out. The application form is also available as a pdf file that can be printed out and filled in by hand.
When you submit an application to the Immigration Service, we will process your personal information. You can read more about your rights and how we process your information on this page: Personal data – How we process your data
If you would like to make changes to an application after you have submitted it, you need to contact the Immigration Service. You do not need to submit a new application. Contact the Immigration Service
Applying from abroad
You can submit your application at a Danish mission (embassy or consulate), or an outsourcing office in the country where you live.
If there is no Danish mission or outsourcing offices in the country where you live, the list refers to missions Denmark shares a representation agreement with, e.g. Norway or Sweden. If there is no representation agreement, the list refers to the nearest Danish mission or outsourcing office in the region.
The Immigration Service recommends that you visit the website of the closest embassy or consulate before you submit your application. Individual offices might have additional requirements, such as extra passport photos or copies of your application.
Applying in Denmark
If you are in Denmark legally, you can usually submit your application in Denmark. You are in Denmark legally if you:
- hold a valid visa
- are not required to hold a visa, or
- hold a valid Danish residence permit.
You can submit it by sending it to the Immigration Service. You can send the online application through our contact formula or digital post. You can send it by mail to the Immigration Service’s address:
You do not have to attach a letter to your when sending your application to us. We can find your case by the information in your application.
You can also leave your application in the Immigration Service’s mailbox in Næstved.
When you submit your application, you will normally need to have your fingerprints recorded and a picture of your face taken. These are also known as your biometric features. Your biometric features are required for you to get a new residence card if you are granted residency.
You can have your biometric features recorded at the Immigration Service’s Citizen Service. You must book an appointment before you show up at the Citizen Service. Read more about where the Immigration Service’s Citizen Service has branch offices and how you book an appointment