Published 07-10-2021

Updated estimate for SIRI's case processing times in 2021

SIRI still faces long processing times in a number of areas.

In the first three quarters of 2021 (from 1 January to and including 26 september 2021) SIRI has processed 12,763 applications for a residence and work permit on the grounds of work. This is more than in both 2020 (where, however, the number was negatively affected by Covid-19) and 2019, as SIRI processed, respectively, 9,162 (2020) and 11,670 (2019) applications for a residence and work permit on the grounds of work. However, SIRI still faces very long case processing times in a number of areas.

In May of 2021, SIRI announced an estimate of expected case processing times by the end of the third quarter of 2021. SIRI's estimate now is that the previously announced expectations in several areas are not realistic for the applications submitted by the end of the third quarter. This is due partly to the fact that the challenges with SIRI's extended case processing times have turned out to be more difficult to solve than expected, partly to the fact that SIRI has received substantially more applications than expected in a number of areas (especially Fast Track).

Below, SIRI has outlined updated intervals for the expected case processing times for applications submitted from the beginning of the fourth quarter and the rest of the year.


    Expected case processing time for the majority
  of applicants, fourth quarter of 2021 (1)
Fast Track    1-2 months
Pay Limit Scheme, ordinary (2)   3-4 months
Agriculture (herdsmen and farm managers)   1-2 months
Interns (agriculture etc.)   2-3 months
Other work schemes (3)   1-4 months
Researchers and guest researchers   1-2 months
Students    2 months
PhD   1 months
Au pairs   3 months


Notes for the table:
(1) The expected case processing time for applications submitted from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021 and later. An interval means that there is uncertainty about the realistic case processing time and that case processing times may vary over the time period. The majority should be taken to mean that around 70 to 90 percent of the applications have been processed within the indicated interval - depending on the type of scheme, individual conditions pertaining to the application etc.
(2) An application is seen as ordinary if it is submitted in a professional field where experience shows that a permit is usually granted. The case is seen as complicated if an application is submitted in a professional field where experience shows that applications are typically turned down. The estimate concerning the Pay Limit Scheme is excluding a number of particularly complicated cases in, among other things, the restaurant field, where experience shows that the majority of cases are turned down. For these cases, longer case processing times should be expected.
(3) Includes a number of smaller work schemes: Labour Market Attachment, Association stand-still, Drillrigs and other mobile work places, Establishment card, Job seeking stay, Special individual qualificatins, Accompanying family members,, The Positive List for Skilled Work, The Positive List for People with a Higher Education.


The expected case processing times above mean that case processing times continue to be too long. Therefore, SIRI will monitor the situation closely and will substantially increase the number of employees processing cases in order to decrease case build-up. As a result of the three-party agreement about labour of 6 October 2021, SIRI has been granted DKK 12 Million which will ensure the required resources to lower case processing times for foreign labour. Case processing times are expected to improve in the course of the fourth quarter, and with the recent agreement, this development is expected to continue in 2022 towards a normalisation of case processing times in the course of 2022.

Applications from accompanying family members are normally processed along the main applicant's application, or soon thereafter. However, in the present situation SIRI will focus on faster processing of the main applicants' applications. Consequently, no specific estimate for processing times has been announced for accompanying family members. This prioritisation also means that the case processing times for extensions may be longer than normal.

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