Permanent residence - Calculating the length of legal residence
In order to be granted a permanent residence permit in Denmark, it is a basic requirement that you must have resided legally in Denmark for at least 8 years, in certain cases 4 years. The information below explains how to calculate the length of legal residence.
The calculation of the 8 years of uninterrupted legal residence, in some cases 4 years of uninterrupted legal residence, is determined by which residence permit you hold and how you applied for the first temporary residence permit.
The residence is generally calculated on the following:
- If you applied for residence from a home country/abroad, the legal residence is calculated from the date of civil registration (CPR) in the municipality of residence following your arrival in Denmark.
- If you applied for residence while in Denmark, the legal residence is calculated from the date you first handed in the application for a residence permit in Denmark if the application resulted in a residence permit.
- If you hold a residence permit as a refugee or similar status, the legal residence is calculated from the date on which you were granted asylum in Denmark (the date on the residence permit) or in some cases from the date you were entered into the National Register (CPR).
In some cases, the legal residence will be calculated from the point in time where you meet the requirements for the residence permit. E.g. if you enter into marriage after submitting the application, the requirements will not be fulfilled until the point in time where you have entered into marriage.
Discontinuation of legal residence
Your residence is discontinued once your residence permit expires, lapses, or is revoked by the Immigration Service, the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration, or the Ministry of Immigration and Integration, and you have not applied for a new residence permit beforehand.
For instance, if you have traveled outside of Denmark and your residence permit has expired, lapsed, or been revoked, your previous residence in Denmark will not be taken into account. The calculation of your legal residence will start from the beginning if you are granted a new residence permit in Denmark.
To ensure that the calculation of your residence does not go back to the beginning, you have to apply for a residence permit before your current residence permit expires, lapses or is revoked.
If you apply for a new residence permit after your previous residence permit has expired, lapsed, or been revoked, the calculation of your residence will go back to the start. This means, that the residence will be calculated from the date that your new residence permit is in force. The date is stated in the letter that accompanies your new residence permit.
If you have been granted a dispensation from lapsing of your residence permit; your legal residence will not be discontinued. Please remember that should you have had resided abroad for an extended period, it is only two years of your stay abroad that will be included in the calculation of your residence.
When calculating the 8 years, in some cases 4 years, of legal residence in Denmark the periods in which you have resided abroad will be subtracted unless it is a short stay abroad e.g. a holiday.
It is without consequence whether you are registered with a Danish address or registered as departed in the National Register (CPR) while you are abroad. However, it is a condition that you have a valid Danish residence permit or you have been granted a dispensation for the residence permit lapsing if the stay abroad is to count towards the legal residence requirement.
Stationing or deployment abroad
In some cases, periods of time spent abroad can count as legal residence in Denmark.
This applies e.g. if you in the course of the employment have been stationed or deployed abroad for a period. That is if you are employed in a Danish company but you are deployed to solve a task or work abroad.
The period abroad is only included if you are stationed or deployed for:
- a Danish public authority,
- a private company,
- a non-government organisation, or
- a foreign or Danish aid agency
This also applies if your spouse or cohabiting partner has been stationed or deployed abroad and you take up residence with the spouse or cohabitating partner.
You can count a maximum of 2 years abroad as part of the legal residence requirement. This applies regardless of whether you need to meet the requirement of 4 or 8 years of legal residence.
A Danish public authority should be understood to mean a state, regional or municipal institution.
When being stationed abroad for a private company it is a requirement that the company must have a certain size. This means that the private company must have an average of at least 10 employees over a 12-month period. In the calculation all the employees must be taken into account without regards to the working hours.
Persons employed with public subsidies and persons employed under an employment agreement that is concluded for a specific task or time period cannot be included when calculating the number of employees.
When being stationed abroad for a non-government organisation it is a requirement that the organisation must have a certain size. This means that the organization must have an average of at least 10 employees over a 12-month period. In the calculation all the employees must be taken into account without regards to the working hours.
Persons employed with public subsidies and persons employed under an employment agreement that is concluded for a specific task or time period cannot be included when calculating the number of employees. In addition, the organisation must work for the public good, and it must be a natural part of the organisation’s activities that it would have a foreign-based employee. The employee must be paid by the organisation while abroad.
Other employment abroad
If you have lived abroad for a period due to certain employment reasons, such as working abroad without being stationed or deployed abroad, the period can in some cases count as part of the legal residence in Denmark. It can be included if a review of the case determines that there is significant reason for doing so.
A maximum of one year abroad can count as part of the legal residence requirement.
It is important in the assessment:
- whether the position in Denmark is related to the position abroad,
- whether you were working in Denmark prior to relocating abroad,
- whether you have been granted a leave of absence from the position in Denmark, and
- whether you will resume working in the previous position upon returning to Denmark.
Example: If you are a researcher and live abroad for a period of time in connection to the further research in Denmark.
You must be aware that normally it is a condition in order to get a permanent residence permit that you reside in Denmark, when the Immigration Service makes a decision in your case.