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11.05.2012

New rules for family reunification

Parliament has ratified a new law concerning family reunification in Denmark.

These new rules will go into effect on 15 May 2012.

Among the changes are:

  • The fee to apply for family reunification – including applications for extensions, permanent residence, reopening applications and appealing rejections – will be eliminated.
  • The point system, which required applicants to acquire 120 or 60 points, used in family reunification cases will be eliminated. The minimum age requirement will also revert back to earlier rules so that both spouses involved in family reunification must again normally be at least 24, as it was prior to the law changes of 1 July 2011.
  • The connection requirement will also revert back to the stipulations in place before 1 July 2011. This means that the combined affiliation to Denmark of both spouses must be greater, but not much greater, to Denmark than their affiliation to another country.
  • The connection requirement will not apply if the spouse living in Denmark has been a Danish citizen for longer than 26 years or if the spouse living in Denmark is a foreign national who was born in Denmark or came to Denmark as a child and has remained in Denmark legally for 26 years. Previously the requirement was 28 years.
  • The immigration test will be eliminated and instead a Danish language test will be implemented. The applicant will be required to pass the test no later than six months after being granted family reunification.
  • The collateral requirement will be reduced from 100,000 kroner to 50,000 kroner.

From 15 May detailed information about family reunification rules on the Immigration Service’s website www.newtodenmark.dk and here you will also find revised application forms containing relevant guidance.

Applications for family reunification submitted before 15 May 2012, can be processed according to the new family reunification rules, if the applicant informs the Immigration Service of this. Fees paid in connection with the application will however not be refunded.

With the ratification of these changes, applications for family reunification submitted after 15 May 2012, will normally be subject to the following requirements:

For both partners:

  • Marriages must be legitimate according to Danish law.
  • Cohabitating partners must have been in a relationship and lived together for an extended period of time – normally you must be able to document a minimum of 18 months cohabitation at shared address.
  • Both parties must have entered into the marriage or partnership of their own free will.
  • The marriage or relation must not have been established for the sole purpose of gaining residence.

For the foreign spouse:

  • You must be at least 24.
  • You must fulfill your part of the connection requirements
  • You must pass a Danish language test no later than six months after being granted a residence permit.

Requirements for the spouse already living in Denmark:

  • You must be at least 24.
  • You may not have been convicted of certain crimes against domestic violence offences within the last 10 years.
  • You must assume the responsibility of financially supporting your partner
  • If you are a foreign national and do not have residence according to Sections 7 and 8 of the Immigration Act (refugees), you must have been a permanent resident for at least three years.
  • If you are a foreign national, you must meet some of the requirements for permanent residence.
  • You must fulfill your part of the connection requirements.
  • You must be able to support yourself financially, which means that you may not have received certain types of public benefits within the past three years.
  • You must have adequately sized accommodations at your disposal.
  • You must provide 50,000 kroner in collateral to cover the cost of providing certain types of public assistance for your spouse, should it be necessary.

It will still be possible to be granted dispensation in certain instances. Read more about the dispensation rules.

You are welcome to contact the Immigration Service on +45 35 30 88 88, if you should have questions about the new family reunification rules.

If you want an answer about whether you meet the requirements for residence, you must submit an application for family reunification.

Completing application form FA1, which you can find in the forms section of our website, will provide us with the information we need to begin processing your application.





Last update: 5/11/2012
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Published by: The Danish Immigration Service