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The asylum process

Any foreign citizen present in Denmark has the right to request asylum. The foreign citizen can apply for asylum regardless of whether he/she is in Denmark legally. An application for asylum is submitted to the police. Read more about applying for asylum

How the Danish Immigration Service processes requests for asylum

During the first step in the application process, the Danish Immigration Service determines whether Danish immigration authorities are responsible for processing your application or if another country is responsible in accordance with the Dublin Regulation. The Dublin Regulation is an agreement between EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The rule ensures that only one country is responsible for processing an application for asylum. Read more about the Dublin Regulation

During the initial phase, the Danish Immigration Service will also determine whether an asylum seeker can get his/her application processed in a so-called safe country outside the EU. An asylum seeker can be sent to a safe country if the individual resided there before travelling to Denmark or if the individual travelled from there directly to Denmark. Safe countries include the United States and Canada. Asylum seekers who cannot be sent to other countries will have their applications processed in Denmark.

During the application process, an applicant will normally be required to live at one of several accommodation centres in Denmark. In certain instances, an applicant can reside elsewhere. Read more about accommodation centres


If an applicant is granted asylum, the Danish Immigration Service will assign the refugee to a local municipality where he/she is to reside. The local municipality to which the refugee is assigned is responsible for the integration process.


Applications for asylum that have been rejected by the Danish Immigration Service after being processed according to the standard procedure will automatically be reviewed by the Danish Refugee Appeals Board. The Refugee Appeals Board is an independent panel set up like a court. It reviews appeals of various forms of asylum-related decisions. Cases are heard orally. The asylum seeker has the right to be represented by a lawyer. The Refugee Appeals Board can appoint a lawyer to represent the asylum seeker. The Refugee Appeals Board’s decisions are final.

Read more about the Refugee Appeals Board

If an asylum seeker’s request for asylum appears to be manifestly unfounded, the Danish Immigration Service can, in consultation with the Danish Refugee Council, decide that an application does not need to be reviewed by the Refugee Appeals Board.

Once an asylum seeker has received the final rejection of asylum, the individual must leave Denmark. The Refugee Appeals Board can either order an individual to leave Denmark within 15 days or immediately, depending on the situation. An individual must depart within the specified time period. If an asylum seeker whose application has been rejected does not leave voluntarily, the police will escort the individual out of the country.


An asylum seeker whose application has been rejected and who is ordered to leave immediately, or who refuses to leave, can be expelled from the country and barred from entering the EU or another Schengen country, including Denmark, for a minimum of two years. Expelled individuals can be forcibly removed from Denmark by the police.

Asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected and who refuse to leave will be barred by the Danish Immigration Service from returning for two years. For repeat offences, the ban is five years. If there are special considerations, such as respecting the right to family unity, an entry ban can be lifted.

Other types of residence

The Ministry of Immigration and Integration can, if there are considerable humanitarian reasons for doing so, approve applications for temporary residence permit. The regulations for residence on humanitarian grounds apply in only a few specific instances, and as a result, few such applications are approved. Read more about residence on humanitarian grounds

In certain instances, such as in cases relating to family unity or the welfare of an applicant under 18, the Danish Immigration Service can grant residence permit in accordance with Aliens Act Section 9c (1). Such considerations will generally apply in cases in which Denmark rejecting an application for a residence permit would be in violation of Denmark’s international obligations, including Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention.

Furthermore, an unaccompanied minor who requests asylum can be granted asylum in accordance with Aliens Act Section 9c (3). This would be the case if there were particular reasons for not requiring that an application be processed or if the applicant's application for asylum has been rejected. Residence permit can also be granted if it can reasonably be assumed that returning a child to his/her home country or country of residence would result in a hardship due to a lack of family or residence and care facilities.

Registration of personal information

The Danish Immigration Service registers an asylum seeker’s basic personal information.

Information can be changed by contacting the Danish Immigration Service and requesting to do so. Read more about registration of personal information

Last update: 12/9/2016
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Published by: The Danish Immigration Service