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If you leave Denmark and you have a residence permit on the grounds of work or studies

If you leave Denmark for an extended period of time, or if you no longer maintain a residence in Denmark, your residence permit can lapse.

If your residence permit lapses, you lose your right to reside in Denmark. This means that if you have been outside Denmark for an extended period of time and wish to return to Denmark, you may be denied re-entry.

If your residence permit lapses and you wish to return to Denmark, you will need to apply for a new residence permit. Your new application will be processed according to current regulations. The grounds for issuing your original residence permit will not be considered.

How can my residence permit lapse?

Your residence permit can lapse for three reasons:

  • If you give up your residence and leave Denmark
  • If you fail to enter Denmark no later than six months after you were granted a residence permit
  • If you stay outside Denmark for an extended period of time

Your residence permit will automatically lapse if you no longer have a residence in Denmark - that is, if you sell your home or terminate the rental contract of your home, and you are no longer registered at a Danish address with the Central Office of Civil Registration (CPR office) - and if you leave Denmark.

Furthermore, your residence permit will lapse if you fail to enter and take up residence in Denmark no later than six months after your residence permit was issued.

If you keep a residence in Denmark - that is, if you are registered at a Danish address with the Central Office of Civil Registration (CPR office) - there are rules for how long you may leave the country without losing your residence permit.

  • If you have resided legally in Denmark for less than two years, you may leave Denmark for a maximum of six months
  • If you have resided legally in Denmark for more than two years with a view to permanent residence, you may leave Denmark for a maximum of 12 months

If you do not return to Denmark within the time limit, your residence permit will automatically lapse, even if you are still registered at a Danish address.

However, a residence permit for a child under 18 will lapse after three months, if the child has resided outside Denmark for more than three consecutive months in a way that is detrimental to the child's schooling and integration.

Time spent outside of Denmark due to military conscription or other types of involuntary service is not included in the six or 12 months.

Time spent in Greenland or the Faroe Islands is seen as time spent outside Denmark.

Two types of dispensation

You can apply for dispensation to prevent your residency permit from lapsing. It is possible to apply both before and after you leave Denmark, but you must apply before your residence permit expires or lapses (i.e. before you have given up your residence, or have been outside Denmark for over six or 12 months, cf. above).

If you have given up your residence, or have been outside Denmark for over six or 12 months, and your permit has lapsed, you can apply to have the permit remain valid.

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration recommends that you apply for dispensation before leaving Denmark.

Dispensation before your residence permit has lapsed

If you apply for dispensation, you request that the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration will allow you to keep your residence permit despite having given up your residence, or permit you to stay outside Denmark for longer than the six- or 12-month limit.

In addition, it must be your intention to remain outside Denmark temporarily, and you must have a specific purpose for leaving Denmark, such as:

  • work
  • education
  • foreign posting for a Danish authority, institution, organisation or company
  • foreign posting for an international institution, organisation or company headquartered in Denmark
  • caring for close relatives who are seriously ill
  • taking maternity leave (as a general rule, the dispensation can be granted from two months before the due date and up to one year after the birth)
  • wish for repatriation

Dispensation after your residence permit has lapsed

You can apply that your residence permit not be considered as lapsed if you are outside Denmark and have exceeded the time limit, or if you have given up your residence. The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration can decide that your residence permit should not be considered as lapsed if:

  • it was your intention to return Denmark before the six- or 12-month time limit, and
  • you were prevented from returning to Denmark by unforeseen circumstances beyond your control. Such circumstances include: illness, imprisonment, war-like situations, natural disasters or problems leaving the country in which you were staying.

Furthermore, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration can decide to grant you a dispensation if your stay outside Denmark was due to a wish for repatriation which you later regretted.

It is important that you apply as soon as possible.

Read more about how to apply

If you never entered and took up residence in Denmark, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration can decide to grant you a dispensation if your failure to enter Denmark was due to unforseen circumstances beyond your control. Such circumstances include: illness, imprisonment, war-like situations, natural disasters or problems leaving the country in which you were staying. Furthermore, you can be granted a dispensation if you failed to enter Denmark because you were pregnant with less that three months to the due date, or because you gave birth less than three months before the deadline.

Duration

Decisions about dispensation are made on a case-by-case basis, and will depend on a number of factors, such as: why you are applying for dispensation, how long you have lived in Denmark, and your ties to Denmark. Normally, the dispensation period can be extended to a maximum of three years, but not exceeding the duration of your residence permit. You can apply for an extension of your dispensation period. Applications for extension must be made before the original dispensation period expires.

If you do not return to Denmark before the dispensation period ends, your residence permit will lapse. This means that if you wish to return to Denmark, you will need to apply for a new residence permit.

Family members

If you have been granted dispensation, it can also be applied to your spouse/registered partner/cohabiting partner as well as any children under the age of 18 who are living with you. The length of your family members' dispensation will be the same as yours.

If your spouse/partner remains in Denmark, and if he/she holds a temporary residence permit, his/her residence permit will normally lapse after six months as the requirement that you share the same address would no longer be met.

Entering Denmark during the dispensation period

If you have been granted dispensation, you can normally only enter Denmark during the dispensation period for short, private visits, such as attending a family celebration, attending a funeral, or for short holiday or weekend stays. This means that a dispensation will normally lapse if you take up residence in Denmark again, after having been granted dispensation.

You will be seen to take up residence in Denmark if you register yourself at a Danish address with the Central Office of Civil Registration (CPR office), or if you enter Denmark for work or study related activities without registering yourself with the CPR office. However, you can enter Denmark without registering yourself with the CPR office and without losing your dispensation, if you carry out work related activities of the type which could be carried out on a visitor's visa stay without a work permit, or if you carry out work which does not require a work permit.

Read more about which situations require a work permit



Last update: 5/17/2016
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration