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Permanent residence

Here you will find information concerning the rules for being granted a permanent residence permit in Denmark. Please note, that the information is a simplified and revised version of the rules. If you have any doubt or would like additional information you can contact the Danish Immigration Service.

You can apply for a permanent residence permit whenever you wish to. 
 
Read more about how to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Please note, that there are special requirements for the following groups:  

Individuals between the ages of 18 and 19 who have held full-time employment or studied continuously since completing primary school (folkeskolen).
Read more about individuals between the ages of 18 and 19.

Persons with strong connections to Denmark.
Read more about applicants with a strong connection to Denmark.

Pensioners or early age pensioners.
Read more about pensioners or early age pensioners.

Basic requirements

In order to be granted permanent residence permit you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • You must still meet the requirements for the residence permit you hold. 
  • You must be over the age of 18.
  • You must have resided legally in Denmark for at least 6 years.  If you meet all of the 4 supplementary requirements (see below) you only have to have resided legally in Denmark for at least 4 years. Read more about legal residence.
  • You must not have committed certain types of crime. Read more about crime
  • You must not have any overdue public debts unless you have been granted an extension of the repayment of the debt. Read more about debt
  • You must not have received public benefits within the last 3 years under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act or the Integration Act. Read more about public benefits
  • You have to accept a Declaration of integration and active citizenship in Danish society. Read more about Declaration of integration.
  • You must have passed the Danish language test 2 (Prøve i Dansk 2) or a Danish language test of an equivalent or higher level. Read more about Danish language skills.
  • You must have held a regular full-time employment or been self-employed for at least 2 years and 6 months within the last 3 years. Read more about employment
  • You must still be working at the time when the Danish Immigration Service decides the case. Read more about current employment.  

Supplementary requirements

In order to be granted a permanent residence permit you must meet at least 2 of the 4 supplementary requirements in addition to the basic requirements:

  • You must have passed an active citizen exam test or have exhibited active citizenship in Denmark. Read more about active citizen.
  • You must have held a regular full-time employment or been self-employed for at least 4 years within the last 4 years and 6 months. Read more about employment.
  • You must have had a yearly taxable income that over the last 2 years has been DKK 270.000 (2016 level) or above on average. Read more about income.
  • You must have passed the Danish language test 3 (Prøve i Dansk 3) or a Danish language test of an equivalent or higher level. Read more about Danish language skills.

The 4 supplementary requirements are equally ranked and therefore it is insignificant which 2 of 4 requirements you meet. If you meet all 4 supplementary requirements, you can be granted a permanent residence permit after having resided legally in Denmark for at least 4 years.

If you do not meet the requirements

If you do not meet the requirements you cannot be granted a permanent residence permit, unless you belong to one of the special groups that are exempt from one or more of the requirements. Read more about pensioners and early age pensioners, individuals between the age of 18 and 19 or persons with strong connections to Denmark.

You can also be exempt from meeting one or more requirements if Denmark’s international obligations, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities demand it. Read more about persons with disabilities.

Please note, that there are no special regulations for refugees in Denmark applying for a permanent residence permit. Therefore refugees must meet all the basic requirements and at least 2 of 4 supplementary requirements that are mentioned above.

If you can see that you do not meet the requirements for a permanent residence permit, you can instead apply for an extension of the temporary residence permit and then possibly apply for a permanent residence permit at a later time.

Collateral requirement

If you hold a residence permit on the grounds of family reunification with a spouse living in Denmark, the spouse will normally have posted collateral in the form a financial guarantee.

In order for the Immigration Service to approve an application to renew a temporary residence permit, the original financial guarantee must either be renewed or a new one must be posted. Read more about renewal of collateral when extending a temporary residence permit.

If a permanent residence permit has been granted, a financial guarantee will no longer be required, and any funds held by the family-reunified spouse’s municipality as collateral will be returned. All inquiries about the returning of collateral should be directed to the municipality where the spouse lives.

If you reside in Denmark under EU rules

For applicants residing in Denmark under EU regulations other rules for permanent residence permit apply. If you are covered by the EU regulations on freedom of movement (either as an EU citizen or as a family member of an EU citizen), and you have the right to reside in Denmark under the EU Executive Order on Residence, you have to contact the State Administration if you want guidance about permanent residence permit under EU regulations.

Read more about residence under the EU Executive Order on Residence on the State Administration’s website.

Special rules apply for family members of a Danish citizen who are covered by the EU regulations. The rules concern family members to Danish citizens who have used their right to freedom of movement by being an employee, a self-employed, a service provider, a student or a self supporting person in another EU country and hereafter returns to Denmark. If you have any questions, please contact the State Administration.

If you are an EU-citizen and you hold a residence permit under the terms of the Danish Aliens Act, you can apply for a permanent residence permit in accordance to the regulations in the Danish Aliens Act that are described above.



Last update: 2/4/2016
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Published by: The Danish Immigration Service