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Step Guide

Step Guide - Dual Citizenship

The Danish Government recently passed a law that allows for permanent residents in Denmark to apply for Dual citizenship. This means that you now do not have to forfeit your previous citizenship to become a Danish citizen. This law came into effect on 1 September 2015.

We’ve assembled some of the most important bits of information in a step guide to give you an idea of the process of applying for Danish citizenship. When applying, make sure you follow the guidelines from the Ministry of Justice to ensure you have the strongest application possible. (Please note that the administration has been taken over by the Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing).

I am applying for citizenship, but I’m worried I will have to give up my current citizenship

The new changes to the law that comes into effect mean that you can receive Danish citizenship whilst retaining your current, homeland citizenship.

According to Danish law, it is no longer a requirement that you renounce your citizenship. However, it is still possible that the law of your country of origin requires that you renounce your original citizenship.

Please notice that International Community is not an authority and cannot be held accountable on the subject. The describtion is of current procedures (October 2015).

1step

Find out if you meet the requirements (before 15 August, 2014)

To start the process, you must first meet the following requirements:

 

  • You must be willing to pledge allegiance and loyalty to Denmark and Danish society
  • You must hold permanent residency in Denmark.
  • You must have had 9 years of continuous residency in Denmark. This can be reduced if you fulfil certain criteria, for example:
    • Refugees: 8 years residency in Denmark is required.
    • Citizens from Nordic countries: 2 years residency in Denmark is required.
    • Marriage to a Danish citizen: 6 years residency if married 3 years, 7 years residency if married 2 years, 8 years residency if married 1 year.
  • You must not have been sentenced to a prison term of more than 1 ½ years, or 60 days depending on the type of crime. These crimes exclude the applicant from Danish citizenship at any time.

    • Minor crimes trigger waiting periods. This includes e.g. speeding tickets from a certain level.

      • The waiting period is based on what the sanction would have been according to Danish law for the crime committed.

  • You must not have outstanding public debt, such as child support payments or taxes.

  • You must be financially independent. This means that you have not claimed state benefits (such as "kontanthjælp") in the year prior to the proposal of the bill regarding naturalisation, and for no more than 2½ years out of the 5 previous years.

  • You must have passed “Prøve i Dansk 2” or equivalent to fulfil the language requirement.

  • You must have passed the citizenship test.

For each of these requirements (except the requirements regarding crime and debt) there are exceptions – particularly if you are a Nordic citizen or are from Greenland or the Faroe Islands. For a more detailed explanation of each requirement, see the Ministry of Justice’s website (in Danish).

NB: Please note that the requirement for Danish citizenship through naturalisation has changed. If you have applied after 15 August 2014 the new requirements will apply - see step 2.

I think I meet all the conditions, but I don’t have evidence to prove it. What do I do?

This is particularly relevant in the language requirement (Danskkundskaber), where you may have been living in Denmark for a long time and be fluent in Danish but without any evidence to prove it.

As the requirements are now, you will need to provide evidence in the form of exam certificates to support your application. If you have taken a form of higher (university) education where the primary language was Danish, you may be able to submit this in place of a language school exam.

There is a list of accepted evidence listed here - see "Bilag 3"(in Danish). The list includes the following exams:

  • "Prøve i Dansk 3", STX, HF, HHX, HTX, AVU ("almen forberedelseseksamen")

  • Exams from higher educations e.g. universities.

If you do not have the required evidence, it may be that you need to take an exam in Danish. You can sign up to take the exam from many language schools without attending classes, although a fee will likely be charged for this.

So many exams! What is the citizenship test and how do I take it?

You’re lucky as the citizenship exam (Statsborgerskabsprøve) has been changed to make it a bit easier! There are now fewer obscure Danish history questions and more focus on Danish values and society.

You can take a practice exam online here http://statsborgerskabsprove.com/, which is highly recommendable prior to the official test.

There are two times a year that you can sit the exam. The next exam date is 2 December 2015. You can book your place online at http://tilmelding.statsborgerskabsprove.com/om-proeven.html.

There is a fee of DKK 728 to take the exam.

2step

Applying from 15 August, 2014

Due to recent changes on 5 October 2015 the requirements for acquiring a dual citizenship have changed. 

The main changes to the requirements:
  • The applicant must have passed “Prøve I Dansk 3”. If the applicant has been financially independent (meaning that applicant has not claimed state benefits such as "kontanthjælp")  the last 8½ year out of the previous 9 years. It is sufficient to pass “Prøve i Dansk 2”.
     
  • The applicant has to be financially independent the last 4½ years within the last 5 years.
     
  • The applicant must pass the citizens test with 35 questions from the curriculum and 5 questions about current affairs not provided by the curriculum. To pass the test it is required for the applicant to have 32 of the 40 questions answered correctly.
  • Stricter waiting periods for applicants who have committed crimes and special requirements for applicants who have received fines in between 3,000 DKK and 10,000 DKK for breaching the law outside the boundaries of the Criminal Code, Traffic Code, the weapon laws and drug laws.
     
  • To get exemptions due to mental illnesses, applicants need a doctor’s permit with an account from a psychological specialist or another state approved medical practitioner.
     
  • There will be made a transition for those who have applied or re-applied before 15 August 2014 and those who has received a registration letter in connection with the general election of 18 June 2015.

    The Circular is yet to be announced and until then we cannot update the requirements fully

If you want to know more about the recent changes, you can read the press release here (in Danish only)

3step

How to apply

When you believe you fulfil the requirements, you could be eligible for citizenship. You can apply through the “Ansøgningsskema” (application form) available on the Ministry of Justice’s website.

Along with the completed application form, you must be sure to include the following supporting documentation:
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your permanent residency permit
  • Original or officially verified (stamped and signed) copies of test or exam results as documentation for Danish language requirements.
  • Original or officially verified (stamped and signed) copies of Citizenship test or naturalisation test results
  • Completed declaration of self-support
And in some cases:
  • Documentation of parental responsibility if you wish your child(ren) to be included in the application.
As a general rule, your application should be handed in to the police.

A fee of DKK 1200 is payable when you submit your application.

Summary of the naturalisation application procedure

  • Obtain and fill in application form
  • Call your local police to schedule an appointment
  • Go to the scheduled appointment and go over the filled-in application form and the relevant enclosures with the police.
  • The police forwards your application to Indfødsretskontoret
  • Indfødsretskontoret reviews your application and asks for missing documentationndfødsretskontoret sends out letter to confirm the admission of your name on the bill regarding naturalisation
  • The Danish Parliament passes the bill
4step

Waiting for approval

What happens after I send in my application?

The process of applying for citizenship can take time; particularly in the assessment of your application phase. After your application is approved, it will be included in a parliamentary bill called an Act of Naturalisation. A bill is only introduced twice a year; in April and October. The bill passes through a few months later (usually December and June).

The current handling time of applications, from the moment they are received by the Ministry of Justice until they are approve to be included in an Act of Naturalisation, is around 10-12 months. This applies to both first time applicants and requests for revision.

However, the Ministry of Justice is working to reduce the handling time of cases with a target of 7 months for applications submitted in 2015. In any case, expect a long wait (up to 2 years at worst) from the point of sending in your application until obtaining Danish citizenship.

FAQ

FAQ

I already have received Danish citizenship with the condition that I give up my homeland citizenship – is it too late to apply for dual citizenship? No, you can still apply if you fit certain criteria. According to the Ministry of Justice guidelines:
Foreign citizens, who have been included with a condition of obtaining renunciation in an Act on Naturalisation passed in December 2012 or later will be able to become Danish citizens without obtaining renunciation of their previous nationality by making a declaration to The State Administration (Statsforvaltningen). The declaration must be made between 01 September 2015 and 31 August 2017.

The declaration form will be available on the Ministry of Justice website before the 1st September.

There is a fee of DKK 1100 for this.

I have children in Denmark – can they receive citizenship?

There are special rules regarding applying for citizenship of children in Denmark, and it can seem a rather complicated process. The basic details are as follows:
From the 1 July 2014, any child born in Denmark automatically receives Danish citizenship if the father, mother, or co-mother is a Danish citizen.

Children born before this time to a foreign mother and a Danish father out of wedlock may be able to receive citizenship after application. The child may also be able to attain citizenship if the parents marry.

It may also be possible to include your children in your application for citizenship. If so, you will need to provide evidence of parental responsibility.

If you think that you and your child(ren) could fit in any of these situations, then there may be the possibility of applying for Danish citizenship for them.

I have children in Denmark – can they receive my homeland citizenship as well as Danish citizenship?

In theory, yes, they could hold two nationalities. However, this depends on the requirements of your homeland country.

The Ministry of Justice clarifies that access to multiple nationality is not decided by Danish law alone. For a person to acquire multiple nationality this must be allowed in the nationality laws of each of the states in which the person wishes to hold nationality.

Contact the state department or relevant authority from your homeland for further information on their citizenship requirements.

I am Danish and live abroad. My children have never lived in Denmark. Can they still become citizens?

If your children have never lived in Denmark and were born abroad, they will lose their Danish citizenship when they turn 22 (unless this would leave them stateless).

However, it is possible for them to apply to keep their citizenship. They will need to supply evidence that they fulfil a number of criteria, including whether they are proficient in the Danish language and that they still have a connection to Denmark (such as through visiting relatives and friends).

The application should be submitted when your child is around 20 years old, due to the processing time of application. It should be sent to the Ministry of Justice.

I previously held Danish citizenship but lost it when I became a citizen of another country. Can I get my Danish citizenship back?

According to the Ministry of Justice guidelines:
Former Danish citizens, who have lost their Danish nationality by acquiring a foreign nationality will be able to reacquire their nationality by making a declaration to The State Administration (Statsforvaltningen), provided they fulfil certain requirements. The declaration must be made between 01 September 2015 and 31 August 2020.

The declaration form is available on the website of The State Administration (Statsforvaltningen). There is a fee of DKK 1100 for this.

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