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Citizenship Laws for Foreigners Tighten by Denmark

On Tuesday 20 April, after an agreement between the government (Social Democrat government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen) and the three opposition parties ( Denmark stricter the citizenship laws. However sturdy new rules will not affect the victims of crimes. One of the major changes imposed is employment requirements, hurdles for criminals, and citizenship interviews.

Morten Dahlin, the Danish politician from Venstre political party said, at this moment, “Strong agreement on new rules for granting citizenship. Clear imprints from @venstredk – For example, we are now cracking down harder on criminal foreigners AND we get a greater focus on Danish values. All in all, a good day”.

On the other hand, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mattias Tesfaye stated, “Today we have agreed on a number of tightening of the rules for obtaining Danish citizenship”.

In its population, Denmark has a massive rate of foreigners. In 2020, more than half were Europeans, and approximately 7,000 people became Danes. On the other hand, either born abroad or with parents born abroad 11% of Denmark’s 5.8 million resident is of foreign origin. Out of these, about 58% are citizens of a country classified as “non-Western.

Major changes for citizenship law

The parties have agreed to the new tight rules, as follow:

New employment requirements

When the applicants apply for citizenship for Denmark, they must provide evidence that they have had employment for at least 3 years and 6 months of the last 4 years.

No citizenship for offenders and criminals

For those who have been convicted of crimes more strict rules have been introduced.

  • For persons with both a conditional and an unconditional prison sentence it will no longer be possible to obtain Danish citizenship.
  • The waiting period for fines must be tightened, but not for parking fines under DKK 3,000.
  • The application for citizenship is rejected in the event of overdue debt to the government. The list of types of debt that can prevent Danish citizenship is expanded to also include overdue SU debt, fines for police and victim contributions, court fees, fees and costs in lawsuits and bailiff cases, and certain control fees for transport companies.

More trail questions for Citizenship

The citizenship test must contain several questions about “Danish values”. There will be five additional questions, as reported by the text of the agreement. The agreement states that the new questions about Danish values in the citizenship test “may cover, for example, freedom of expression, equality, the relation between religion and legislation, etc.”

Denmark’s Citizenship interviews

  • The Ministry of Immigration and Integration Affairs, within the framework of the Constitution, must within one year prepare a statement on whether individual interviews can be held and possibly conducted.
  • Individual processing of applications in the Folketing’s citizenship committee when a person applies for Danish citizenship. This will be done with inspiration from Austria and Switzerland, according to the agreement.