Insights for a successful integration in Denmark

It’s easy for someone to just believe that Denmark is in tune with the broader idea of making the world a global village. This would ordinarily mean that immigrating to and integrating in Denmark is so easy. Shock on you, the country has some of the most restrictive immigration policies that give it an impression of being anti-immigrants.

Even as an immigrant worker, you ordinarily have to brace for confusing and ever changing laws that even citizens themselves struggle to get head and tail about. So, a successful integration in Denmark and possible longer stay requires that you understand your status very well.To get a clear idea on why Denmark can be seen as anti-immigrants, peruse the requirements for permanent residence in Denmark and criteria for getting citizenship in Denmark.

Welcome to Denmark but keep in mind the immigration rules that apply to your stay

Yes, today it is possible for people, especially third country nationals to come and work, study, get married or engage in cultural exchange in Denmark. But while this is a reality, it gets dicey when you now wish to extend or get longer residence status in the country. Soon, you notice that Denmark is no joke when it comes to granting permanent residency or citizenship.

The not so straightforward way to be in Denmark as an international

Whilst Denmark remains one of the best countries to live and work for internationals, the process of getting to effectively move nd live there can be cumbersome. Yes, each country has its own bureaucracies when it comes to immigration but then there’s just some way that Denmark has a complicated system with somewhat convoluted immigration laws.

Unlike countries like the USA that allow for sponsorships and invitation visits by those already in the country, the chances of doing so is limited in Denmark. For instance, you may only invite a close family member. This chance for a family member is further defined to only include very close family members. This implies that you don’t get the chance to just invite friends or acquaintances to visit you. They have to opt for a tourist visa in Denmark and comply with the requirements.

Even for those who manage to fulfill the requirements to move to Denmark under any of the provided ways for immigration, the process of just settling down may take quite a while. You will ordinarily have to carefully navigate the new immigration terrain and try ways to embrace the change. 

When it comes to your status in Denmark, just be sure that it’s not as straightforward and you don’t just get equal status as citizens overnight. Mark you, even getting a permanent residence or even renewal of your temporary residence permit may be an herculean task, leave alone application for citizenship.

Now take just a few seconds to get a picture of possible ways you can use to legally move and reside in Denmark.

Snapshot of Denmark

Denmark may not belong to the league of popular immigrant destinations but still, it receives a sizeable number each year. Ofcourse, the country’s borders remain very higly controlled compared to countries like the United States of America, the UK, Canada or Australia where undocumented immigrants commonly breach border control with much ease.

Actually accusations have in the recent past come flying about how Denmark applies punitive immigration laws that undermine internationalization. Forget about the perceptions created about the country out there and forge your own path to make a legal migration to Denmark like many before you have done.

You may be pleasantly surprised that so many opportunities exist that people can explore and use to move to Denmark. For instance, you can get a Schengen visa for an holiday in Denmark or a long term residence permit to fully relocate. For extended residence in Denmark, the common grounds available include work, study, family reunification, cultural exchange or other schemes.

Like any country, Denmark has its various schemes or programs that allow internationals to make structured entry into the country. Being just a small country of only under 6 million people, the country strictly regulate avenues through which foreigners make their way there. Actually, many may agree that as much as it may not be much of a struggle to get a Schengen visa for Denmark,getting a long term residence permit will be a tough cookie to crack.

Denmark at a glance for those planning to visit or live there

To start off, it’s safe that prospective immigrants know that Denmark lies in Northern Europe within the larger Scandinavia. This means that the seasons can be extreme, especially winters that can stretch to extremely low temperatures. However, the warmth about Denmark is that foreigners don’t really get to face aggressive discrimination bordering on racism or such severe forms. If such happen, though rare, will likely not to the extent of what we see in other countries. At least no one will need to get onto the streets that you’ve been severely mishandled as had happened to George Floyd.

Generally, the native Danes and even those who’ve completeley integrated have their lives deeply influenced by Janteloeven which basically means they tend to embrace rather than repulse. Of Course you won’t miss a few who dismiss or look down on you just for your nationality, creed or race but they remain in the minority. Even so, the Danish laws, largely framed around the Danish aliens act that cassifies immigrants by their respective nationalities will determine your rights and privileges in the country. 

Reasonably, having proper structures and immigration laws is what ideally makes an organized country. For an immigrant having own plans and urgent urge to quickly move to and start an undisturbed life in Denmark, the laws may appear inconveniencing. But, with proper knowledge of where your country falls in the Danish categorization, you’ll know what to expect or plan with from day one.

In case you choose Denmark as a vacation destination which surely will be a great adventure, the regulations may not quite apply in detail. In any case, serious aspects of the Danish aliens act come into force largely for those who get a resilience permit for an extended stay. 

Categorisation of immigrants in Denmark by their respective nationality

As you make your way to Denmark, know that the country has three major categories of immigrants for purposes of legal considerations. Ofcourse there are special groups such as asylum seekers or refugees whose case handling largely refers back to the UN regulations and other charters for which Denmark is part. 

1. Third-country citizen

This includes citizens from any other country outside the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland. Generally, this category of immigrants have to undergo a more rigorous immigration process and have to be extremely watchful not to flount any of the several rights and obligations while in Denmark.

In a general sense, those who hold nationality of a country in Asia, Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada. South America, Caribbean fall under this category. Of course even within this bigger group, the Danish aliens act still has specific regulations that go all the way down to specific countries. 

2. Nationals of Switzerland in Denmark

In so many areas, especially on economic and immigration fronts, Switzerland gets treated almost as a standalone in the scheme of things. Despite being within the continental Europe, Switzerland has adamantly refused to join the European union. 

For some insights onto the special status of Switzerland, you may go ahead and read it here

3. Nationals of the European Union/ European Economic Area

EU citizens include those nationals of the 27 member countries that form the union. The specific countries that form the EU can be found at european-union.

Although loosely used to mean the EU, Denmark considers citizens of the European Economic area to be those from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. 

As already explained, your country of first citienship determines how your case and situation in Denmark plays out. This happens all through until such a time that you qualify to earn the high status of Danish citizenship by naturalization.

In making your move, acquaint yourself with this valuable information so that each move you make should lead you to the best place needed. So many who get a short stay residence permit or permanent residence in Denmark often don’t realize the limits they have. The tendency to act as a citizen may lead you to erring.