New Stricter Requirements for Obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit

On the 10th of December 2016, the Danish Government proposed a bill that will make it more difficult to get a permanent residence permit.

The new rules are as follows:

  • Applicants must have been in Denmark legally for at least 6 years (as opposed to the previous requirement of 5 years). If an application meets all 4 of the specific ‘integration qualifications’ listed below, 4 years of legal stay will suffice.
  • Applicants must have passed the so-called Danish 2 Test (as opposed to the previous requirement of passing the Danish 1 Test).
  • Applicants must have held regular employment or been self-employed for at least 2 ½ years out of the last 3 years (as opposed to the prevous requirement of three out of the last five years).
  • Part-time work will no longer be counted as “regular employment” and education will no longer be taken into account.
  • In addition, applicants must meet at least 2 out of the following 4 ‘integration requirements’: i) having passed a new test on being a ‘fellow citizen’ or showing that the applicant has been a ‘fellow citizen’ by having done volunteer work or been a member of a Danish board or the like for at least 1 year; ii) having been working full-time 4 years out of the last 4 ½ years; iii) having had an income of at least DKK 270,000 the last two years; and/or iv) having passed the so-called Danish 3 Test.
  • Applicants that have been sentenced to 1 year in prison are to be excluded from getting a permanent residence permit (as opposed to the previous exclusion after a sentence of 1 ½ years).

In addition, a fee will be required for filing applications for family reunification and for filing an application for a permanent residence permit when being here base on family-reunification. The size of these fees are not yet known. The fees will be required from the 1st of March 2016, when the bill is expected to come into force.

Even though the bill is expected to come into force on the 1st of March 2016, the bill stipulates that the stricter requirements are to be applied to applications filed from the 10th of December 2015, i.e., when the bill was proposed. As such, the bill has retroactive effect for all applicants that have filed an application after the 10th of December 2015.


Attorney at law Bjørn Dilou Jacobsen specializes in immigration law, including rules on permanent residence. For more information about this article and the right to citizenship contact Bjørn Dilou Jacobsen.