How to apply for asylum in Denmark?


Denmark is a country known throughout the world for its support of the cause of refugees and asylum seekers. Not for nothing was it the first nation to sign, in 1951, the United Nations Convention, which establishes the procedures for international protection. Hence, for many years, it was called the “liberal paradise”.

At present, according to the United Nations (UN), there are a little more than 720,000 immigrants in Denmark, which represents 12% of its population. Their main origin is from countries such as Poland, Germany and Syria.

It is estimated that there is an annual increase of 10% in its foreign population, the main cause being the violent conflicts in Africa. Based on this, Denmark has structured many of its laws regarding international protection. In fact, in 2020, it only processed 29% of the requests. Read on to learn about the new guidelines.

First considerations for applying for protection in Denmark

To begin with, any foreign national in Denmark has the right to make an asylum application. Regardless of whether the entry to the country was illegal or through a certain permit such as visa and residence. This is attributed to the fact that all individuals, without distinction, will be sent to a waiting place; either on Danish soil or outside the European Union (EU).

For its part, the law on foreigners establishes, who can apply for asylum in Denmark, three types of concessions. These are:

Convention status. It grants a residence permit as a refugee to a person who demonstrates that he or she has a strong fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. This being the reason, of course, for fleeing the country of origin.
Protected status. Applies to individuals who have been subjected to capital punishment, torture, inhuman or degrading punishment.
Temporary protected status. Valid when it is demonstrated that, if the applicant returns to the country of origin, he or she could be accused of unjustified charges and sentenced to capital punishment, torture, inhuman or degrading punishment.

Procedure for processing an asylum application in Denmark

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The first thing you must do is notify the district police that you require international protection. At that point, the officer will hand you an asylum form that you will have to fill out as an initial registration. Depending on the information you provide, the officer will determine whether the application will be processed on Danish soil or in another country.

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If the application can be made in the country, then you will be directed to the Immigration Service for an interview. On that day you will explain the reasons for your request for asylum in Denmark. Don’t forget to give as many details as possible; and, in addition, memorize correctly the chronology of the evidence and the journey that led you to the territory, because you will be questioned about it.

After this, the Immigration Service will inform you of the final decision as to whether or not the protection process can be executed in Denmark. If so, you will be informed of the type of procedure that applies in your case.

Standard procedure

When the Immigration Service decides to process your application under the standard procedure, it means that the Immigration Service will make a decision to approve or reject your application. This will be done according to the terms established for the granting of asylum.

If necessary, you will have to attend a follow-up interview in order to further investigate the situation. It is therefore important that, from the first meeting, you provide evidence to support your reasons for seeking asylum in Denmark.

Procedure manifestly unfounded

In this case, the Immigration Service will determine that the application lacks valid grounds. It will then forward the information provided to the Refugee Board for a second review.

At that time, the Refugee Council will analyze the evidence and testimony from the first interview to determine whether the Immigration Service’s assessment is correct. The possible options are:

Disagree with the Immigration Service’s determination and order that the usual procedure be applied.
Agree with the Immigration Service’s determination and make a second denial. If so, you should refer the case to the Board of Refugee Appeals for further review.

Expedited version of manifestly unfounded request processing

The Immigration Service established an accelerated application procedure for asylum applicants from specific countries. This is a list of nations that are considered safe and that, normally, the grounds of their claim are not valid to be accepted as a refugee.

These countries are: all EU members, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Japan, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, United States, Georgia and Russia.

In Georgia and Russia, although they are also part of this list, certain exemptions apply, such as, for example, avoiding the need for several interviews to study the case. However, it is still the case that the first decision is given by the Immigration Service and, if it is negative, it is passed on to the Refugee Council, but in a shorter period of time.

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Support during the asylum application in Denmark

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If you are an asylum seeker in Denmark, in most cases, your living expenses will be sponsored by the Immigration Service. However, if you have the resources to cover them and the Danish government finds out and verifies it, then you will have to pay for your stay in the place they indicate.

You are probably wondering how the Danish government obtains this information and the answer is very simple: the day you go to the police, in addition to registering you, they will check your luggage and wallet. So, if you have cash, international cards or valuables, the officers can confiscate the goods to compensate for the expenses that the Immigration Service will spend on your case.

The Immigration Service provides a series of benefits and services, which guarantee the quality of life of the applicants until they receive a response on their case. Some of them are:

Cash allowances

This is money that you will need to use mainly to buy clothes and personal hygiene items. You will also have to purchase food if you live in a facility that does not receive the food allowance.

Since the petitioners are entitled to health and education, the Immigration Service also covers the cost of transportation to such places. Therefore, depending on your needs, you may be eligible for:

• Basic subsidy.
• Supplementary allowance, if applicable.
• Caregiver’s allowance for up to two children.
• Reduced subsidy for the caretaker of two additional children.

Health services

As an asylum seeker in Denmark, you will not be covered by the national health insurance system. Therefore, the costs of such care will be covered by the Danish Immigration Service; and, to avail of this benefit the health condition must be serious.

Work permits

Only if you are of legal age can you apply to the Immigration Service for approval of a job offer, until you are granted a residence permit, leave Denmark or are deported.

In order to do this, it is important that you meet a number of requirements with the Immigration Service, which you can find here. But keep in mind that it is only for work under the orders of an employersince you will not have the right to run your own business.

International protection in Denmark

Undoubtedly, Danish soil has proven to be an excellent option for the massive movement of foreigners. Its reception system provides much needed support to people who are in a vulnerable condition and seek international refuge.

In short, if you are at risk in your country, do not hesitate to go to Denmark to seek international protection. The success will depend on the veracity of the information you provide; but, thanks to its multiple benefits, you will be able to live a happy life with your family.

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Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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