New Family Reunification Rules

06 Jun 2011


On 1 June 2011, the Danish Parliament changed the rules for family reunification for spouses/partners.

In the course of June 2011, detailed information about the rules for family reunification for spouses/partners will be published here on newtodenmark.dk, along with new application forms.

The new rules apply to all applications for family reunification with a spouse/partner submitted from 1 July 2011.

The changes are as follows:

  • If the spouse/partner residing in Denmark is a foreign national, he/she must meet some of the requirements which are to be met when applying for a permanent residence permit. These requirements must also be met if the spouse/partner residing in Denmark has been granted a permanent residence permit under the rules which applied before 26 March 2010. Consequently, when the Danish Immigration Service receives an application for family reunification with a spouse/partner, it will assess whether the spouse/partner residing in Denmark can be given points for the following criteria:
    1. having resided legally in Denmark for at least the past four years
    2. not having committed any serious crimes
    3. not having any overdue public debts
    4. not having received certain types of public assistance for the past three years
    5. having submitted a signed declaration about integration and active citizenship in Danish society
    6. having passed Prøve i Dansk 2 (Danish exam, level 2) or the equivalent
    7. having had ordinary full-time employment in Denmark for at least 2½ out of the past 3 years
    8. a. having had ordinary full-time employment in Denmark for at least 4 out of the past 4½ years, or
      b. having completed a higher educational programme, professional bachelor’s degree, business academy or vocational upper secondary, or
      c. having passed Prøve i Dansk 3 (Danish exam, level 3) or the equivalent
  • A point system for the applicant will be introduced. If both spouses/partners are over 24, the applicant must normally obtain 60 points. If one or both spouses/partners are under 24, the applicant must normally obtain 120 points. These points will be granted based on a number of qualifications relevant to integration, such as work experience, language skills and completed education.
  • The attachment requirementis tightened so that the spouses’/partners’ combined attachment to Denmark must be considerably greater than their combined attachment to any other country. The attachment requirement will be changed for both the spouse/partner residing in Denmark and the foreign spouse/partner. In future, the foreign spouse/partner must normally have visited Denmark twice, and must have completed a Danish language course on A1 level. The spouse/partner residing in Denmark must normally have resided in Denmark for at least 15 years, and must have made an effort to integrate into Danish society. As is the case today, the attachment requirement in not to be met if the spouse/partner residing in Denmark has held Danish citizenship for over 28 years, or if he/she was born and raised in Denmark or came to Denmark as a small child, and has resided legally in Denmark for over 28 years.
  • The collateral requirement will be raised to DKK 100,000 (2011 level)
  • The language requirement in connection with the immigration test will be tightened, and the fee for taking the new test will be raised to DKK 3,600. (This change will not apply until the new immigration test has been developed – probably around 1 January 2012.)
  • The fee for submitting an application for family reunification with a spouse/partner is raised from DKK 5,975 to DKK 7,775.

From 1 July 2011, when the new rules apply, the general requirements for family reunification with a spouse/partner will be as follows:

Requirements relating to both spouses/partners:

  • The marriage/registered partnership must be recognized by Danish law.
  • In the case of couples who are not legally married or registered partners, the relationship must be of a permanent and lasting nature - normally, the couple must be able to document that they have lived together for at least 18 months at a shared address.
  • The marriage/partnership must have been entered into according to the wishes of both spouses/partners.
  • The marriage/partnership must not have been entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining a residence permitfor the applicant.

Requirements relating to the foreign spouse/partner:

  • The foreign spouse/partner must meet his/her part of the attachment requirement.
  • The foreign spouse/partner must obtain 60 points if both spouses/partners are over 24, or 120 if one or both are under 24.
  • The foreign spouse/partner must pass the immigration test.

Requirements relating to the spouse/ partner residing in Denmark:

  • The spouse/partner must not have been convicted of violent actsagainst a former spouse/partner in the past 10 years.
  • The spouse/partner must agree to support the foreign spouse/partner
  • The spouse/partner must either hold a Danish residence permit granted on the grounds of asylum or Protected Status (the Danish Aliens Act, section 7 and 8) or have held a permanent Danish residence permit for the past three years or more.
  • If the spouse is a foreign citizen, he/she must meet a number of the requirements for obtaining a permanent residence permit.
  • The spouse/partner must meet his/her part of the attachment requirement.
  • The spouse/partner must be able to support him/herself – that is, he/she must not have received public assistanceunder the terms of the Active Social Policy Act or the Integration Act for the past three years.
  • The spouse/partner must have accommodation of adequate size at his/her disposal.
  • The spouse/partner must post DKK 100,00(2011 level) in bank-backed collateralto cover any public assistance paid to the foreign spouse/partner under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act or the Integration Act. As is the case now, there will be a possibility in certain cases.

For more information please contact the Danish Immigration Service on tel. +45 35 30 88 88.


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