Denmark’s immigration and integration minister, Inger Støjberg, is always keen to point out that Danish citizenship is something unique and a great privilege for those who are able to attain it. But the rules on obtaining it can seem baffling to many people, as a former columnist of this paper also found out.
Dennis Speake, a British national married to a Dane who has lived in Denmark for 47 years, has had his application for Danish citizenship turned down. Although now retired, Speake has worked as a vet here since 1973.
A Brexit casualty
Like many others, Speake, in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, decided to take advantage of a new Danish law that opened up the possibility of dual nationality, and he applied for Danish citizenship in January 2017.
“I’ve never wanted to give up my British citizenship, so the change in Danish law allowing dual nationality was very welcome when it came into force on 1 September 2015,” Speake told Dagbladet.
However, although he passed the citizenship test with flying colours, he has fallen foul of the rules regarding the interpretation of the value of his educational qualifications and their equivalence to the language requirements of Danish at Level 3.
On the paper trail
Speake has managed to acquire documentation from the department of veterinary and animal sciences at the University of Copenhagen to confirm that he took a university-level course from 1972-1973.
“I’ve talked with a lawyer regarding the interpretation of the ministry’s circular on your knowledge of Danish. He suggests that I draw the ministry’s attention to the misunderstanding and ask them to reopen the case,” said Speake.
“I’ve now sent a letter off to them, together with the extra documentation that the University of Copenhagen has provided.”