Dramatic drop in number of residence permit approvals

70 percent drop in approved applications an unintended consequence of the point system politicians argue


The number of people granted permanent residency has fallen dramatically according to new numbers from the Justice Ministry.

Up to the end of September this year immigration authority Udlændingeservice had granted permanent residency to 525 people, compared with 1,796 in the same period the year before, a drop of 70 percent.

The number of rejected applications rose in the same period, from 1,486 last year to 2,449 this year.

According to Berlingske newspaper, the fall in approved applications coincides with the introduction of the point system that was introduced by the former Venstre and Konservative government with support from Danske Folkeparti (DF).

The point system tightened the requirements needed to be granted permanent residency, with higher demands on factors such as language and job skills.

Speaking to Berlingske, Peter Skaarup from DF said that the point system was not designed to reduce the number of people being granted permanent residency.

“It was to make people contribute to the Danish society,” Skaarup said. “I think the numbers will rise again as people start to be able to fulfil the requirements for work experience for instance. But no, it was not our goal for the number to drop so dramatically.”

Despite these unintended consequences, Inger Støjberg, the immigration spokesperson for Venstre, argued that the point system had not backfired.

“The point was to attract immigrants to Denmark who could contribute to society and the numbers clearly show that many immigrants haven’t fulfilled the requirements.”

The revelation comes in light of a study that showed that highly-educated foreigners were incredibly valuable to the economy, leaving the Danish state on average 900,000 kroner better off after they leave.

The new government has announced that it intends to abolish the point system and revisit many of the changes to immigration law, particularly those made in the last year, though so far it has not announced when these changes might take place.

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