Peruvian mother granted right to work

Flavia Oregon credits media pressure for her special dispensation to live and work in Denmark while her application for residence is processed

Flavia Oregon, a 36-year-old mother at the centre of an immigration scandal, has been given the extraordinary right to live and work in Denmark while her application for family reunification is being processed.

Oregon, originally from Peru, has lived in Denmark for the past decade after first moving here as a student. She has since graduated from Aalborg University and married a Danish man, with whom she now has an 18-month-old son.

Despite her clear connection to Denmark, Oregon was told she would have to leave the country by January 12, after the Immigration Service rejected her application to have her green card extended in November.

After the initial media uproar, the Immigration Service announced that Oregon could remain in Denmark while her family reunification application was being processed – which could take a year – but that she would be unable to work.

But on returning from a Christmas holiday Oregon and her husband, Jens Andersen, came home to a letter from the Employment Ministry stating that she would be allowed to work after all.

“We could hardly believe our eyes when we opened the letter,” the couple wrote in an email to The Copenhagen Post. “There is no doubt that the media attention saved our family at the last minute. We are very grateful toward everyone that has helped draw attention to the clear absurdities we faced.”

The couple added that the latest news was gratefully received after their nerve-wracking and stressful battle with the Danish immigration service.

"We are incredibly relieved by the decisions by the unusual decision that gives us a new deadline. Our thoughts are also with the many other families that risk in 2013 losing their opportunity to live in Denmark because of the unfair rules.”

Oregon's two dispensations will allow her to remain in Denmark with her family and work, which is unusual given that people ordinarly cannot live and work in Denmark while they are having an application for family reunification processed.

In the letter, Oregon and Andersen argued that alll families in their position should be entitled to the same rights and that they would now start to lobby politicians.

"We hope that they will agree that the rules need to be changed," they wrote.