Huge increase in permanent resident permits

Some 4,300 foreigners have been given permanent residency this year; there were just 578 in 2011

Through November 15, 4,342 foreigners had been granted permanent residency this year. That marks a seven-fold increase over 2011, when permanent residency was largely dependent upon the former government's now-scrapped points system.

According to Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper, roughly half of the resident permits in 2013 have been handed out to people coming from the Middle East and Afghanistan. 

The Justice Ministry said that the increase in permanent resident permits is largely due to the scrapping of the former Venstre-Konservative government's points system, which tightened the requirements for permanent residency, with higher demands on factors such as language and job skills. The points system resulted in just 578 permanent resident permits being granted in all of 2011, a 70 percent drop from the year before

The points system was dropped in June 2012 and since then the number of foreigners applying for permanent residency has exploded. The immigration authorities, Udlændingestyrelsen, reported that it had processed some 9,300 permanent residency cases this year, more than twice as many as in 2012.

The anti-immigration Dansk Folkeparti is not pleased with the development. The party's immigration spokesperson, Martin Henriksen, said that the increase will lead to more integration problems. 

"The point system was in place to ensure that those immigrants who received residency were willing to live up to some demands," Henriksen told Kristeligt Dagblad. "Many of the foreigners receiving resident permits today come from groups that have traditionally had a hard time integrating themselves into Danish society."

Henriksen vowed to fight for the reinstatement of a points system.