Government to limit family reunification for refugees

Approval will hinge on residence permit extensions

The record influx of asylum-seekers arriving to Denmark has prompted the government to propose more stringent legislation surrounding family reunification for refugees.

In future, refugees and asylum-seekers with temporary residence will only be able to obtain family reunification if their residence permits are extended in Denmark after one year.

“There are great consequences and costs associated with moving an entire family to Denmark, so therefore it should only occur if there is a view to residency in Denmark of a certain duration,” the justice minister, Karen Hækkerup, said in a press release.

“But if the conflict becomes drawn out and the stay becomes extended, then it is acceptable to bring one's spouse and children to Denmark.”

READ MORE: The largest influx of asylum-seekers in 20 years

Two-month head start
Family reunification applications can be submitted two months before the expiry of the initial one-year residence permit period, allowing the immigration services to come to a reunification decision as quickly as possible after residence extensions are granted.

The proposed legislation will take into account the special rules surrounding families who have special needs and thus, according to international commitments, family reunification must occur more quickly.

The government expects to propose its legislation concerning temporary protection at the beginning of November.