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Citizenship by Descent in Denmark

Citizenship by Descent in Denmark

Citizenship by descent in Denmark is possible when one or both parents of the applicant were Danish nationals. The law also extends to children of unmarried parents as well as adopted children. Acquiring citizenship is a process that can also take place through naturalization, a process that is subject to having lived in Denmark lawfully for a minimum number of years.

If you are interested in basic details on acquiring citizenship by birth in Denmark, please read the short guide below. You can always reach out to our Denmark immigration specialists if you need more details, if you have a particular situation or if you simply require assistance during the application process.

Working with an immigration lawyer in Denmark, such as the one from our team, is recommended when you wish to apply for citizenship and also for procedures that preceded this step, for example, as soon as you decide to move to Denmark and require information on visas and the residence permit in Denmark for permanent purposes.

Read below more about citizenship through descent and please feel free to reach out as needed.

What are the conditions for acquiring citizenship at birth?

In some cases, an individual acquires Danish citizenship at birth. Some of the conditions include the following:

  1. Born before 1 July 2014: those who are born until this date can acquire citizenship automatically, however, the specific rules depend on the ones that were in force at the time the applicant was born; for this purpose, if is useful to reach out to our immigration lawyer in Denmark;
  2. Born after 1 July 2014: those born on this date of afterwards acquire automatic citizenship if one of the parents or co-mother is Danish;
  3. Other cases: children who are found in Denmark are also considered Danish citizens until further information becomes available.

What are other options for automatic citizenship acquisition in Denmark?

There are two other options through which an individual may acquire automatic Danish citizenship, as opposed to naturalization. These are:

  • Through adoption: for foreign children under the age of 12 who have been adopted by a Danish citizen;
  • At the time of marriage: when a child has not acquired Danish citizenship at birth, he or she may do so after the parents marry (when he or she is the child of a Danish father and a foreign mother).
  • Out of wedlock: children who are born out of wedlock to a Danish father and a foreign mother can obtain citizenship upon application, if they are born between 12 October 1993 and 30 June 2014.

We invite you to watch a video on the main conditions to acquire citizenship by descent:

In all cases involving obtaining Danish citizenship by descent, proof of kinship is very important. This is customarily proven by providing a birth certificate however, the marriage certificate of the parents can also be requested and in some cases the relationship between the child and the parent(s) is determined through a DNA test.

What are other routes for acquiring citizenship?

Children of former Danish citizens can usually acquire citizenship when one or both parents make a statement, provided that the child is under 18 years of age. In case of adopted children, an important condition is for the adoption to have taken place under Danish law.

Former Danish citizens over the age of 18 can also follow a process based on a declaration in order to regain their citizenship. This is possible if they initially obtained Danish citizenship at birth, if they lived in the Kingdom (also included here are the Faroe Islands or Greenland) until the age of 18 and have had permanent residence in the Kingdom of Denmark for the past two years.

Individuals who lost their Danish citizenship can regain it if after the loss they continued as a citizen of another Nordic country and if they have a residence in the Kingdom of Denmark.

Our team can provide you with additional details on these conditions for residence for former Danish citizens.

Acquiring citizenship through naturalization is a common rote for all other foreign nationals, namely for those who have no family ties with Danish citizens. Nordic citizens can be subject to lighter requirements during this process.

When you decide to move to Denmark based on citizenship by descent, you will need to handle several other steps, apart from following the rules for proving your ancestry. You can rely on our assistance if you have questions about your access to health services and a health card as a new resident, the NemKonto and the MitID for residents, and much more. Please reach out to us for details.

You can apply for a Denmark residence permit for reasons other than remaining in the country based on you ancestry. In fact, most foreign nationals will apply for residency on other grounds. You can reach out to us if you want to know more about how you can remain in the country to work, study or start a business. Our team will give you complete details about the conditions.

You can always reach out to us for more information on acquiring citizenship at birth, through adoption, or through another route accepted by the Danish authorities.

According to Statistics Denmark, there were 5,840,045 inhabitants in the first quarter of 2021. The top three provinces as per the number of people were:

  • Østjylland, with 903,974 inhabitants;
  • Byen København with 799,033 people; and
  • Sydjylland, with 724,215 inhabitants.

Do you want to live in Denmark? Contact us for complete assistance during the relocation process.