Permanent residents in Denmark can apply for dual citizenship once they have lived in the country long enough. This ability to retain the former nationality may be important for many foreign nationals who are initially interested in moving to Denmark. The Danish law that allows for dual citizenship was introduced in 2015.
Naturalization is the most common method through which foreign nationals, irrespective of their country of origin, can become Danish citizens. However, it is not the sole method as Nordic citizens can be subject to other criteria along with foreign nationals who marry a Danish citizen. Likewise, citizenship by birth is also an option for children, according to the nationality of the parents.
We can help answer any other questions that may arise during the process as well as provide complete assistance from the earliest phases to the moment you receive citizenship.
In this article, our team of Denmark immigration specialists answers some of the most common questions about obtaining Danish citizenship. Please remember that this is a process that is based on a set of exact requirements, among which having resided in the country lawfully for a minimum period and being financially independent. Understanding these requirements is important before starting the process in order to ensure the success of the application.
Investors who have received a Denmark startup visa can receive specialized assistance from our lawyers, based on their particular case.
What are the conditions for obtaining Danish citizenship?
An individual can obtain Danish citizenship by naturalization if he meets the following criteria:
- Minimum residence: before applying, a foreign national needs to have resided in the country (with a valid residence permit in Denmark) for 9 consecutive years;
- Financial independence: financial independence for the last 2 years is also a criterion; during the last 5 years the applicant should not have applied for financial support for more than 4 months (in total);
- No debts: these refer to public debts for repayable benefits like that for child care, housing benefits, taxes, or more; one of our Denmark immigration specialists can provide more details;
- Citizenship test: this is a test that is mandatory and it includes questions about the Danish culture, society, and history; the examination takes place in two sessions each year;
- No crimes: this is an important criterion as applicants who have committed heavy crimes cannot apply for Danish citizenship.
Applicants who have attended university courses in Danish during their residence may be able to replace the language examination with the accreditation that proves their participation in these courses. It is important to note that the language exam is subject to a fee and that the applicant can take a mock examination online (which is recommended) before the official one.
Observing the criteria presented above is important for all applicants. We recommend reaching out to our immigration lawyer in Denmark before starting the application process in order to confirm that you qualify and comply with all of the ongoing requirements, including the valid residence permit in Denmark for the minimum number of years.
What is the general application process?
If you meet all of the criteria described above by our immigration lawyer in Denmark, you can start the application process with the Ministry of Immigration, Integration, and Housing. The main step is to fill in the application form and to provide the required documentation. This will include a passport copy, a copy of the permanent residence permit, the original Danish language examination results, copies of the Citizenship test or naturalization test results, and a filled-in statement for self-support. Parents may also need to submit a different statement for parental responsibility.
The application, if approved, is included by the Ministry in a bill and the Parliament needs to issue this bill (which takes place each year in two instances, in April, and in October). One of our agents who specialize in Denmark immigration can provide more details about the application procedure and the publication of the bill.
How fast can Danish citizenship be obtained?
As seen above, the process depends on the publication of a bill, which takes place each year. First of all, the date for obtaining Danish citizenship will depend on whether or not the applicant qualifies for one of bill publications for the Act of Naturalization. There are two distinct phases, the introduction of the bill (which takes place in April and October) and the passing of the bill which also takes several months (and it can occur in December or in June, for example).
The process is a lengthier one because experts carefully assess each application. The estimated processing time for the applications is approximately 19 to 21 months from the time they are received by the Ministry of Immigration, Integration, and Housing. Our immigration lawyer in Denmark can provide updated information on the usual waiting time once the application has been submitted.
According to Statistics Denmark, 1,781 people changed into Danish citizenship in 2019. The distribution according to their primary nationality was the following:
- 635 applicants from EU countries;
- 468 individuals from non-EU countries in Europe;
- 446 applicants from Asia;
- 100 applicants from Africa, 70 from North America; the rest of the applicants were from South and Central America, Asia, and Oceania; the statistics also include stateless individuals.
Contact us for more information on moving to Denmark, obtaining citizenship or residency as well as other issues.