• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Denmark considers citizenship rule changes
Inger Støjberg said she is considering changes to Danish citizenship requirements. Photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Scanpix

Denmark considers citizenship rule changes

The Local · 25 Aug 2015, 09:44

Published: 25 Aug 2015 09:44 GMT+02:00

Some 1,950 foreigners who were due to receive citizenship in October with the passage of Denmark’s next citizenship bill may not get it after all, Politiken reported on Monday. 
 
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg told Politiken that she is “considering” changes to Denmark’s citizenship requirements that could result in the some of the nearly 2,000 foreigners' applications being denied despite living up to all of the current rules. 
 
The current citizenship applicants have passed the required Danish language courses, citizenship tests and background checks but could be subjected to new, tougher requirements that might be applied retroactively. 
 
The applicants received a letter shortly after the new Venstre government took power in June that said that their applications for citizenship would be approved in October “as long as the current guidelines don’t change”. 
 
Because the letters included that caveat, the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF) is pushing strongly for tougher citizenship requirements to be established before the citizenship bill reaches parliament in October. Specifically, DF wants to increase the language requirement so that prospective citizens need to complete Danish 3 classes rather than the easier Danish 2, as the current rules state. The language requirements were relaxed by the previous Social Democrat-led government and DF wants them restored to the higher level.
 
A DF spokesman said that if the tougher language requirements result in people losing the citizenship they thought they had earned, "that's just the way it is".
 
"For us, Danish citizenship is something incredibly special in which one is incorporated into the Danish people and all of that previous easing and relaxing [of the rules] is something we don't support," DF's Christian Langballe told Politik
 
Under the Danish constitution, foreigners can only obtain citizenship by law. Twice each year – in April and October – parliament is presented a bill with the names of all individuals who have qualified for citizenship, which it typically passes as a formality. 
 
But with a new centre-right majority in parliament, in which DF is now the second-largest party, what is normally a straightforward issue may get more complicated. 
 
The new centre-right majority on parliament’s Naturalization Committee has already said it will use the caveat in the citizenship letters to reevaluate the applications of those who have applied for a disposition to the regular requirements. Up to 250 applications may be affected by that decision. 
Story continues below…
 
Støjberg wouldn’t commit to whether the regular applications would be reconsidered if and when the citizenship requirements are changed. 
 
“I can’t say one way or the other. I can only say that I am considering the case,” the integration minister told Politiken. 
 
Støjberg has promised that the government will soon be announcing a series of changes within the immigration arena. 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Seagulls 1, Aarhus 0
Aarhus's Hitchcockian nightmare will continue. Photo: Stefan W/Flickr

Officials in Denmark’s second city declared an all-out war on seagulls earlier this year. They lost.

Russia lashes out at ‘hostile’ Denmark
Russia's ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin. Photo: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Denmark

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark accused the Danes of being “hostile” and “anti-Russian” in an interview published on Friday.

Danish MP cleared for 'bomb civilians' remark
Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. File photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

Copenhagen Police have dropped proceedings against Danish People’s Party (DF) spokesperson Søren Espersen after he said that Denmark “should start” bombing civilians in Syria.

Denmark's biggest IPO to be windfall for Goldman Sachs
Dong's expected market value is up to 106.5 billion kroner. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

The Danish wind farm group Dong Energy is valued at up to $16 billion, leading to renewed debate about its partial sale to the US investment bank.

Aarhus blocks plans for grand mosque
Aarhus will not get a new mosque after all. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

The sale of a plot of land for the construction of a grand mosque has been cancelled by Aarhus Municipality.

Denmark's waters are cleaner than ever
Danish beaches are cleaner than ever. Photo: Old Dane/ Wikipedia

Jump on in, the water's fine! In fact, it's cleaner than it's ever been.

Syrian refugees sue Denmark over long family wait time
File photo of the refugee tent camp in Thisted. Photo: Sara Gangsted/Scanpix

A group of five Syrians are suing Denmark and Immigration Minister Inger Støjberg over the three-year waiting period for family reunification imposed on refugees.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holder Mehvish Kiran said that her four children would not be able to adjust to life in Pakistan. Photo: Submitted

Thousands of green card holders are desperately trying convince politicians not to force them out of Denmark and say that a recently-granted extension to the scheme is a hollow victory.

Danish economy set for ‘historically’ low growth
File photo: Scanpix DK

Reports from the Ministry of Finance and independent experts suggest that the Danish economy is likely to be one of Europe’s slowest growers over the coming years.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
National
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
2,287
jobs available