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BREXIT

Brexit: Brits in Denmark must apply for new residence status on these dates

British nationals who reside in Denmark under EU free movement rules must submit an application for new residence status and a new residence document in 2021.

Brexit: Brits in Denmark must apply for new residence status on these dates
Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (Styrelsen for International Rekruttering og Integration, SIRI) has confirmed dates on which British nationals who legally reside in Denmark under EU rules must apply for continuation of their residency status.

Last month, the agency issued notification of steps UK nationals in Denmark must take to maintain their residency after Brexit – including those who already have legal residence in the country.

READ ALSO: Brexit: What Brits in Denmark need to do before and after December 31st

Everyone who is legally resident prior to December 31st, 2020 has the right to stay, but must submit an application for a new residence status in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement between UK and the EU. This must be done some time in 2021, SIRI says in a new circular sent this week to UK nationals in Denmark.

Any Britons in Denmark who have dual Danish nationality or dual nationality with an EU or Nordic country or Switzerland are not affected – but everyone else is.

The exact dates at which the applications should be submitted are spread across the year so as to prevent a backlog. You will keep your right to reside in Denmark up to the point you send your application as well as while it is being processed.

These dates have now been confirmed by SIRI in a new circular sent to British residents via the eboks secure digital mail system.

The year of your birth determines when you (and your family members, if they are resident in Denmark due to your status) should submit the application.

Families applying together should do so according to the oldest member’s year of birth.

The list below shows the relevant months for application.

  • January: People born before 1946
  • February: People born in the period 1946-1951
  • March: People born in the period 1952-1958
  • April: People born in the period 1959-1964
  • May: People born in the period 1965-1969
  • June: People born in the period 1970-1972
  • July: People born in the period 1973-1975
  • August: People born in the period 1976-1979
  • September: People born in the period 1980-1984
  • October: People born in the period 1985-1989
  • November: People born in 1990 and later

A new online platform for the applications will be launched on the New to Denmark website. The platform will be launched on January 1st, according to SIRI. 

Exemptions

Cross-border workers from the UK will similarly need to apply to confirm their status in order to continue to work in Denmark and live in the UK or another EU country without a work permit. People applying on this basis can submit their application at any time during 2021.

Do I need to submit anything I might not already have?

Yes, unfortunately you do. In addition to the regular types of documentation you would have had to provide with an EU free movement application, you will also need to submit biometric data for the residence card.

That means you will need to get your biometric data recorded at one of SIRI's five branch offices, located in Copenhagen, Odense, Aalborg, Aarhus, and Aabenraa.

More information will be provided about this documentation, as well as the procedure for submitting biometrics, on the forthcoming application platform, according to SIRI.

The agency states that it is “very important” that the application schedule is complied with.

 

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BREXIT

Brexit: Brits in EU feel European and don’t want to return home

The majority of Britons who live in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland and are protected under the Brexit agreement feel European and intend to remain in Europe permanently, but many have concerns about travel problems, a new survey reveals.

Brexit: Brits in EU feel European and don't want to return home

The research also shows that problems exist and “travel is where most issues relating to the new status currently occur”. For instance, border officials are still stamping passports of UK citizens with residence rights under the EU UK withdrawal agreement, even though they shouldn’t.

“There is constant confusion around passport stamping. I was ‘stamped in’ to France on a short trip… but could not find anyway to be ‘stamped out’ again. I think I can only spend 90 days in other EU countries, but have no idea how anyone can check or enforce that – until someone decides to try. It’s a mess,” was one of the answers left in an open question.

“Every time I go through a Schengen border control, I need to provide both my passport and Aufenthaltstitel card [resident permit in Germany] and watch to check that they don’t stamp my passport. As I am currently travelling a lot that’s been 20-odd times this year…” another respondent said.

The survey was carried out by Professor Tanja Bueltmann, historian of migration and diaspora at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, between October and November 2022. About 1,139 UK citizens replied.

Of these, 80 per cent found acquiring their new status easy or very easy, 60.7 per cent feel their rights are secure, while 39.3 per cent have concerns about their status going forward.

Staying permanently

More than three quarters (76.6 per cent) of respondents said they plan to live permanently in the EU or the other countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. In fact, 65.7 per cent said that Brexit has increased the likelihood of this choice.

For some, the decision is linked to the difficulty to bring non-British family members to the UK under new, stricter immigration rules.

“My German wife and I decided we no longer wanted to live in UK post Brexit referendum. In particular, we were affected by the impact of immigration law […] We cannot now return to UK on retirement as I cannot sponsor her on my pension. We knew it was a one-way journey. Fortunately, I could revive an application for German citizenship,” was a testimony.

“My husband is a US citizen and getting him a visa for the UK was near impossible due to my low income as a freelance journalist. We realized under EU law, moving to an EU country was easier. We settled on Austria as we had both lived there before… we could speak some German, and we like the mountains,” said another respondent.

Professor Bueltmann noted that the loss of free movement rights in the EU could be a factor too in the decision of many to stay where they are.

Citizenship and representation

Among those who decided to stay, 38.2 per cent are either applying or planning to apply for a citizenship and 28.6 per cent are thinking about it.

A key finding of the research, Bueltmann said, is that the vast majority of British citizens do not feel politically represented. Some 60 per cent of respondents said they feel unrepresented and another 30 per cent not well represented.

Another issue is that less than half (47.5 per cent) trust the government of their country of residence, while a larger proportion (62 per cent) trust the European Union. Almost all (95.6 per cent) said they do not trust the UK government.

Feeling European

The survey highlights the Brexit impacts on people’s identity too. 82.6 per cent of respondents said they see themselves as European, a higher proportion than those identifying as British (68.9 per cent).

“Brexit has really left me unsure of what my identity is. I don’t feel British, and I certainly don’t identify with the mindset of a lot of British people who live there. Yet, I am not Danish either. So, I don’t really know anymore!” said one of the participants in the survey.

Professor Bueltmann said the survey “demonstrates that Brexit impacts continue to evolve: this didn’t just stop because the transition period was over or a deadline for an application had been reached. Consequently, Brexit continues to shape the lives and experiences of British citizens in the EU/EEA and Switzerland in substantial, sometimes life-altering, ways.”

Considering the results of the study, Professor Bueltmann recommends policy makers in the EU and the UK to address the issue of lack of representation, for instance creating a joint UK-EU citizens’ stakeholder forum.

The report also recommends the UK government to rebuild trust with British citizens in the EU introducing voting rights for life and changing immigration rules to allow British-European families to return more easily. 

This article was prepared in cooperation with Europe Street News.

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