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EXPLAINED: How Ukrainians can apply for residence and work permits in Denmark

Danish authorities have issued guidelines to people from Ukraine who want to apply for residence in the Nordic country, after parliament passed a special law for refugees of the war in Ukraine.

The colonnade of the National Museum dressed in yellow and blue in Copenhagen.
The colonnade of the National Museum dressed in yellow and blue in Copenhagen. The Danish immigration service has issued guidelines for Ukrainians who want to apply for residence under a new special law. Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix)

The Danish parliament on Wednesday passed a special law giving Ukrainian refugees access to school, the labour market and social welfare in the Nordic country.

The law was enacted via an expedited parliamentary process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said on Thursday that “significantly more” than the 20,000 refugees currently planned for could eventually arrive in Denmark.

The “Ukrainian law” – officially, the Special Act on Displaced Persons from Ukraine – eases the process for Ukrainians compared to the normal asylum system, and is designed to enable them to start work and school as soon as possible after coming to Denmark.

The Danish Immigration Service and the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), the authority which processes residency applications, have subsequently published an FAQ page with information about the application process and the rules under the new law.

The FAQ page can be viewed directly here, and is available in Danish and English. The information in this article is taken from the official information page and aims to summarise and explain the process of application for residency for Ukrainian refugees in Denmark.

Who can apply for residence under the special law?

To be able to apply for residence under the law, you must fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • You are a Ukrainian citizen and left Ukraine on February 24th 2022 or later, and resided in Ukraine at the time you left
  • You had refugee status in Ukraine on February 24th 2022 and left the country on that date or later
  • You are a Ukrainian citizen or had refugee status in Ukraine on February 24th 2022 and were in Denmark, or had legal residence in Denmark, on that date.

Under a separate clause of the law, close family members (spouses, partners, children under 18 and other close family members who are dependents) of people who fulfil the above categories can also be granted residence.

You must be in Denmark to apply for residency under the law unless you are applying under the close family member clause.

How do I apply?

To apply for residency under the law you must fill out and submit form SL1. This can be done online (using this link), in which case it will be sent digitally to the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen).

The form can also be printed and filled in manually. It can be downloaded as a word or pdf file.

Whether submitting paper or digital forms, applicants must make an appointment with Denmark’s Borgerservice – Citizens’ Service – to submit biometric information. Appointments are made at this link.

If you are submitting your application as a paper form, you must bring it (and accompanying documentation such as ID) to this appointment. You should also bring any children who are applying with you as well as their documentation and paper application forms (if you are using this version). Both the original and a copy of identity documents such as passports should be brought.

There are four locations in Denmark where you can attend biometry appointments: Odense, Aalborg, Aarhus and Næstved. The latter is the closest to Copenhagen.

If you are applying on another person’s behalf (who may not be in Denmark), you must use form SL2 (word and pdf).

These forms must also be submitted by making an appointment at Borgerservice (see above) to submit biometry. If the applicant is not in Denmark, they can submit biometry at a Danish embassy or consular service. You can find details for where these are located here.

Both forms contain guidance as to how they must be filled out. They are only available in English at the current time, although the Immigration Service says it is working on a Ukrainian language version.

Where can I live?

Ukrainians who have applied for residence under the law will be offered a place at an asylum centre while their applications are being processed, but this is not a requirement. They may also stay at private homes or with friends and family.

The Immigration Service will, however, decide which municipality you will live in if your application is approved. You can request a preferred municipality, for example if you already have friends or family there.

Can I work?

Residence permits issued under the law give the right to work in Denmark, but you cannot work until the permit has been issued – in other words, you can’t work while your application is being processed. You may look for work and agree a contract during this time, but are not permitted to begin working until the permit has been issued.

If you are offered a job while your application is being processed you should inform the Immigration Service, because this may effect the municipality in which you are given residence.

Did we miss anything out? Do you have any other questions related to this article you’d like answered? Let us know.

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Rapping, breakdancing Ukrainians win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest Sunday with an infectious hip-hop folk melody, boosting spirits in the embattled nation fighting off a Russian invasion that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

Rapping, breakdancing Ukrainians win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Riding a huge wave of public support, Kalush Orchestra beat 24 competitors in the finale of the world’s biggest live music event with “Stefania”, a rap lullaby combining Ukrainian folk and modern hip-hop rhythms.

“Please help Ukraine and Mariupol! Help Azovstal right now,” implored frontman Oleh Psiuk in English from the stage after their performance was met by a cheering audience.

In the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the triumph was met with smiles and visible relief.

“It’s a small ray of happiness. It’s very important now for us,” said Iryna Vorobey, a 35-year-old businesswoman, adding that the support from Europe was “incredible”.

Following the win, Psiuk — whose bubblegum-pink bucket hat has made him instantly recognisable — thanked everyone who voted for his country in the contest, which is watched by millions of viewers.

“The victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Glory to Ukraine,” Psiuk told journalists.

Music conquers Europe

The win provided a much-needed morale boost for the embattled nation in its third month of battling much-larger Russian forces.

Mahmood & BLANCO  performing for Italy at Eurovision 2022

Mahmood & BLANCO perform on behalf of Italy during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!” he wrote on Facebook.

“This win is so very good for our mood,” Andriy Nemkovych, a 28 year-old project manager, told AFP in Kyiv.

The victory drew praise in unlikely corners, as the deputy chief of the NATO military alliance said it showed just how much public support ex-Soviet Ukraine has in fighting off Moscow.

“I would like to congratulate Ukraine for winning the Eurovision contest,” Mircea Geoana said as he arrived in Berlin for talks that will tackle the alliance’s expansion in the wake of the Kremlin’s war.

“And this is not something I’m making in a light way because we have seen yesterday the immense public support all over Europe and Australia for the bravery of” Ukraine, Geoana said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the win “a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom”.

And European Council President Charles Michel said he hoped next year’s contest “can be hosted in Kyiv in a free and united Ukraine”.

‘Ready to fight’
Despite the joyous theatrics that are a hallmark of the song contest, the war in Ukraine hung heavily over the festivities this year.
The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, banned Russia on February 25, the day after Moscow invaded its neighbour.
“Stefania”, written by Psiuk as a tribute to his mother before the war, mixes traditional Ukrainian folk music played on flute-like instruments with an invigorating hip-hop beat. The band donned richly embroidered ethnic garb
to perform their act.
Nostalgic lyrics such as “I’ll always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed” resonated all the more as millions of Ukrainians have been displaced by war.

Kalush Orchestra received special authorisation from Ukraine’s government to attend Eurovision, since men of fighting age are prohibited from leaving the country, but that permit expires in two days.

Psiuk said he was not sure what awaited the band as war rages back home.

“Like every Ukrainian, we are ready to fight as much as we can and go until the end.

Britain’s ‘Space Man’

Ukraine beat a host of over-the-top acts at the kitschy, quirky annual musical event, including Norway’s Subwoolfer, who sang about bananas while dressed in yellow wolf masks, and Serbia’s Konstrakta, who questioned national healthcare while meticulously scrubbing her hands onstage.

Coming in second place was Britain with Sam Ryder’s “Space Man” and its stratospheric notes, followed by Spain with the reggaeton “SloMo” from Chanel.

After a quarter-century of being shut out from the top spot, Britain had hoped to have a winner in “Space Man” and its high notes belted by the affable, long-haired Ryder.

Britain had been ahead after votes were counted from the national juries, but a jaw-dropping 439 points awarded to Ukraine from the public pushed it to the top spot.

Eurovision’s winner is chosen by a cast of music industry professionals — and members of the public — from each country, with votes for one’s home nation not allowed.

Eurovision is a hit among fans not only for the music, but for the looks on display and this year was no exception. Lithuania’s Monika Liu generated as much social media buzz for her bowl cut hairdo as her sensual and elegant

Other offerings included Greece’s “Die Together” by Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord and “Brividi” (Shivers), a duet from Italy’s Mahmood and Blanco.

Italy had hoped the gay-themed love song would bring it a second consecutive Eurovision win after last year’s “Zitti e Buoni” (Shut up and Behave) from high-octane glam rockers Maneskin.