Thousands of people from Ukraine have applied for residence and work permits in Denmark under a new law passed on Wednesday and a subsequent bottleneck in the system has now appeared, newspaper Politiken reported on Friday.
To get a residence permit under the special law for Ukrainian refugees, applicants must book an appointment at one of four ‘Borgerservice’ (Citizens’ Service) centres across Denmark in order to submit biometric information.
The four centres are located in Odense, Aalborg, Aarhus and Næstved. The latter is the closest to Copenhagen.
According to Politiken, which tried out the booking system on Thursday, no appointments were currently available this year in Aalborg, Aarhus or Odense.
In Næstved, the only location in the eastern part of Denmark including Copenhagen, the next available appointment was April 2nd.
The government earlier indicated that it expected around 20,000 Ukrainians to flee to Denmark because of the invasion of their country by Russia, which began late last month.
But Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said on Thursday that the government now expects “significantly more” than 20,000 people from Ukraine to eventually arrive.
Tesfaye admitted in comments to Politiken that capacity at Borgerservice centres must be extended including by opening during weekends.
“I expect that, from next week, there will also be the option of submitting an application [biotmetrics, ed.] in Copenhagen and I know that new appointments will appear in the system on an ongoing basis,” the minister told Politiken in a written response.
The Danish Immigration Service told news wire Ritzau on Friday that two additonal locations for the biometry appointments would open on Tuesday next week, and that appointments would be available prior to that. The new locations are in Valby near Copenhagen and in Aarhus.