Denmark to clamp down on work by foreign nationals noted for deportation

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Denmark to clamp down on work by foreign nationals noted for deportation
Danish immigration minister Kaare Dybvad Bek, pictured here speaking at a Social Democratic party conference, says checks will intensify on illegal work done by people without the right to stay in Denmark. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration has announced intensified checks on illegal work by persons who do not have permission to stay in Denmark but cannot be forcibly deported.


In a statement, the ministry said it was clamping down on people who have so-called ‘tolerated stay’ (tålt ophold) status, meaning they do not have permission to reside in Denmark but cannot be deported.

This can include foreign nationals who have criminal records with sentences that include deportation, but who cannot be forcibly deported, for example due to being stateless or because no readmission arrangement exists between Denmark and their home country.

It can also include asylum seekers whose cases have been rejected but have not left for similar reasons, or because they do not agree with the outcome of their asylum application or are unable to be voluntarily returned to their home countries due to the danger they believe that will place them under.

It is also illegal for Denmark to deport persons who risk facing a death sentence or prosecution in their home countries.

Some 172 people live in Denmark under the ‘tolerated’ status as of June 2023, according to ministry figures.


According to the ministry, there have been a number of recent cases in which people who have this status have illicitly worked and been paid in Denmark.

Some 14 individuals may have had hidden earnings in breach of the law, it said, citing “a review conducted by immigration authorities based on a specific case”.

In the most serious of these cases, a person earned more than 750,000 kroner over several years and was in regular employment, according to the ministry.

That case, and three other cases, have since been reported to the police, the ministry said.

Minister of Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek said a number of measures had been initiated in response to the discoveries.

“Right here and now we have to look at all individuals on tolerated status,” he said in the statement.

“If any of them have worked and earned money illegally or have had another income they are not permitted, we must obviously report it to the police,” he said.

“Authorities are working on this already and the first police reports have been filed,” he said.

In future, immigration authorities will “conduct checks on an ongoing basis”, the minister added.

Such controls will be targeted at “not only foreigners on tolerated status, but also other foreigners who no longer have legal residence in Denmark and may therefore not work here,” he said.

That can include people with criminal records who previously had legal residence before receiving a deportation sentence, he said.


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