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Circular of 2 February 1990 of the Ministry of Interior concerning Danish Citizenship (Naturalization)

Publisher National Legislative Bodies
Author Kingdom of Denmark
Publication Date 2 February 1990
Reference DNK-315
Cite as Circular of 2 February 1990 of the Ministry of Interior concerning Danish Citizenship (Naturalization) [Denmark],  2 February 1990, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4df1c.html [accessed 10 July 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial translation.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. INTRODUCTION

Negotiations between the Naturalization Committee of Parliament and the Ministry of the Interior have led to the establishment of the following main principles for the processing of applications for Danish citizenship, cf. article 12, paragraph 1, of the Danish Citizenship Act, cf. Notice No. 155 of 6 April 1978.

Article 1

Paragraph 1. Naturalization may normally be granted to persons who are resident in this country and who have acquired such a good knowledge of the Danish language as to be able to make themselves understood in Danish in the Danish community.

Paragraph 2. Naturalization, however, is never a right to which the applicant may lay claim on the grounds that he or she satisfies certain requirements, because the decision thereon is exclusively a matter for Parliament. In processing the applications, the aim should be for the decisions to be reached on the basis of an individual assessment of the applicant's circumstances.

Paragraph 3. Naturalization may normally be granted only to persons who agree to renounce their previous nationality.

2. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Article 2

Paragraph 1. Nationals of the Nordic countries shall have resided lawfully in this country for a continuous period of not less than two years, other aliens for not less than seven years. Persons who are recognized as refugees pursuant to the United Nations Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees and persons who may be placed on an equal footing therewith may be naturalized after six years' continuous residence in this country.

Paragraph 2. A non-Nordic national who lives with a Danish national in a marriage that has existed for not less than three years may, however, be naturalized after four years' continuous residence in this country.

Paragraph 3. The residence requirement may also be eased for persons who came here under the age of 15 years or who have received a substantial proportion of their general or specialized education in this country.

Paragraph 4. Children who have been adopted by Danish nationals but who do not automatically become Danish in conjunction with the adoption may be naturalized irrespective of residence in this country if the application is filed before they reach the age of 12 years. Children who have been adopted by Danish nationals between the ages of 12 and 18 years may be naturalized after two years' residence in this country.

Paragraph 5. Moreover a departure may be made from the general residence requirements for children other than adopted children if one of the parents, who has part custody, is Danish.

Paragraph 6. It is, in any case, normally a requirement for naturalization that the applicant should have a permit for permanent residence in this country. The period of residence shall be calculated from the date on which the applicant was granted a residence permit.

Article 3

Except in the cases referred to in article 2, paragraph 4 and 5, Danish citizenship may be expected to be granted independently to persons under 18 years of age only if there are special circumstances making it desirable or natural that they should receive Danish citizenship.

Article 4

Paragraph 1. Fines for trifling offences shall constitute no bar to naturalization. Fines for grosser behaviour, especially for wilful contravention of the Civil Criminal Code and the legislation on taxes and duties - hereinafter referred to as administratively imposed fines - shall disqualify the offender for naturalization for not less than five years from the date of the offence. Other fines shall constitute a bar to naturalization for three years from the date of the offence.

Paragraph 2. Suspended sentences and decisions of nolle prosequi pursuant to article 723 of the Administration of Justice Act on condition of blameless conduct shall constitute a bar to naturalization for the period of probation prescribed in the judgement or the decision of nolle prosequi.

Paragraph 3. An unconditional sentence of mitigated or ordinary imprisonment for up to three months shall constitute a bar to naturalization for five years from the date of the offence. A sentence of ordinary imprisonment for three months or longer and other measures affecting liberty pursuant to the Civil Criminal Code shall constitute a bar to naturalization for a period fixed by estimation which may not normally be less than seven years from the date of the offence, or than 10 years from the date of the offence after a sentence to ordinary imprisonment for one year or longer.

Paragraph 4.If the applicant is sentenced several times for the same offence, the period shall be extended by three years on each occasion.

Article 5

Paragraph 1. Relief which is paid pursuant to the Social Assistance Act and which is reimbursable shall normally constitute a bar to naturalization for five years, calculated from the date on which relief is discontinued. Relief which is reimbursed or which the social authorities have waived shall constitute no bar.

Paragraph 2. A maintenance contribution which is advanced by the State pursuant to the Act concerning Children's Allowance and Other Family Benefits shall constitute a bar to the naturalization of the person liable for the contribution for five years from the date on which the contribution was paid by the State. A maintenance contribution which the person liable therefor has refunded to the State or which the social authorities have waived shall constitute no bar.

Paragraph 3. If an agreement has been reached between the applicant and the social authorities on the repayment of relief (contributions), inter alia for wages to be withheld by the employer, and such an agreement is observed and the debt reduced, the relief (contributions) may be disregarded.

Article 6

Applicants who are in arrears with taxes and duties cannot expect to receive Danish citizenship unless the arrears are due to circumstances beyond the applicant's control. Arrears may also be disregarded if the applicant observes a payment agreement with the authorities, cf. article 5, paragraph 3.

Article 7

Applicants who do not possess a good enough knowledge of Danish to be able to understand and make themselves understood in Danish may not be naturalized unless there are, in the individual case, special circumstances that may justify a departure from this rule.

3. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN GROUPS OF APPLICANTS

Article 8

Persons who have lived in this country up to the age of 12 years and who received Danish citizenship at birth but who have lost their citizenship may recover it when they have stayed in Denmark for one year. The remaining general requirements may likewise be eased or even waived altogether.

Article 9

Paragraph 1. The general requirements may also be eased for persons who are wholly or partly of Danish descent or who, without being Danish born, have previously had Danish citizenship.

Paragraph 2. Persons from the districts immediately south of the frontier who have special attachments to Danish relatives may normally be naturalized after continuous residence in this country for not less than two years.

4. FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 10

The authorities should not, in connection with the processing of applications for naturalization or on providing guidance in other respects for persons who wish to file such an application, advance opinions which may cause them to abandon their wish to have the application processed and sent to the Ministry of the Interior.

Article 11

Paragraph 1. An application for naturalization shall be filed with the chief of police in the police district in which the applicant lives. Applicants who live in the Municipality of Copenhagen shall, however, file an application with the Executive of Copenhagen. The applications shall be transmitted by the police and the Executive directly to the Ministry of the Interior.

Paragraph 2.An application for the naturalization of adopted children who are adopted by Danish nationals pursuant to an authorization granted by a Danish authority, but who do not satisfy the requirements of article 2 of the Danish Citizenship Act, cf. Act No. 326 of 4 June 1986, article 2, may be filed at the same time as an application for adoption. The application shall then be transmitted by the adoption authority directly to the Ministry of the Interior, cf. article 6 of Ministry of the Interior Circular No. 164 of 3 October 1986 concerning Danish naturalization for foreign adopted children.

Article 12

Simultaneously with the issue of this Circular, the Circular of 1 June 1983 concerning the grant of Danish citizenship (naturalization) shall cease to have effect.

Ministry of the Interior, 2 February 1990

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