Friday, February 22, 2013

To Apply for Residence Permit in Denmark

To Apply for Residence Permit in Denmark

As I've mentioned in the previous post, I applied for a residence permit in Denmark under the family reunification category. In the post What you need to apply for a residence permit I wrote about what papers you need to have to get married with the Dane you love. Marriage falls under the category of family reunification, along with cohabitation and registered partnership. Read carefully HERE.

Here I am going to write about what documents you need to have to actually apply for the permit and which things you should be especially aware of. If marriage, cohabitation or registered partnership are not the reason you're going to apply for a residence permit in Denmark, you should visit the official website of the The Danish Immigration Service where you can find all the
relevent information, including application forms to be filled out. Though if something is unclear to you, I urge you to call the Service and ask them all your questions; to be on the safe side.

Well, let's get back to the family reunification. First of all, you and your partner must be at least 24 years old. All the information about the rules and documents can be found HERE and in the Application form . However, I believe that it can be hard to go through such a "flow" of information at once. Especially if you're excited about your moving here or in a hurry with the application. Therefore, I do it here for you :), as well as I add a few important details which I learnt by doing and which you can't find on The Danish Immigration Service's webpage.

As fot the documents you and your spouse need to collect and submit, it's actually pretty easy to see in the Application form. Your "pile of papers" is listed on page 1 of your form (i.e. Form 1), your spouse's - on page 1 of her/his Form (i.e. Form 2). Here I would only point out two things.

1. Make sure that the copy of your passport includes all the pages and the cover 
2. When I submitted my application, I made the copy of both my valid international passport and the expired one (because it contains all my visas to Denmark, as well as entries/exits). + I made a copy of my national passport (even though it's only in Russian). When I brought the papers to the police, the man wasn't sure if the latest two were needed but actually took them. Why should you be so precautious? you'll figure it out below.

Now let's get to the points I want to especially point out.
  • First, you can submit the application in Denmark as well as in your own country. Quote from the application: "Submit the application to a Danish diplomatic mission abroad (embassy or consulate general) or to the Danish Immigration Service or the police", which surely implies that if you're applying in Denmark, you're supposed to be there legally, on a short-term visa.
  • If you apply while in Denmark, Form 2 (i.e. the one your spouse fills out) is to be submitted together with Form 1 (i.e. the one you fill out).
  • Here you should be aware of the following: "If you are staying in Denmark on a visa (short term) and you submit an application for a residence permit in this country, it may have the following consequences: 
- You can become ineligible for a visa for five-years
- If someone in Denmark has posted a financial guarantee for your visa, it can be collected by the Immigration Service, which means the money will be forfeited to the state"
  • Now, if you apply from your country of origin, this information is useful for you:
"To expedite the application process Applications can be processed using the 'self-service' procedure and receive an answer much faster if:
- Forms 1 and 2 are properly filled out and include required documentation, 

- the application appears to meet all the conditions required for family reunification of spouses, and Form 2 (your spouse fills out) is submitted no more than 14 days after Form 1 (you fill out) has been submitted to a Danish  diplomatic mission abroad (embassy or consulate general). If Form 1 is submitted abroad, we recommend that the spouse in Denmark obtains all required information beforehand, including a statement from the municipality of residence regarding public assistance in the last three years. Doing so ensures that Form 2 can be submitted within 14 days."
  • As for the statement from the municipality of residence regarding public assistance in the last three years, urge your spouse to try and get it as soon as, 'cause it can take some time. My husband, for example, had to go to three different cities in Denmark to get the confirmation that he didn't get any financial support from the government in the last 3 years 
  • Make sure you fill out the forms correctly and attach all the docs required! Quote: "If the application is not correctly filled out or is missing documents, it can be rejected in accordance with the Aliens Act. It is therefore important that you make certain that the forms are filled out correctly and that you have attached the necessary documents before submitting your application." I've already written above that if you apply while in Denmark and get a rejection, you can become ineligible for a visa for five years!
  • Remember that your spouse has to put up a bank guarantee of 50.000 Danish crowns (2012-level) "to cover any expenses incurred by the Danish state should the applicant be required to receive certain types of public benefits." What is worth knowing here and what you can't find on The Danish Immigration Service's page, is that the bank guarantee can be put up in two ways:
- your spouse just puts up 50.000 Danish crowns in the bank, where this ammount is locked up OR
- if your spouse doesn't have such an amount at the moment, he/she can also try and get an agreement with their bank on the following. The bank is ready to give your spouse the amount needed (within 50.000 Danish crowns) any time; and for that your spouse will have to pay a yearly interest rate to the bank (around 2%). On the one hand, in this case your spouse will pay the interest rate kind of for nothing. On the other hand, it's still better than no bank guarantee and consequently no application  
  • But don't worry, you'll have a chance to make up to your spouse for this money hassle :) Here are the rules. The bank guarantee will be reduced:
- by 20,000 Danish crowns if you within 6 months after you have registered with the Central Person Register (CPR, also called "yellow card") pass a test in Danish at A1 level (or another Danish test at a similar or higher level) 
- by 10,000 Danish crowns if you within 15 months after you have registered with the Central Person Register (CPR) pass a test in Danish at A2 level (or another Danish test at a similar or higher level)
- by half - however the guarantee must constitute at least 10,000 Danish crowns - if you pass a final Danish language test
  • This one here is also an important piece of information: 
"If you are granted a residence permit, it can only be valid up to three months before your national passport expires, or six months before other types of travel documents expire. If you receive a new passport while your application is being processed, you will be asked to submit photocopies of all pages of the new passport"
  • Also note that special rules apply if your spouse/partner in Denmark is a foreign national with a residence permit on the grounds of studies or work. Read more about studies and work
  • Make sure you have carefully read the Housing Requirement page.
  • Have a look at the Application processing times. For ex., we were lucky and I got my residence permit for two years in around 2,5 months after having submitted the papers. Here there is also a small detail which I haven't really seen to be stated on the webpage of the Service. A few days after we submitted our documents we received a letter from The Danish Immigration Service stating that they had got our papers (we'd submitted them at the closest police station which had an immigration department) and they would reply within !four! weeks, whether or not our documents will be accepted to be proceeded! Only after that reply (if it's positive) you can start counting off
  • One last thing (when you've already got your permit). You can submit your application for an extension no sooner than 2 months before your residence permit expires. It is crucial that you submit your application for an extension before your current residence permit expires. For more details go HERE.
Please note, that I have not written anything regarding children (yours or/and your spouse's). Therefore, read carefully the blocks about children in the Application form.

Please note! that I have singled out some very important points for you to easier process the information you'll be reading on the page of The Danish Immigration Service, BUT this is not full information. Therefore, your last checking point must be The Danish Immigration Service.

Also If you are in doubt about the rules, or you want further information about the rules, contact the Danish Immigration Service. Better ask many times than make a mistake.

Have you found information in this post helpful? Let me know and leave your comment below :)

BTW!!! Remember that the Application Form must be filled out in CAPITAL letters. Otherwise, you'll end up like me filling it out all over again ;) I wish you tons of luck!

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