Danish government tightens residency criteria

copenhagen1Overseas nationals wishing to apply for permanent Danish residence will face stricter qualification criteria following a ministerial proposal aimed at tightening laws governing foreigners and integration. Furthermore, under the proposal expulsion would be enforced onto any foreigner found guilty of committing benefit fraud.

Jyllands-Posten reports that in yet more amendments to existing legislation, foreign nationals will not automatically be able to attain permanent Danish residency after residing for several years inside the country.

The new laws will see foreigners able to acquire permanent residency only after accumulating points via language courses and adhering to employment and social guidelines. Those candidates who have received social benefits in the prelude to their application will be automatically rejected.

The new proposal is to be presented by current Minister for Refugees, Immigrants and Integration and for Ecclesiastical Affairs Birthe Ronn Hornbech, and is expected to have the full support of the Folketing.

“There must be a carrot for those foreigners who do the right thing, they must quickly get permanent residency. But there will be a whip for the foreigners who do not want to make a real effort. By requiring about scoring courses and focus on citizenship, we are signalling that we expect that they will be part of society if they want to stay here permanently,” said Ronn Hornbech in respect to the scoring system.

The Danish government will also introduce tighter controls on foreigners claiming wrongful benefits through potential imprisonment along with increased penalties for unlawfully aiding or hiding asylum seekers.

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