Citizenship is a key issue to Danes Worldwide. It is a multifaceted field which contains topics such as dual citizenship, reacquisition og proof/retention of citizenship and naturalization. These topics will be elaborated upon on this page.
A vast majority of our members live outside of Denmark. It is of great importance to them, that they have the option of acquiring citizenship in their country of residence, without forfeiting their Danish citizenship.
One of the main arguments for dual citizenship is, that it boosts the integration of foreign Danes into the country where they have chosen to reside, while still permitting them to stay closely connected to their Danish heritage which is closely tied to the identity of foreign Danes.
This is the reason that Danes Worldwide were very active, when the law of dual citizenship was passed in Denmark in 2015. You can read more on this topic by clicking here.
In addition, dual citizenship lets expat Danes participate in the societies in which they live day to day – for example by voting or running for office in elections. Finally, Danes who previously did forfeit their Danish citizenship may now reacquire it (within a time limit of 5 years from 1 September 2015).
Download the application form and review frequently asked questions here:
Application for reacquisition of Danish citizenship (Danish site)
Reacquisition of Danish citizenship
Proof / Retention of Danish Citizenship
Expat Danes often experience that the process of applying for retention of the Danish citizenship is humiliating, overly bureaucratic, and pointless in view of its purpose and the underlying legislation. Children born to Danish parents outside the EU are in particular subjected to onerous demands for documentation that do not accommodate the realities of obtaining the documentation and do not consider the related cost.
In some cases, documentation pertaining to the citizenship of great-grandparents is requested. Officials processing applications have been known to demand documentation from the late 1800’s. In addition, processing times of 12-16 months have been sharply criticized by the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman.
Our view on retention of Danish Citizenship
It is our view that applications to retain the Danish citizenship should be processed by the State Administration and not by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration because the applications are made by Danes, not by foreigners.
It is possible to streamline the cumbersome process of securing retention of the Danish citizenship by reducing the processing time and eliminating unnecessary paperwork, especially now that dual citizenship is permitted in Denmark. One key solution is to simplify the process by relying on a solemn declaration rather than on a documented application.
- A Danish child born outside Denmark to a Danish mother (or mother and father) should be able to retain the Danish citizenship through a solemn declaration accompanied by his or her birth certificate plus the mother’s passport.
- A Danish child born outside Denmark to a Danish father should be able to retain the Danish citizenship through a solemn declaration accompanied by his or her birth certificate plus the parents’ marriage certificate.
- The vague language in the Danish nationality law as to “circumstances indicating a connection to Denmark” should be eliminated.
- Danes born outside Denmark should be able to retain the Danish citizenship via a solemn declaration processed by the State Administration (as one possibility).
Do you need specific help and/or advice regarding citizenship? Members are invited to be in touch with our legal advisory team.