EU residence as a family member to an EU citizen
You are a family member to a (non-Danish) EU citizen living in Denmark who has independent grounds for residence in Denmark under EU regulations. You are an EU citizen or a third-country citizen.
Normal processing time
What does it mean to be a family member to an EU citizen?
You can be registered as a family member to an EU citizen who has independent grounds for residence in Denmark under EU regulations. Below we will call the EU citizen 'the sponsor'.
The sponsor has grounds for residence in Denmark under EU regulations as a worker, a self-employed person, a person with sufficient funds, a posted service provider or as a student. The sponsor’s grounds for residence may not be as a family member.
Your right to residence as a family member does not constitute independent grounds for residence, but is instead a right which is derived to you from your sponsor's grounds for residence. This means that any change in your sponsor’s grounds for residence may affect your grounds for residence.
You can be registered as a family member to an EU citizen if you are
cohabiting partner for approx. 18 to 24 months or
a child under the age of 21 of either the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse or partner.
Cohabiting partners over the age of 18 have the same rights as spouses. To be regarded as cohabiting partners you must have lived together at a joint residence in a stable and longstanding relationship for approx. 18 to 24 months prior to applying.
Other family members than the categories mentioned above, e.g. children over the age of 21 or parents, can in certain circumstances obtain an EU residence document, provided that a number of specific conditions are met.
What are the conditions for registering as a family member to an EU citizen?
Among other things, you must document that you are related to the EU citizen (hereafter called the 'sponsor') and that the sponsor has independent grounds for residence.
The sponsor’s independent grounds for residence under EU regulations can be as a worker, self-employed person, person with sufficient funds, posted service provider or student. The sponsor's grounds for residence cannot be as a family member.
If you submit your application for an EU residence document at the same time as the sponsor submits his or her application, we must first decide whether the sponsor meets the conditions for independent grounds for residence before we can assess whether you can be registered as a family member.
If the sponsor is already registered in Denmark as an EU citizen with independent grounds for residence, you must provide documentation that the sponsor still meets the conditions for his or her grounds for residence. If the sponsor has grounds for residence as a worker, the documentation can, for example, be a new employer’s declaration along with the last three months’ pay slips.
If the sponsor has the right to permanent residence in Denmark under EU regulations, no documentation of the current grounds for residence need to be attached to the application.
SIRI can, in some cases, request documentation of genuine and effective residence.
Your relationship must be genuine and not established solely for the purpose of obtaining grounds for residence.
SIRI can call you in for an interview to assess whether your relationship is genuine.
You must be able to document that you are a family member to the sponsor.
If you are the spouse of the sponsor, you must submit your marriage certificate.
If you are a child of the sponsor or of the sponsor’s spouse, you must submit either a birth certificate or a name certificate bearing the names of your parents.
If you are related to the sponsor in some other way, this must be documented with the relevant certificate(s).
The certificates must always be from the country where e.g. the marriage or the birth took place (for example, if a child is born in the US, an American birth certificate must be provided).
Certificates in other languages than English or one of the Nordic languages, cannot be accepted, unless you provide a translation to English or to one of the Nordic languages. However, marriage and birth certificates in other languages that are drafted in such a schematic way that they can be understood without previous knowledge of that language, can often be accepted without a translation. Translated documents must always be translated by a professional translator and submitted along with a copy of the original certificate.
In some cases, it may also be necessary for SIRI to authenticate a foreign certificate.
Cohabiting partners are deemed to have the same rights as spouses under EU regulations when they can document that their cohabitation has a certain stability and has had it for a longer period of time. There is no minimum time limit for the cohabitation’s length. It will always be based on an individual assessement whether a relationship has had the necessary stability and length to give grounds for residence. In our assessment we will consider how long the couple have known each other and lived together abroad and, if this is the case, in Denmark. As a general rule, if you can document that you have lived together at a joint residence in a stable cohabitation for at least 18 to 24 months, this will be sufficient to prove that yours is a longstanding relationship and your cohabitation can be regarded as stable.
As a general rule, you must have lived together without gaps. However, when assessing the stability of the cohabitation, the reasons and the length of the gaps, if any, will also be taken into account. A gap in your cohabitation can re-set the time and, therefore, make the period of your cohabitation count from the time you have resumed the cohabitation.
On the “How to apply” tab on the right you can find examples of documents that can be used to document stable cohabitation at a joint residence.
The sponsor must support the family member financially. You can find the “Declaration of financial support in case of cohabitation” that the sponsor has to complete on the “How to apply” tab to the right.
If you, who are to live in Denmark with the child, have shared custody with the other parent, it is sufficient that you give SIRI consent to process the application for the childs’s residence in Denmark. Consent can be given verbally to SIRI when appearing in person together with the child in one of SIRI’s branch offices. Consent can also be given in writing. It is important that you take your passport with you along with the documentation that you are related. Documentation can, for example, be a birth certificate, a family book or a personal certificate.
The other parent who does not take residence in Denmark together with you and the child does not need to give consent to the child’s residence in Denmark.
Special rules and conditions as well as a special application procedure apply if you apply for an EU residence document as a family member to a Danish citizen who has resided in another EU country or who is otherwise covered by EU regulations.
If you are a family member to a Danish citizen who has not resided in another EU country or is otherwise not subject to EU regulations, you are generally not covered by EU regulations either. In that case, you can apply for family reunification with the Danish citizen under the terms of the Danish Aliens Act.
What rights does an EU residence document give me?
An EU residence document is proof of the rights that you, as an EU citizen (or the family member to an EU citizen), have when you enter Denmark, if you meet the conditions for grounds for residence under EU rules. This means you have the right to reside, work or study in Denmark, with or without an EU residence document.
In Denmark, you will, however, in many situations need a Civil Registration System (CPR) number. You must present your EU residence document to your municipality of residence to be given a CPR number (and health insurance card and the like). The information below explains the rights an EU residence document (and CPR number) conveys to you, as well as the limitations that are placed on your residence.
As an EU citizen, you may freely enter Denmark and you may begin to work upon arrival. You do not need a permit to work in Denmark.
There is no limit on the number of hours you may work while living in Denmark. This also applies if you are studying in Denmark.
You do not need an EU residence document in order to begin work. This is the case even if you have – or have applied for – a residence document as a worker, as a self-supporting individual or for some other reason.
If you are a third-country citizen and fulfil the conditions for residence as a family member to an EU citizen, you have the same rights to reside and work in Denmark as the EU citizen.
You also have the right to reside in Denmark while your application for an EU residence document as a family member to an EU citizen is being processed.
However, if you are a third-country citizen, your right to work while the application is being processed depends on whether you meet the conditions for the grounds for residence as a family member to an EU citizen.
During your stay in Denmark as a family member to an EU citizen who will be sponsoring you, the EU citizen must normally be able to support him- or herself and the family financially, including you.
Depending on the sponsor’s grounds for residence, your right of residence, or the right of residence of your sponsor, could be affected if one of you – or you both – receives benefits regulated by the Act on Active Social Policy, such as cash benefits.
If that happens, your right of residence can be terminated and you can lose your right to be in Denmark.
Benefit payments from the municipality or any other public authority to a foreign national are reported to SIRI. SIRI will then assess whether this affects your grounds for residence.
If the sponsor is a worker under EU law – or has retained a worker status despite no longer working – receiving the above-mentioned benefits will normally not in itself lead to termination of the right of residence for the sponsor nor for you as a family member - as long as the sponsor has worker status.
If you plan to live and work in Denmark, there are several things you need to consider. Depending on your situation, there may be more important information you need to be aware of.
The website lifeindenmark.dk contains information about:
- The CPR register
- Health card
- Tax matters
- Holiday entitlements
- School and daycare
- Danish lessons
- Car registration and driver’s license
How long can I stay in Denmark?
You may stay in Denmark for as long as you continue to meet the conditions for your grounds for residence.
As an EU citizen, you may freely enter Denmark.
If you plan on remaining in Denmark for less than three months, you do not need to apply for an EU residence document. If you are seeking employment, you may remain in Denmark for up to six months before obtaining a residence document.
If you plan on being in Denmark for longer than three months, or six months if you will be seeking employment, you need to apply for an EU residence document. If you have a residence document, you may remain in Denmark indefinitely, provided you meet the conditions for your grounds for residence. There is no date of expiry for residence documents.
If your grounds for residence are terminated – e.g. if you stop working or studying – you must apply for a new residence document on other grounds – e.g. as a person with sufficient funds. If you are uncertain whether you meet the conditions for new grounds for residence, you must contact SIRI.
If you are a third-country citizen and accompanying family member to an EU citizen with independent EU grounds for residence in Denmark, you have the right to stay in Denmark while we process your application.
If you have received a residence card, it will be valid for as long your EU family member meets the conditions for his or her grounds for residence, and your family relationship exists.
There will be an expiry date on your residence card, but your EU right of residence will be terminated if your EU family member no longer has EU-secured grounds for residence in Denmark. Your EU right to residence will normally also be terminated if your family relationship no longer exists (e.g. if you were to get divorce).
Regardless of your situation, you must apply for an extension of your residence card when it expires.
If you continuously have met the conditions for grounds for residence in Denmark under EU rules for five years, you can – regardless of whether you are a citizen of an EU state or a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland – apply for a permanent right of residence under EU rules.
If you hold a permanent right of residence you do not necessarily need to continue to meet the conditions for your original grounds for residence. Please note, however, that your permanent right of residence can terminate if you reside outside of Denmark for an extended period.
What happens if I no longer am a family member to an EU citizen living in Denmark with independent grounds for residence under EU rules?
If you have grounds for residence as a family member to a (non-Danish) EU citizen living in Denmark who has independent grounds for residence in Denmark under EU rules, and you no longer meet one or more of the conditions, your grounds for residence will normally be terminated. This would be the case, for example, if you are divorced from the sponsor, if the sponsor has left Denmark or if the sponsor no longer meets the conditions for his or her grounds for residence.
If you will be leaving Denmark in connection with one (or more) of the changes mentioned above you do not need to do anything about your grounds for residence. All you need to do is to inform the Civil Registration System that you will be leaving Denmark. You can do this online at lifeindenmark.dk (requires NemID).
If you would like to remain in Denmark, SIRI can help you determine whether you have other grounds for residence. If you are an EU citizen yourself and you believe you meet the conditions for other grounds for residence than your family member, for example, as a self-supporting individual, you can submit an application on these grounds.
SIRI will write to you to inform you if it is considering making a decision that could affect your grounds for residence. In such instances, you will have the opportunity to provide information or documentation to support extending your residence.
If you no longer meet the requirements for grounds for residence under EU rules your ties to Denmark will be considered and this may influence whether you retain your right to residence. Among other factors this includes how long you have lived in Denmark and your work history here.
Can my family qualify for an EU residence document?
Grounds for residence as a family member to an EU citizen are not independent grounds for residence.
Only family members of sponsors – that is persons with independent grounds for residence – can obtain an EU residence document as a family member.
Therefore, if you have grounds for residence because you are a family member, your family cannot obtain EU residence based on their relationship with you.
In some cases, your family will be able to obtain an EU residence document as family members to your sponsor.
Family members of an EU citizen who originally had grounds for residence as a family member but who now hold a permanent right of residence under EU rules can obtain a derived right of residence.
What more do I need to know before I apply?
Applications for a residence document as a family member under EU rules should be submitted to the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
The ‘How to Apply’ tab (to the right) provides more information about the application process, as well as the application form itself.
SIRI normally makes its decision based on the information and documents you submit with the application form. In some cases, SIRI will need to contact you to request further information.
Please note that SIRI will only request information from you. Your employer, for example, will not be contacted to provide information.
Likewise, SIRI will not provide information about your application to others than you. If SIRI is contacted – by telephone or in writing – by anyone other than you requesting information about your application, the request will normally be turned down.
You may grant SIRI permission to give information about your application to others than yourself. To grant someone else permission to receive information, you must submit a power of attorney in advance. The power of attorney needs to indicate by name the individuals authorised to receive information about your application.
If you state in your application that you are being represented by a solicitor, you do not need to submit a power of attorney. Solicitors, due to their profession, are automatically granted power of attorney. If you are being represented by a solicitor, SIRI will send all correspondence about your application to your solicitor.
In this tab, you can read about the application process.
You must submit your application to the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
As part of the process, you must usually appear in person at one of SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Sønderborg or on Bornholm.
Remember always to book an appointment before you appear in person.
Before reading this tab about submitting an application for EU residence, we recommend that you read about the conditions for residence as an accompanying family member of an EU-citizen etc. on the 'Need to know' tab on the left.
Below we will refer to the EU citizen that you apply as a family member to as ‘the sponsor’.
It is a good idea to gather the necessary documentation before you begin completing the application form.
You can use the checklist and download declarations below.
You must bring the following to your appointment with SIRI:
As documentation for your family members current grounds for residence you can submit:
The documentation of the sponsor’s grounds for residence must be issued or verified less than 30 days before SIRI receives it.
As documentation that you are family related to the sponsor you can submit:
Cohabiting and registered partners must also submit:
If you have been cohabiting at several different addresses within the last 18-24 months, you should send documentation for each address.
Children over the age of 21, parents or other family members must also submit:
Download Sworn declaration and information (must be signed and attached if you do not sign the application with MitID)
Expect to use
to complete the application form
You complete the application form yourself
In this step you have access to the relevant application form OD1.
You can choose between an online form and a printable form.
Both types of application forms contain instructions on how to complete the form and what kind of documents you must submit along with the form.
If you choose to complete OD1 online, you must make sure you have all documents ready in a digital format, in order to attach them to the online application form.
Printable application form
If you choose the printable form OD1B, it must be completed and submitted in person at one of our branch offices together with the relevant documentation.
The application form in Word format can be completed on the screen before you print. The application form in pdf format must be printed first and then completed by hand.
Please note. If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must have your biometric features recorded in order for you to receive a residence card. This means that you must have a facial photo taken and your fingerprints recorded. Your biometric features will be recorded when you appear in person in one of SIRI's branch offices in connection with the application.
You have applied online
If you apply online, your application is regarded as fully submited on the day you appear in person at one of SIRI's branches.
If you are applying for an EU residence document for the very first time, you must appear in person at one of SIRI's branch offices. You must bring your photo ID (passport or national ID card). It is only when you have identified yourself and you have been linked to your application that we will consider your application to be fully submitted. If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will be asked to record your biometric features as well.
You must bring the receipt for your online application (containing your application's six digit reference number) and your photo ID (passport or national ID card).
However, there are instances in which you do not need to appear in person at SIRI (this applies to EU citizens only):
- You are applying to change the grounds for your residence under EU regulations, e.g. if you have had EU residence as a student and now wish to change the grounds for your residence to EU residence as a family member.
- You are appying for an extension, if you have a temporary right to residence under EU regulations that you wish extend.
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must always appear in person at one of SIRI's branch offices to have your biometric features recorded regardless of your grounds for applying.
You can appear in person at one of SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Sønderborg or on Bornholm.
Remember to book an appointment at SIRI!
You wish to submit a printable application form
You can submit your application in person in one of SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Sønderborg or on Bornholm.
Remember to book an appointment at SIRI!
You can see the normal case processing time to the right of this tab. When we make a decision in your case, you will receive an answer.
SIRI will contact you if we need further information to process your case. In some cases, we will need to obtain further information, e.g. from other public authorities, including SKAT, the police and relevant authorities abroad.
You have the right to reside and work in Denmark while you wait for an answer.
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you may work while we process your case if you meet the conditions of grounds for residence as a family member to an EU citizen under EU regulations.
This means that it is under your own responsibility if you work before we have made a decision on your case. In some instances you can be held liable for having worked illegally if we assess that the conditions are not met and you have received a refusal on your application for residence under EU regulations.