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 rules. You are an EU citizen or a third-country citizen.
Normal processing time
What does it mean to be a family member to EU citizen?
You can be registered as a family member to an EU citizen who has independent grounds for residence in Denmark under EU rules. We call this EU resident 'the sponsor' below.
The sponsor has grounds for residence in Denmark under EU rules as a worker, a self-employed person, a person with sufficient funds or the like. A sponsor’s grounds for residence may not be as a family member.
Since your right of residence as a family member is not an independent ground for residence, but a right that that is derived to you from the sponsors ground for residence, any changes in the sponsor’s ground for residence may affect your ground for residence.
You can be registered as a family member to an EU citizen if you are the spouse or a child under the age of 21 of either the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse.
Family members other than those mentioned above can, in certain situations, obtain an EU residence document when a number of specific conditions are met.
What are the conditions for registration as a family member to an EU citizen?
You must document that you, amongst other things, are related to the sponsor and that the sponsor has independent grounds for residence.
The sponsor’s independent grounds for residence under EU rules can, for example, be as a worker, self-employed person, person with sufficient funds or the like, but not as a family member whose grounds for residence are derived from another person.
If you submit your application for an EU residence document at the same time as the sponsor submits his / 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 when you submit an application for residence as a family member, current documentation must be provided that the sponsor still meets the conditions for his / her grounds for residence. If the sponsor has grounds for residence as a worker, this documentation can, for example, be a new employer’s statement, supplemented with the previous three months’ pay slips.
If the sponsor is entitled to permanent residence in Denmark under EU rules, no documentation of current grounds for residence need be enclosed.
The sponsor must sign a sworn declaration under the penalty of perjury, that he / she has established genuine and effective residence in Denmark.
SIRI, can, in some cases also request documentation of genuine and effective residence.
Your relationship must be genuine and not established solely for the purpose of obtaining grounds for residence. You must sign a sworn declaration under the penalty of perjury attesting to this.
SIRI can call you in to 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 a birth certificate or name certificate that indicates the name of your parents.
If you are related to the sponsor in some other way, this must be documented with the relevant certificate(s).
Depending on the country in which marriage and/or birth took place, the certificate may be required to be either legalised or to have an apostille endorsement.
In some cases, it may also be necessary for the certificate to be authenticated.
If you apply for an EU residence document for your child without the child’s other parent moving to Denmark, you must document that you have the right to take the child with you. You can do this either by documenting that you have full custody of the child or by presenting written consent from the other parent regarding the child’s relocation to Denmark with you.
Documentation of full custody must be a legally valid decision granting custody.
Consent can be given by the other parent either verbally to SIRI by appearing in person with you and the child and identifying himself / herself or by giving written consent in front of a notary, after which you bring the statement of consent to the meeting you and the child must attend at SIRI. If the consent is not in Danish, English or German, it must be translated into one of these languages by an authorised translator after the document has been notarised.
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 rules.
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 rules, you are generally not covered by EU rules either. In that case, you can apply for family reunification with the Danish citizen under the terms of the Aliens Act.
What rights do an EU residence document give me?
An EU residence document is proof of 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.
With an EU residence document in Denmark, you are entitled to partly user paid Danish lessons. However, you must have turned 18 and have your Danish address registered in the Danish National Register.
Your municipality of residence is obliged to offer you Danish lessons and refer you to a language centre.
If you have not been offered Danish lessons within a month after registering your address in Denmark, you can contact your municipality.
You will be taught together with other foreign nationals who have arrived in Denmark recently.
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, such as if you 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 lapse 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 of more 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 on-line 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 holds 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).
You can submit your application in person at one of SIRI's branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus or Aabenraa.
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. in the 'Need to know' tab to the left.
It is a good idea to gather the necessary documents before you start to complete the application form. You can use the checklist below.
You must bring the following to your appointment with SIRI:
As documentation of your grounds for residence as a family member of an EU citizen, you can submit the following:
Expect to use
to complete the application
You and your family member must both help complete the application form
In this step you have access to the relevant application form OD1.
The appplication forms contains instructions for how to complete it and what kind of documents you must submit along with the form.
The form cannot be completed or submitted online. It must be printed out, completed and submitted in person at one of our branch offices together with the relevant documentation.
If you are not a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland you must also submit an application (a so-called personal data card) for a residence card along with the OD1 application form.
You can submit your application in person at SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg and Aabenraa.
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 or your employer 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 and the police and relevant authorities abroad.
You have the right to reside and work in Denmark while you wait for an answer.