Permanent residence according to EU regulations when you are a family member to a Danish citizen
You have resided in Denmark according to EU regulations for at least 5 consecutive years together with your family member who is a Danish citizen. You now wish to apply for permanent residence.
Who can obtain permanent EU residence in Denmark?
You have the right to permanent residence under EU regulations when you have had genuine and effective residence in Denmark for at least five consecutive years. Throughout the entire period, you must have met the conditions for residence as a family member to a Danish citizen who has exercised his or her right to free movement in another EU country.
When can I apply for permanent residence under EU regulations?
You can apply for permanent residence under EU regulations once you meet the conditions and have been in Denmark for 5 consecutive years.
Since it is not mandatory to apply, there is no deadline for when you, at the latest, must submit your application.
If you meet the conditions for permanent EU residence, you already have, in principle, the right to permanent residence, regardless of whether you apply for a residence document or not.
If you do not meet the conditions for permanent residence, you must continue to meet other grounds for residence under EU regulations, regardless of whether you have been in Denmark for 5 years or more, and regardless of whether you apply for permanent EU residence.
You can apply for permanent EU residence no sooner than one month before you have been in Denmark for 5 consecutive years.
However, you must always submit an application before your residence card expires.
What are the conditions for obtaining permanent EU residence?
In order to obtain permanent residence under EU regulations, you must be aware of the following terms and conditions.
To have established genuine and effective residence implies that you have lived your life and arranged yourself in such a way that shows that you have lived and had a daily life in Denmark.
You must therefore have undertaken a genuine and effective relocation to Denmark. It is not sufficient that you have been registered at a Danish address, or that you are the owner or tenant of a home in Denmark.
During the entire five-year period, you must have met the conditions for at least one type of grounds for residence according to EU regulations. It is not a requirement that you have met the conditions for only one type of grounds for residence during the entire period.
As an EU citizen, you may therefore have had several different types of grounds for residence during the 5 year period, either consecutively or simultaneously. These may have been independent grounds for residence, as for example a worker or student, or derived to you as the family member to another EU citizen.
As a third country citizen, your grounds for residence will normally have been as a family member to an EU citizen or a Danish citizen who have exercised the right to free movement in another EU country.
As mentioned, you and your Danish family member must normally have had genuine and effective residence in Denmark for the entire 5 year period.
Temporary residence abroad for a total of less than 6 months per year, however, will not in and of itself prevent you from obtaining permanent EU residence.
The same applies to time abroad of up to one year’s duration due to extraordinary circumstances, or long-term residence abroad due to military conscription.
What are my rights with a permanent EU residence document?
You have the same rights as with a non-permanent EU residence document. With the addition, however, that you no longer need to meet the conditions of your original grounds for residence. This means that you do not lose your right to residence if you, for example, get divorced.
Can I lose my permanent EU residence?
If you have obtained permanent EU residence, you retain it as long as you have genuine and effective residence in Denmark.
Residing abroad for less than 2 years
You do not lose your permanent EU residence if you reside abroad for less than 2 years.
Please note that your municipality of residence will ask for a confirmation from SIRI of your continued right to residence when, after your return to Denmark, you seek to register your address with the Civil Registration System (CPR). You only need to use the confirmation if you have been residing abroad, and your address therefore has been delisted in the CPR register. If you have only been abroad for holidays or the like, and your address has not been delisted from the CPR register, you do not need such a confirmation.
Residing abroad for more than 2 years
If you have obtained permanent EU residence and plan to reside abroad for more than 2 years and you subsequently intend to return to Denmark, you may in special cases receive a dispensation, so that your right to residence does not terminate.
In your application for dispensation you must document the reason and length of your residence abroad. SIRI can, depending on the circumstances, grant dispensation from termination for up to 2 additional years (exceeding the 2 years you already have the right to be abroad when you hold a permanent EU residence).
If you have permanent residence in Denmark, receiving public benefits will not have any impact on your right to reside in Denmark.
If you no longer meet the requirements for either permanent EU residence or for one of the other types of grounds for residence under EU regulations your ties to Denmark will be considered as one of several factors that determine whether you can retain your right to residence. Among other factors, how long you have lived in Denmark and your work history in Denmark will be considered.
SIRI will write you to inform you if we are considering to make a new decision that could affect your right to reside in Denmark, for example, if you have been abroad for an extended period of time. In such instances, you will have the opportunity to provide information or documentation before a decision is made.
What more do I need to know before I apply for permanent EU residence?
Applications for permanent residence under EU regulations must be submitted to the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
On the ‘How to Apply’ tab (on the right) you can find more information about the application process as well as the application form itself.
SIRI normally makes its decision based on the information and the documentation that you submit with the application form. In some cases, though, SIRI will need to contact you to request further information.
SIRI gathers information from the Danish Income Register in connection with processsing the case.
Please note that SIRI will normally only consider you and your Danish family member as party to the case. Your employer, if any, or others will not be considered as party to your case. During our processing of the case, SIRI will only request information from you and your Danish family member. Likewise, SIRI will not provide information about your application to anyone other than you and your Danish family member. If SIRI is contacted – by telephone or in writing – by anyone other than you and your Danish family member 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.
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 always attach the following:
As a general rule, SIRI will regard periods of time in which you have had income or have received public benefits in Denmark as periods of time in which you have been residing in Denmark. You do not, therefore, need to attach documentation for the periods of time in which you have received salary or public benefits in Denmark. The same applies to your Danish family member.
Documentation for your own or your Danish family member’s genuine and effective residence in Denmark during periods of time without income or public benefits could for example be:
Please note that the list above only contains examples of documentation. The examples are given based on SIRI's experience with which types of documentation are relevant for case processing and able to shorten the case processing time. You do not necessarily need to submit all types of documentation listed above. You are also able to submit other types of documents and information than the examples given above.
Expect to use
to complete the application form
You and your Danish family member must both complete and sign the application form
In this step you have access to the relevant application form OD2/D.
The appplication form contains instructions on how to complete it and which documents you must submit along with the form.
The form does not exist in an online version. The form must, therefore, be printed out, completed and submitted in person at one of our branch offices together with the relevant documentation.
You can also submit your application along with the relevant documentation via SIRI's contact form. In the next step you can read more on how to submit the application form to SIRI.
Submit the application using SIRI's contact form
You can submit the application using SIRI's contact form. This requires you to save the completed and signed application form and the relevant documentation in digital form in order for you to attach it electronically. Please choose 'I have to submit an application for family reunification with a Danish citizen or permanent residence under EU regulations', if you submit using SIRI's contact form.
Submit the application in person
You can also submit your application in person in one of SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Sønderborg and Bornholm.
You must always bring your original passport when you appear in person at one of SIRI's branch offices.
If you a a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland, you must have your biometric features recorded in order to be issued a residence card. This means that you must have a facial photo taken and submit your fingerprints. Your facial photo and your fingerprints will be stored in a chip on the residence card you will receive, if you are granted a residence document.
If you do not agree to have your biometric features recorded, we cannot issue the physical residence card to you.
You can have your biometric features recorded in one of SIRI's branch offices. You can choose to do so while we are processing your application. You can also choose to wait, until we have processed your application and you have received your residence document. Please note however that the residence card cannot be issued before you have had your biometric features recorded.
You can see the normal case processing time to the right of this tab. You will receive a confirmation receipt when SIRI has received your application. 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 and the police and relevant authorities abroad.
You have the right to reside and work in Denmark while you wait for an answer.