Danish family reunification residency test was ‘harder than law permitted’

Danish family reunification residency test was 'harder than law permitted'
Illustration photo: Louis Bauer / Pexels
Applications for residence in Denmark based on family reunification or for the purposes of religious leadership may have been incorrectly rejected, according to a Danish media report.

Newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported on Wednesday that a Danish language and knowledge test used in some family reunification and religious-based applications was more difficult to pass than permitted by law.

The test in question has been in use since 2010 as part of the process by which foreign religious leaders are able to extend their residence permits in Denmark.

It was also used as a requirement for family reunification during an 18-month period from 2010-2012, Jyllands-Posten writes.

Should the test prove to be more difficult than the law permits, some applications may have been rejected on an incorrect basis, according to the report.

The issue with the test is reported to have been discovered when parliament decided to increase the difficulty level of the language element. The test was found to be already at the level desired by politician, but in breach of the law.

Ministry for Immigration and Integration figures reported by Jyllands-Posten state that 27 religious leaders had their residency applications denied after failing the test.

The Ministry was unable to confirm to the newspaper the number of family reunification applications which may have been affected by the issue, but 800 applications are reported to have been rejected during the relevant period.

Campaign group Ægteskab Uden Grænser (Marriage without Borders) criticised the apparent error in comments to Jyllands-Posten.

“This looks like sloppy work has gone on at the central administration. It should cause some reflection amongst politicians,” the organisations’ senior advisor Kim Pedersen Nyberg said. Nyberg urged persons whose applications were rejected based on the test to apply to the state for compensation.

In an orientation to parliament’s immigration committee in March this year, immigration minister Mattias Tesfaye called the matter “very regrettable” but did not commit to reopening the affected cases. In a written comment provided to Jyllands-Posten, the immigration ministry said it was “still looking into” whether cases could be reopened.

READ ALSO: How the dizzying cost of family reunification keeps Danes and foreign partners apart


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