If you are in Denmark on anything but the EU rules, you may experience light rage stroke symptoms.
The EU has an agreement about the free movement of citizens. It mostly ensures that we get the same treatment all over Europe.
In Denmark, you need to apply for a certificate of registration within 3 months and you are required to support yourself either through study or work. If you stop studying or working, you have a few months grace period to find alternatives.
If you have lived in Denmark for five uninterrupted years, you can apply for permanent residency.
There is precious little on that last part on the Danish websites. This is the best overview of the information available. You need to fill in the same form as when you applied for your registration certificate but you tick a different box.
I could not find much about what I needed to bring, so I looked on other EU country’s websites and worked out I needed to prove I have lived in the country for five years. I guessed I would need a passport photo and my passport. Then I managed to find a memo for staff at the Government Administration offices, somehow, which said which sort of things they could ask to see.
In the end, I brought along my employment contracts, rental agreements and five years of tax statements.
My local office is 30 minutes by train and a further 30 minutes by foot away. The office, I am not kidding, is in a residential area. I thought it was another one of those hilarious smart phone map app mix ups. I rocked up, after braving at least half a centimeter of snow and temperatures of about 1˚C.
All the other foreigners have to go to the Foreigner Affairs office, we get to go to the place where people sort out marriage, divorce, custody and adoption. The place was busy but people were constantly being seen. A handful were foreign like me but I am not sure if they were sorting out immigration or something else.
The lady I needed to see was on lunch break, so I had to wait for her to get back. Then when she did, I filled in my form. The only question I found hard was where I lived five years ago. I lived there for three months and I have had 22 addresses. I did my best with my crappy memory and the use of the internet.
She needed a passport photo, my passport and my tax returns. Then she said the office would consider my application and let me know within 2 weeks. How anti-climatic!
Two days later, I got a letter which was postal marked with the date I visited the office. It said I had permanent residency.
From a purely selfish point of view, I am glad it was easy. I am glad the requirements were fair. I am glad it was straightforward to prove them to the state’s satisfaction. I am glad that I have permanent residency.
From an altruistic one, I am very hacked off that others need to jump through ridiculous hoops. I am angry that the government needs to create these hoops so that fewer people can get permanent residency. I am irritated that they feel the need to do this because the people are irrationally afraid of foreigners.
I think my requirements were reasonably fair and not particularly onerous. I think anyone on a work or study visa should be allowed permanent residency after five years of supporting themselves. I think anyone on family reunification should not have to meet any requirements. (If you marry a Dane, you’re in the tribe.) If I recall correctly, refugees get the same requirements as EU citizens.
Politically, the same is happening throughout Europe. They have particularly cracked down on immigration in the UK, resulting in the same crap as in Denmark. They cannot legislate against EU immigrants, so they crack down on work and family visas just to say that they did.
If companies can take money out of countries more or less as they please, why is it an issue when people want to contribute to the tax pot (not to mention the takings of local businesses)?