A guide to dual citizenship

Monica Sitapan Moller holding a Danish and a Thai passport

Thai-Danish TV presenter Monica Sitapan Moller holds her hand out with both a Danish and a Thai passport.

Last year Denmark passed a dual citizenship bill. On 1st September 2015 the law became effective and it is now possible for foreign nationals living in Denmark to become naturalized citizens while keeping their foreign citizenship. The law also allows Danes living abroad to become naturalized citizens of their new country of residence and still keep their Danish citizenship. But the nationality law of the foreign country must of course be observed.

Together with Danish Consul Birgit Sarah Kondrup-Palmquist, we will in the following article guide you through the rules and regulations regarding the dual citizenship

The new law of dual citizenship concerns you if

  • you have applied for a foreign citizenship and consequently resigned your Danish citizenship
  • you are under 22 years and are a child of at least one Danish parent and born outside Denmark
  • you have been naturalized Danish and consequently resigned your original citizenship

Be aware, though, that dual citizenship is not something you have the right to obtain. In all cases it is something you must apply for and there are some conditions to be fulfilled. Furthermore, you must always keep in mind if the other nationality permits dual citizenship.

“I think it’s great Denmark has passed the bill for having two citizenships, but this does not mean the other country allows having dual citizenship. Danish law cannot dictate other countries’ laws,” says Consul Birgit Sarah Kondrup–Palmquist.

“It is up to each individual to check if the other country allows dual citizenship, too.”

 

Case 1: You applied for a foreign citizenship and consequently resigned your Danish citizenship

If you changed to another citizenship many years ago or applied to get the other citizenship before 1 September 2015 you now have the possibility to apply to get your Danish citizenship back again. The deadline for submitting this application is 31 August 2020.

If you applied for citizenship of another country after 1 September 2015 you will not need to give up your Danish citizenship (from a Danish point of view) – but the other country might not accept dual citizenship..

No matter if you applied before the law became effective or just recently applied, you will be asked to:

  • Provide evidence of your affiliation to Denmark. You need to document you have some association to Denmark, to the Danish culture and/or language.
  • You must not have been convicted during the time after having lost the Danish citizenship until applying for obtaining the Danish citizenship again.

 

Case 2: Your father or mother is a Danish citizen and you are born outside Denmark

A child born outside Denmark and with either a Danish father or mother – or both being Danish – has the Danish citizenship until the age of 22. To retain this Danish citizenship beyond the last day in the 21st year, it is imperative that the person applies for keeping the Danish citizenship before it turns 22. Like Group 1, the applicant must provide evidence of a strong connection to Denmark and you must have lived in Denmark at least 1 year before turning 22.

If you are a Danish parent to a child born outside Denmark,  it is recommended by the Danish Embassy to collect all kinds of evidence throughout the years of upbringing, like flight tickets to Denmark, boarding passes, list of dates, where and who the child has been visiting, diplomas from the Danish Summer School and any other Danish related documents. All this will help proving the affiliation to Denmark and thereby strengthen the chances of keeping the Danish citizenship.

 

Case 3: You became Danish citizen and gave up your first nationality

Every year, a list of people who have applied for Danish citizenship is presented to the Danish parliament and passed as a bill. It has so far been a condition, that each person renounces their former citizenship. If you are included in the list after April 2015 you do no longer have to resign from your original citizenship – seen from a Danish point of view.

If you are already a naturalized Dane you have the next 2 years counted from 1 September 2015 to reapply for a Danish citizenship – which you will  be granted – without the condition that your will have to resign from your old citizenship. This means that you can reapply to have back your former citizenship together with the Danish citizenship, but do keep in mind, your former country might not accept dual citizenship. Do check it before applying for your former citizenship, so that you don’t have to renounce your Danish citizenship and your troubles will start all over again.

 

How and where to apply?

Group 1: Danes naturalized in a foreign country who have obtained a different nationality than the Danish

You have to apply before 31 August 2020. You have to apply through The Danish State Administration (=Statsforvaltningen). You can download the declaration on their website www.statsforvaltningen.dk. It costs 1100 DKK to apply and you have to send the declaration via airmail. If you want the Danish Embassy in Bangkok to send it for you there is a fee of 1100 THB.

Group 2 +3: Children of Danes and naturalized Danes of a former, foreign nationality

You have to apply through the Danish Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing (=Ministeriet for Udlændinge, Integration og Bolig). It costs 1200 DKK and you can download their declaration at www.uibm.dk and send it via mail. Similar to Group 1 you can have the Danish Embassy send it for you for a fee of 1100 THB.

If you need further help from the Danish Embassy, for example a closer scrutiny of the documents, the Embassy will charge you its hourly rate of 5300 TBH. This could easily be worthwhile in more complicated cases.

The Danish Consul recommends that you follow the respective homepages guiding rules for application as they may change over time.

BOX: PREPARATIONS FOR APPLYING FOR DANISH CITIZENSHIP:

To show evidence of your strong connection to Denmark the following could be used:

  • Flight tickets to Denmark
  • Boarding passes
  • Diplomas for attending the Danish Summer School
  • Danish contacts and dates of the child’s visit to Denmark
  • Pictures from stays in Denmark with relatives
  • A language tests

 

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