The Danish Government has requested Danes Worldwide – the association of Danes living abroad – to comment on a planned new law on citizenship.
In the draft of the new law it says among others that if the person applying for citizenship lives outside Denmark because of the work of their spouse, his or her work must be for Danish interests – for instance based abroad for a Danish company or organization.
Anne Marie Dalgaard, Secretary General of Danes Worldwide, disputes this in her reply.
”We know from our members that situations may easily arise whereby the member is at first posted for a Danish company and then later changes job.”
“In cases like this the experience acquired working in another company should be equal to the experience gained from working in a Danish company or organisation. In both cases the skills and qualifications as well as the network and cultural understanding gained will upon return to Denmark help create growth here.”
“There is a large group of Danes who are not employed by a Danish company in a traditional posting abroad. The new law must accommodate this group of globalized Danes as well.”
“It should also be noted, that when we make it more difficult for spouses of Danes abroad to obtain Danish citizenship we at the same time make it more difficult for these Danes to return to Denmark and by doing that we prevent Denmark from benefiting from the qualifications these Danes have.”
Anne Marie Dalgaard also notes that the suggestion that the time it takes to handle a case should be cut down to seven months is still too long.
”Currently it takes 14 – 16 months to handle an application for keeping a citizenship. This is not practical especially for young people who have to apply after their 21st birthday but before they turn 22 year old. This is not possible with the current procedure. We believe a standard procedure should be implemented that will cut the time needed to handle a case down to 4 -6 weeks,” the Secretary General says.