DENMARK – Personal Appearance Now Required to Apply For Biometric Residence Permits
The Danish government has announced the introduction of biometric residence permits, effective 20 May 2012. The new system means that all applicants aged 18 or over will be required to attend an appointment in person to submit fingerprints and to have a biometric photograph taken.
Why Is Denmark Introducing Biometric Residence Permits?
The move to introduce residence permits with a biometric component (in this case, a biometric photograph and a chip containing fingerprint details) is the result of an European Union (EU) regulation. All European Union member states were required to implement biometric residence permits by 1 May 2011; however, many have experienced delays. The biometric residence permits are supposed to be more secure than previous documents, plus must be issued in a uniform format across the EU.
How Will Biometric Residence Permits Work in Denmark?
The basic immigration system for Denmark involves an application for a combined work and residence permit being submitted to a Danish diplomatic post in the applicant’s home country. It will now be necessary to either apply for the work and residence permit in person, by appointment, or to book a separate appointment specifically for the biometric data submission. Separate biometric appointments must be booked online for no longer than 14 days after the work and residence permit application has been submitted.
For applications submitted within Denmark (renewals, or change of status in certain cases) biometric data can be submitted directly to the Danish police station in the area of residence or the Immigration Authority in Copenhagen.
In cases where there is no Danish diplomatic post in the applicant’s home country, the application for the work and residence permit may sometimes be made at another country’s consulate (usually Norway or Sweden). In these cases, biometric data will generally be requested after arrival to Denmark.
How About Children?
Children aged below 18 and who live with a parent or legal guardian in Denmark are not required to carry residence cards, so it will not be necessary for them to attend biometric appointments.
However, if a residence card is wanted to facilitate travel in and out of Denmark, it can be requested after arrival in Denmark.
Applications Already Submitted
Applications for work and residence permits which have already been submitted and are pending approval are subject to the new rules; applicants should book appointments for submitting their biometric data.
The requirement to book an appointment to attend the diplomatic post or Danish immigration authority in person will, of course, extend processing time, if only because the applicants themselves will need to find time in their schedules to go in person to the authorities. However, no major delays have been reported so far.
- Note that for all non-European Union/EFTA nationals, biometric residence permits are now a requirement, and the administration in arranging appointments for these should be taken into account.
- Note that the requirement applies to applications currently in process