Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig

Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig have a lenient access to acquire citizenship

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On 24 January 2020, the group behind the citizenship agreement of 29 June 2018 entered into an additional agreement which makes it easier for Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig to become Danish citizens.

Amongst other things, this change meant that, as a Danish-identifying resident of Southern Schleswig, you are no longer required to have been born in Southern Schleswig (the place of birth requirement) if you wish to have your case considered under the more lenient rules. However, you must still fulfil the other conditions in the circular, including the requirement to have grown up in Southern Schleswig and gone to a Danish school.

Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig are covered by special lenient requirements when they apply to become a Danish citizen.

Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig with a residence in Denmark can be included in a bill of naturalisation after two years’ continuous residence in Denmark.

‘Danish-identifying resident of Southern Schleswig’ means a person who was born or grew up in Southern Schleswig, who entirely or partly went to a Danish school and who have shown an affiliation to Denmark during their residence in Southern Schleswig as an adult.

  • The requirement for the applicant to have been born or grown up in Southern Schleswig can be documented through a copy of a passport, birth certificate or residential records.
  • Employment contracts and examination certificates can also be submitted to support upbringing in Southern Schleswig.
  • The requirement for the applicant to have solely or partly gone to a Danish school can be documented through a leaving certificate from a school, e.g. a Danish primary school.
  • The requirement to have shown an affiliation to Denmark can be documented through proof of membership of one or more of the Danish minority associations in the form of statements from the associations, membership cards, etc.

Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig who have a residence in Southern Schleswig can be included in a bill of naturalisation irrespective of their residence in Denmark if they fulfil two out of the following four criteria, with the exception of the first criterion, which is mandatory:

  • The applicant was born or grew up in Southern Schleswig and solely or partly went to a Danish school or is able to demonstrate competence in written and verbal Danish in accordance with the requirements that apply to other applicants for Danish citizenship through naturalisation.
  • The applicant is of Danish origin, i.e. at least one person in the four previous generations of the applicant’s ancestors had Danish citizenship at the time they were born. This could for example be documented through a birth certificate for the family member who was born a Danish citizen, including documentation of direct kinship (birth certificates).
  • The applicant has previously had a residence in Denmark for at least three consecutive years (in exceptional cases, this criterion may be fulfilled by previously having had a residence in another Nordic country, if the applicant otherwise has a particularly strong affiliation to the Danish minority).
  • The applicant has carried out board work, voluntary work or otherwise been an active member of one or more of the Danish minority’s associations for a continuous period of at least 10 years.

Danish-identifying residents of Southern Schleswig who fulfil the above conditions are exempt from the requirement to provide documentation of having passed the 2015 citizenship test and the requirement concerning competence in Danish.

Draft bills, consultation letters and lists of consultation parties are available at Høringsportalen.dk.

Last updated: 31 March 2021

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