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Idiots guide to the Family Reunification (FA1) visa for Denmark

As a non-EU/EAA Citizen with a Danish spouse or cohabiting partner you can apply for a residence permit on the grounds of family reunification. If you have lived together in another EU nation for more than 6 months you can apply for family reunification under EU law.

In keeping with Danish tradition there are at least 7 types of application packets related to the Family Reunification visa so carefully choose the one relevant to you. My experience is limited to applying for this visa with a Danish spouse (FA1).

Here’s the bullet list to look out for:

Held og lykke (good luck)!

Update (08/07): I went through the motions of this visa and was rejected on the grounds that I could not prove I had co-habited with my partner for the required 18 months regardless that we had documentation proving 3 years of living together in Denmark. The case was appealed by Udlændingestyrelsen themselves due to possible administrative errors, that’s the last I heard about it. My advice is that the non-EU spouse should get a work visa or look at applying for residency in a neighboring EU country immediately south of the Danish border till the immigration climate in Denmark improves.


As a foreigner

  • You can apply with your Danish partner for a permanent visa after 3 years (36 months) of living permanently in Denmark
  • You can submit your visa application within Denmark if you have a valid visa or are pending an extension, if you have received a Refusal of extension of residence visa or any document indicating a ‘get out of Denmark date’ then your application will go into the waste bin of Udlændingestyrelsen (Danish Immigration Service); in this case you must apply from your home country
  • If your visa application is accepted you must pass the Danish A1 language exam within 6 months of being granted residence, failure can result in your residence permit being revoked and expulsion from Denmark within 30 days (see the above mention of the ‘get out of Denmark date’ warning)

As a Danish spouse

  • You cannot have claimed public assistance in the three years prior to submitting your application, as a Danish student SU is not considered ‘public assistance’ and will not affect your visa application
  • If you are not married to your foreign spouse you are financially responsible for them, even if your foreign spouse is self-supporting or supporting you
  • You will fill in 10 times what your foreign spouse will have to complete in required documentation

Both of you

  • Both you and your Danish spouse must be at least 23 and 6 months old
  • If you’re not married to your Danish spouse but have been co-habiting for more than 18 months (inside or outside of Denmark) then you’re almost treated equally, there is however an administrative difference in that your case will take significantly longer to review (an additional 2 months)
  • If your Family Reunification visa application is accepted the Danish spouse will have to post a secured bond of 52.490,12 DKK (as of 2015), it is not required at time of visa application only once the application is accepted

Additional goodies

Coming back to the collateral. In layman terms if your foreign spouse wants to join the Danish labour market immediately after passing the required Danish A1 language exam – which is typical – you will forfeit 31,494.07 DKK of the 52.490,12 DKK collateral as only 20,996.05 DKK is released, that’s 60% (exact figure: 59.9%) of the total collateral gone.

Proceeding to pass the A2 language exam will release an additional 10,498.02 DKK meaning a total of 20,996.05 DKK would be forfeited, that’s 40% of the total collateral gone.

The above figures are accurate as of 2015 and there is no ‘best friends’ list of exempted countries – US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Switzerland and South Korea – as of 15 May 2012.

Here’s the original nightmare from New to Denmark listing other gotcha’s in case you want to know more things to watch out for.


Is there something above that I’ve missed, are you in the same visa pickle or about to embark on this adventure? Drop a comment below.

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