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

Update (09/09/2017): Google seems to think this FA1 visa guide is up there with, goes to show how little relevant visa information is available from Udlændingestyrelsen… 😐

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 (08/07/2016): 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’ve 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 dealings with Udlændingestyrelsen is akin to taking a driving lesson with Karsten from Polle Fiction…

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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Michael Visser

I'm a WordPress Plugin developer, UAV & Raspberry Pi enthusiast and general tinkerer. This domain serves as my development playground for non-WordPress Plugin projects.

8 thoughts on “Idiots guide to the Family Reunification (FA1) visa for Denmark”

  1. Hey,

    Cab you please help. I’m an Australian. In one of the requirements, I have to pass b1 English test. Can I be exempt and if so, how do I apply?

    Thanks so much. Mange tak!

  2. Hi there,

    Please i hope you can help me.

    I’m Australian. In one of the criterias I need to pass b1 English… Can I be exempt from this?

  3. Hi Michael,
    I went through the information which you published. It is really helpful. However, i would like to have some more clarification.
    My cousin is an Indian Citizen and he recently married his wife. She is Denmark Citizen. They planned to apply for Family reunion visa. As per the new rules and regulations, the applicant who applies for family reunion visa, must have visited Denmark at least one time. It is one of the conditions which must be fulfilled by the applicant. So, my cousin applied for Visit visa to Denmark and it got rejected stating some really silly reasons. Since his visit visa is got rejected, they plan to apply for Reunion visa without fulfilling their visiting requirement. Since they are unable to fulfill this visiting requirement, is it advisable to apply for family reunion visa? Please reply me as your earliest possible.
    Thank You

    1. Hi Ananth, thanks for getting in touch. Yes the rules have changed substantially since 2017, in order to fulfill that requirement of visiting Denmark I would apply for a tourist visa for any other EU country (e.g. DE, UK, SE, NO, PO, AT, NL, etc…) and then cross the Danish border legally (as a Schengen visitor you can legally visit any other Schengen member without restriction including Denmark), visit a police station in any Danish town and ask them to stamp a document that you have written confirming that you have presented yourself in Denmark or if they refuse then take a selfie of yourself in a Danish police station (ask their permission before taking a photo).

  4. Hi Michael,

    thanks for the summary. I’m planning to apply for the FA1 visa from outside of Denmark. If the visa is granted, I need to go to Denmark to register myself and obtain CPR number and take Danish test, etc. Do you know when I could leave Denmark again once I have CPR number and for how long without having any effects on my granted visa? I might need to travel back and forth for a while between my home country and Denmark.


    1. Hi Tabbi, once you’ve received permanent residency (PR) you can come and go as you like (but that means first passing the Danish test). I suspect you travel outside Denmark even before that but you may need to request permission from immigration. Best to contact immigration directly and clarify it with them.

      I don’t know if there’s a condition of how long you can be away before PR status expires (Australia has one so I assume Denmark probably does too…), again best to speak with immigration (for this one I’d recommend in writing) or contact an immigration lawyer in Denmark.

  5. Hi, thank you for the information.
    I was wondering if you could help me with further inquiries I have.
    My aunt and uncle are Danish citizens, they are both seniors and with serious chronicle health problems, and they need me to live with them in Denmark to help them. How could I get a visa ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Kaldy, Denmark has a very strict immigration policy so you’re options are limited if you’re a non-EU Citizen. What country do you hold a Passport for?

      Visa’s you could explore are the Family Reunification visa (on the grounds of an “other family member”, also depending on your age is the Working Holiday visa (up to 2 years residency in Denmark if you are under 30 years old) and/or the Au Pair program. I’d contact your local Danish embassy and ask if they offer a “carer” visa which is not commonly listed.

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