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 nyidanmark.dk, goes to show how little relevant visa information is available from Udl√¶ndingestyrelsen… ūüėź


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 Udl√¶ndingestyrelsen 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 Udl√¶ndingestyrelsen 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 Udl√¶ndingestyrelsen (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.

Changing a business address (CVR) in Denmark

Online startup’s are transient so it’s crucial – in Denmark especially – to keep your business address up to date within the central business register. Virk.dk is the place to visit for non-tax related business activities, e.g.¬†updating/changing your business address.

Ændre virksomhed (Changing Address in Dansk)

Opening a foreign startup in Denmark

Here are some questions that after several years of exposure to Denmark and Europe that I need answers for to a) effectively start a small business based in Denmark, and b) turn a profit. I will update this as I am able to answer each question.

  • What association/resources are available in Denmark¬†to¬†help with questions about starting and operating a small business in Denmark?
  • When opening new¬†business accounts with your local bank what accounts are typically needed (e.g. income, expenses, VAT input,¬†VAT output, etc.)?
  • What reporting is required to SKAT and how often?
  • What is the standard software platform to connect to webshops to expedite¬†business reporting (e.g. MYOB, Xero, etc.)?
  • How is VAT refunded between EU countries?
  • How can moms and/or customs duty be prepaid on purchases from outside the EU?

Update: In October 2015 I left Denmark. Without being able to distribute VAT collected from EU customers I never commenced business operations in Denmark. I will be registering a new business in Germany in March 2017 with the ability to collect and effectively distribute VAT from EU customers.

Here’s what I’ve learnt…

What association/resources are available in Denmark to help with questions about starting and operating a small business in Denmark?

  • Virk¬†Startv√¶kst¬†– Danish start-up resources¬†intended to¬†reduce administrative burdens for businesses.
  • Company registration in Denmark¬†– A small set of¬†videos produced by Virk.dk explaining company registration in English
  • Tax in Denmark – An introduction to the Danish tax system in English produced by SKAT

When opening new business accounts with your local bank what accounts are typically needed

The bank just needs to know your CVR number and will set you up with a simple cheque account. Additional accounts can be linked to your business account opened at any time for income, expenses, VAT collection, etc.

What reporting is required to SKAT and how often?

No idea, find a local accountant who can assist in these matters.

What is the standard software platform to connect to webshops in Denmark?

E-conomic (nice little monopoly there)

How is VAT refunded between EU countries?

You need to register for MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) via SKAT’s website.¬†It’s¬†aimed at large companies who are able to integrate their e-commerce site into their MOSS platform. Good luck.

How can moms and/or customs duty be prepaid on purchases from outside the EU?

No idea, find a local accountant who can assist in these matters.