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English information about changes to regulations applied in the area of asylum

13.11.2015  20:16

Changes to the regulations applied in the area of asylum

Europe is experiencing a large influx of refugees. That puts all countries under pressure – including Denmark. And the pressure is mounting day by day.

We assume our responsibility in this situation. But we should not take in so many refugees that it threatens the cohesion of our country. The number of refugees has an impact on the ability to ensure a successful integration. And it has an impact on our ability to maintain a good and secure society.

It has long been the government’s position that the terms and conditions applied in the area of asylum have an impact on how attractive Denmark is to asylum seekers. That is why the government, as one of its first political initiatives, introduced new and reduced benefits for asylum seekers. And that is why the government is now carrying out further initiatives to tighten the conditions for asylum and reduce the access to Denmark.

1.     Limiting the duration of residence permits granted to refugees
2.     Postponing of the right to family reunification for refugees with temporary
        protection
3.     Tightening the conditions for permanent residence permit
4.     Tightening the rules on revoking refugees’ residence permits
5.     Introducing fees for services
6.     Increasing user charges for asylum seekers’ stay in Denmark
7.     Enhancing control with financial means brought by asylum seekers
8.     Reducing the number of people on food allowances by enhanced use of
        cafeterias in asylum centers
9.     Reducing economic benefits for asylum seekers
10.   Rollback of strengthened asylum counselling
11.   Rollback of the asylum agreement
12.   Broadening of the integration allowance to include more people
13.   Reforming the spouse reunification rules
14.   Reintroducing the “potential for integration” criteria when choosing quota 
        refugees
15.   Abolishing of the state funding of transport to people who are family reunified 
        with refugees living in Denmark 

Return of rejected asylum seekers, etc.

The growth in the number of refugees to Europe puts pressure on member states' national asylum systems, accommodation facilities, etc. The pressure can be lowered if rejected asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are effectively returned to their countries of origin. There is therefore a need to strengthen the efforts both domestically and internationally, so the return of rejected asylum seekers happens at a faster pace and more efficiently.

16.   Strengthened efforts to return rejected asylum seekers and other immigrants 
        without legal stay in Denmark to their home countries
17.   Increased use of detention of rejected asylum seekers etc .
18.   Shorter deadlines for the departure of rejected asylum seekers
19.   Closer monitoring of foreigners in the departure centre
20.   New departure centre at a distance from major cities
21.   More consistent use of reporting requirements and stays duty

New possibilities for the authorities to expand accommodation and detention capacity

Growing numbers of refugees and migrants will put pressure on the existing capacity for accommodating and detaining foreigners.

The government will therefore empower relevant authorities to address these challenges should they arise.

22.   Increased capacity for accommodation, including tents
23.   Ability to derogate from the Planning Act concerning accommodation for asylum 
        seekers
24.   Ability to make use of public property for asylum accommodation or detention 
        facilities in emergency cases without obtaining the owner's consent
25.   Ability to make municipalities responsible for operating asylum centers
26.   Possibility of requesting assistance from the private sector to assist with or 
        handle statutory tasks on immigration

New possibilities for the police to control foreigners’ entry and stay in Denmark and maintain law and order

If Denmark experiences a significant increase in the number of refugees and migrants entering the country, it can challenge the ability of the police to control foreigners’ entry and stay in Denmark and the maintenance of law and order. It can increase the need to secure an efficient registration of asylum-seekers etc., including the grounds for the asylum application. At the same time, it is important that Denmark does not experience the chaotic situations that we have seen elsewhere.

The government therefore wishes to give the authorities special opportunities to handle these challenges if they occur.

27.   Establishment of reception centres.
28.   Opportunity to limit judicial review of detention of foreigners to cases where 
        judicial review is requested.
29.   Opportunity to detain asylum seekers in order to clarify identity etc.
30.   Tightened penalty for begging.
31.   Opportunity to suspend operation of bus- train- and ferry-services.

Greater flexibility in allocation of refugee housing

The increased number of refugees arriving in Denmark makes it necessary to help the municipalities, who face local challenges. The municipalities have an obligation to and growing burden in finding suitable housing for individuals who are granted asylum. There are rules regarding housing standards, which may make it challenging to find adequate, suitable housing.

32.   Relaxation of requirements concerning space etc. in the allocation of refugee 
        housing
33.   Relaxation of the rules regarding noise and environment in the allocation of 
        refugee housing
34.   A strengthened integration programme

All initiatives proposed by the government are compatible with the Danish constitution and Denmark’s obligations under international law.