Denmark Immigration: Strict Rules for Small Community of Immigrants

Matthew Day, Telegraph (London), May 4, 2011

Denmark has a limited history of immigration and so it remains one of the few countries in western Europe with a relatively small ethnic-minority population.

Figures from US-based Migration Information Source put the number of immigrants and their descendent from “non-western” countries now living in Denmark at 320,000, or 5.9 per cent of the Danish population.

In comparison the UK has around eight per cent and Holland at 14.2 per cent.

But in the 1980s, with its prosperous economy and solid welfare state, Denmark became an increasingly popular destination of choice for asylum seekers and family dependents.

This, set against a declining birth rate for ethnic Danes, has led to immigrants and their descendents forming a growing chunk of the population. Whereas they are now approaching six per cent, back in 1980 they constituted just one per cent.

This growth has sparked increasing and passionate debate in Denmark over immigration and the effects it has on a country that for long has remained homogenous and distinctly mono-cultural.

Divisions over the issue have reached such a level that political experts fear they threaten a culture of political and social cohesion that has dominated Denmark since the end of the Second World War.

The right-wing Danish People’s Party has helped keep immigration in the political spotlight since its founding in 1995, and it, along with widespread concern in Denmark over immigration, has led to the country introducing a series of laws aimed at keeping it under control.

Non-EU immigrants that are allowed into the country are now required to learn Danish and become familiar with Denmark’s history and culture, while access to benefits remains tightly controlled.

At the same time the country has cracked down on people using marriage as a means of gaining access to Denmark.

Laws now stipulate that for marriages involving a Dane and a non-EU or non-Nordic citizen both parties have to be aged over 24 and the Dane must be independent of government aid.

All this has led to the number of asylum seekers in Denmark falling by two-thirds in the last five years.


Most businesses feel current immigration policy prevents them from hiring the foreign employees they need

Just as a looming election campaign seems to have sparked new life into the immigration debate, major businesses are calling out for a softening of the immigration policy.

Six out of ten of the country’s largest businesses need to attract foreign employees within the next three years. But many of them say the current immigration regulations are making it difficult to entice them to come here, according to a new survey by Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) agrees with the criticism.

“There is a need to make improvements to make it easier for the businesses,” DI managing director Karsten Dybvad said. “If they have problems getting skilled workers to Denmark, they end up having to move their operations abroad.”

It is particularly difficult to hold on to overseas students, according to the Danish Chamber of Commerce (DCC).

“They [overseas students] get six months after finishing their studies to find a job and then they have to leave,” said Jannik Schack Linnemann, the head of research policy at the DCC. “We think they should automatically be handed a green card and a starting allowance.”

Søren Pind, the immigration minister, pointed out that the government with its flexible work permit programmes has already opened up the borders for foreign talents.

“More people are coming to Denmark to work and study than ever before. We have tripled the number of residence permits for work and study since 2001,” he said, pointing out that last year alone immigration authorities issued more than 5,300 work-related residence permits.

“That’s a 50 percent increase on the previous year.”

The bureaucracy can also scare off the skilled foreign workers, according to Torben M. Andersen, a former chief economic adviser to the government.

“Yes, we have more types of work-related residence permits now that make it easier for businesses to get foreign workers here, but the schemes also involve lots of additional administrative hassle. That could easily play a part if it is considered inconvenient and insecure.”

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  • Anonymous

    It’s like they have a gun to these people. Affirmative action, unmentionables, and lawsuits cost businesses billions of dollars each year, at a conservative estimate, but every business and their representative is always lobbying for, or donate on behalf of, more and more diversity and ‘sensitivity’ initiatives, as many as it is humanly possible for them to adopt. I doubt if they are fooling immigrants, who are without shame anyway (at least the ones here in the US have none). If it is not about making people of color shameless, it must be about ‘oppressing’ and silencing white dissent.

  • John Engelman

    “Most businesses feel current immigration policy prevents them from hiring the foreign employees they need.”

    When told that something is good for the economy one should ask, “Whose economy?” A high rate of immigration raises profits by increasing prices and placing downward pressure on wages.

  • Kenelm Digby

    Danish big business has a labor pool of 400 million (the EU) at its disposal.This is not only one of the biggest labor pools in the world, but by and large it is the best educated, most skilled, most literate – and a very large chunk of them (East Europe) are prepared to work very hard for modest wages, in practically any skilled or unskilled occupation you can mention.

    But, no, his is not enough for Danish big business.

  • Kenelm Digby

    Furthermore the (failed) EU state of Spain has an unemployment rate of no less than 20%, with unemployment amongst the young running at an inhuman 40%.

    Why can’t their brothers in the EU, Spain, have first pickings at Danish jobs?

    Just what game is Danish big business playing at?

  • EW

    Interesting, this quote:

    “They [overseas students] get six months after finishing their studies to find a job and then they have to leave,” said Jannik Schack Linnemann, the head of research policy at the DCC. “We think they should automatically be handed a green card and a starting allowance.

    If the Danish employers are so badly in need of qualified immigrants, it should be quite easy for such an overseas student to find a job during these 6 months, no?

    If this is not the case, green card and allowance are useless.

  • TomSwift

    The argument that immigration helps the economy is kinda like arguing that removing all pollution controls would help the economy.

    If the value of clean air is greater than the value of the material stuff it would actually hurt the economy.

    Similarly, if the value of ‘social capital’ exceeds the value of the worker than immigration is bad for the economy.

  • Anonymous

    Any country that even thinks about immigration had better take a good long look at how immigration has ruined this country. The main reasons for the U.S.A. going bankrupt 1) How many trillions of taxpayer dollars did Obama give to the banks and other corporate theives? 2) How many billions or trillions of taxpayer money goes to support illegals and affirmative action for minorities? Now, having said that, I have some words of advice:

    Be careful what you ask for.

  • Anonymous

    “Most businesses feel current immigration policy prevents them from hiring the foreign employees they need”

    Absurd. Denmark should open itself to ghettos, crime, rioting, terrorism, and all the other ‘benefits’ of multiculturalism ‘enjoyed’ now by the UK and France so businesses can pay lower wages? That would be a long term disaster for short term profits. Rope-seller mentality.

  • Anonymous

    “Businesses Call for Relaxed Immigration Rules”, well of course they do. Businesses pay lower wages for those who come from little, and the state pays the lifetime costs for that seemmingly cheap labor as well as for their children.

  • Anonymous

    I own a business in the liberal socialist immigrant state of California. I know that sounds off the subject, but I believe conditions here are similar to that of Europe. I cannot afford to hire employees legally, and I refuse to hire illegals. I clean my own house and cut my own lawn. I keep everything small. Eventually I will leave the state for greener pastures. We wouldn’t need immigration if business sector was deregulated. High taxes, unemployment benefits, insurance, etc. it’s suffocating us all. It prevents hard working business owner and potential workers from making a living. Don’t fight to increase immigration, that is insane. Fight for deregulation. That saves your country from overpopulation, high crime and all of the other miseries associated with immigration.

  • Anonymous

    1. The quality of your people are your beauty, your strength, your honor and integrity. They are a living legacy. A proof that your ancestors got it right, stayed true and pure and didn’t lose so many wars that their populations ended washed out and mongrelized with no genetic or cultural uniqueness left. Especially in the Nordic countries where the fairness of complexion, uniform symmetry of features, and kindness of the people are well known, this is a gift of immeasurable preciousness. Because we are going to end up at less than 8% of the world’s ravening hordes by the time this century is done.

    2. Before it became nearly impossible to get accurate criminal statistics broken down by demographics, Danish and Swedish crime rates involving ethnic rape and sexual mutilation of women were running neck and neck. These immigrants are not there to appreciate who you are. They are insanely jealous of that which is beautiful based on the hellish social norms they have come from and so seek to defile what we have made in ever growing numbers. If you already face enormous threats from the outside, why sabotage your socially and racially coherent lifestyles from the inside as well?

    3. We are on the brink of a massive change in global economics. Oil is fading fast as a ‘universal’ resource (plastics, electric, transport), cheap eastern currencies are gaining enormous strength based on a slave industrialism Europe can -never- compete with (nor should you, with robotics). And yet those impoverished superpop continents (China, India, Africa) which have no control over their indigenous population growth are going to face massive dieoffs or economic losses as they pay for that overburden of people.

    Any country which starts the game of more-from-less with under half a billion in population will be _better off_, in the long term, because they will not have to try and buy off low IQ, low productivity, high birthrate, ethnic wage slaves with a failed dream of ‘better living’ through welfare economics.

  • Anonymous

    If there are so many jobs available for foreign graduates, why does the business community lobby for them to be given a government benefit allowance paid for by the taxpayers?

    Does the business community hope to pay such low wages that the foreign graduates will need the government benefit allowance to pay basic living expenses such as rent and commuting to work?

    Probably that is the reason the business community wants such generous benefits for foreign graduates, just as the restraunt and hotel industry here wants section 8 vouchers free medical care and food stamps for its foreign immigrant employees.

  • Laager

    If the Danes really have a need for immigrants to staff their businesses why don’t they re-locate their businesses to the 3rd World.

    This would be a win-win solution for everyone.

    It would keep immigrants out of Denmark.

    It would generate work and taxes in a 3rd World country of their choice

    The business owners could staff the management of their off-shore enterprises with multi-culti advocates.

    They could live their diversity dream as a minority somewhere in Africa and Europe would be rid of this liberal menace hopefully forever.