Every Foreigners Favourite Gameshow…The Danish Points System

There’s a natural progression to being in Denmark. You either stumble upon the place or come here intentionally (mostly it’s the former), fall in love with it (or with someone) and you want to prolong your existence here into something a bit more permanent.

You’re hopes are high for your new life here.

You’ve finally mastered (or at least thought you have) the art of saying  “rød grød med fløde”, you’ve just got the hang of how to ride a bike without looking drunk, your expectations of polite customer service have been bought down to zero and you’ve finally figured out that the meaning of life has something to do with the word “hygge”.

There’s only one thing that stands in your way from endless nights of hygge.

Lene Espersen (Deputy Prime Minister)….oh and the band of merry Jutlandish farmers that make up the Danskfolkeparti.

The one and only Lene Espersen

Now as much as I try to remain positive about my chances of staying here they aren’t high if I go by the current legislation. Despite the fact I have a degree, work experience and foreign language skills my chances of getting a permanent visa are as good as a Muslim’s from Malmo.

Denmark’s immigration laws are some of the strictest in the EU. You’ll already know that though if you’ve applied for a visa here. Apparently writing ‘I love your country’ on an application doesn’t score you any more points – and to think I even put a smiley face next to it.

There are three ways to stay here.

1- Immigrate on a time limited work permit….but you have to have a skill that Denmark lacks. According to the ‘positive list’ the country currently needs fresh water biologists – tough luck for all the salt water biologists, surgical appliance makers and chiropractor’s.

They’re in need of some of these guys!

2- Refugee status: You must have a well grounded fear of being persecuted. I guess I could think up something for this. At the moment I feel persecuted by Studylink NZ and the interest they’re accumulating on my student loan.

3- Marry a Dane.

Every foreigner here has their “visa” story. It’s like they should all be written down in one book titled ‘Mein Kampf: the struggle against the Danish authorities’

I have an American friend here who trained to be a general nurse. But now she can now only work as a children’s nurse as that’s where she spent most of her time doing her work experience. Lame.

Love conquers all, except the Danish points system.


Happy ever after….just maybe not in Denmark

It’s kinda trendy to marry a Dane at the moment. I’m being serious, it is.  But the trendiness of the idea wears off once you realise your adopted country wants to screen you….kinda like saying “we just want to make sure you’re good enough for our Danish citizen”.

At present if you want to marry a Dane you have to fulfill the following:

1- You both have to be over 24

2- Have a minimum of 50,000 kroner in the bank

3- Have adequate housing

4- Your Danish spouse must be able to take care of you for a certain period of time

Now read on…

Just this week the Government decided to implement a new points system for foreigners wanting to join their spouses in Denmark. If you’re under 24 years old you’re required to get 120 points and if you’re over 24 you have to get 60 points.

Points are awarded for things such as what you’ll contribute to the country. For example:

– how attractive you are (DK don’t want ugly people)

– how good you are at riding a bike

Okay that’s not true. It’s more like how educated you are and how many languages you can speak. But I have no doubt that if the Danskfolkeparti are involved there may even be a clause for how good you are at working the land.

But word on the street is (I heard this from a Dane) if you and your Danish partner want to get married and aren’t over 24 or can’t meet the requirements then you go and live in Melbourne. There’s some kind of ghetto there for all the Danes who can’t bring their lovers back to their homeland. Not a bad place for a ghetto if you ask me.

So even if you’re the most educated, linguistically accomplished, one of the richest people on earth or are in love with a Dane in the kind of way that moves mountains….it ain’t guaranteed you’ll be allowed to join the party here.

You may be told to take the party elsewhere.

I would compare trying to stay in Denmark to fishing. Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not. You may catch the snapper or the small perch. You can take sea sick pills, buy the best bait, have the best fish finder and be off the coast of Kaikoura but you still may not be successful at nailing the big catch.

So my advice for anyone wanting to join the party- Come with some chips and dip and your best party dress and give it a try. But keep that other nightclub in mind. Oh and perhaps check out a few of the apartments in Saint Kilda in Melbourne because you may just be told to relocate the party.

Saint Kilda in Melbourne- not a bad place to relocate the party


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