Dear UK nationals in Denmark,
I want to thank those of you who were able to attend the Embassy’s live Q/A on Citizens’ Rights on 5 November 2020. It was great to see so many of you had tuned in on Facebook and thanks for all your questions to me and my Danish guests.
This was the first major virtual outreach event we have organised for UK nationals in Denmark. My team have previously hosted more than 30 outreach events across Denmark to meet as many of you as possible, and we will continue to engage with you in the future. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and Embassy events page, where we will advertise future events.
I also want to thank the Danish Ministries of Health, Employment and Immigration and Integration for attending our event. It was incredibly helpful to have three representatives from the Danish system on the panel. I am grateful for the Danish Government’s process on implementing the Citizens’ Rights provision of the Withdrawal Agreement.
I am writing now with an overview of the main issues discussed during the meeting. We received a lot of questions during the meeting and in advance and have, where possible, grouped similar questions together in order to cover as many different topics as possible.
Some of you have sent very specific questions pertaining to your individual circumstances. Unfortunately we can’t provide a detailed response here but if you feel that your questions haven’t been addressed then please do get in touch with us for an individualised reply via our online enquiry form which can be found on our GOV.UK page.
The Withdrawal Agreement protects the residency rights of UK nationals and their status in Denmark no matter what happens in future negotiations. This means that UK nationals who have moved to Denmark before 31 December 2020, will continue to have life-long residency, work and healthcare rights in Denmark provided they remain legally resident in Denmark. If you arrive after 2020, you will have to go through the Danish immigration rules for third country nationals.
UK nationals, including dual nationals, who have been living in Denmark continuously and lawfully for five years by the end of the implementation period will have the right to reside permanently in Denmark. Those who are currently living in two countries, will have to decide in which country to reside. For those of you, or your friends or family, who have not yet made up those five years of continual residency by the end of the implementation period, you will be granted a temporary residence status. This will allow you to stay beyond 2020 under the same protections you enjoy now until you have accumulated the five years needed to obtain permanent residency. You can freely change status during those years from e.g. student to worker, or job seeker to sufficient funds. You can read more about the residency rules on the Danish Agency of International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) website.
Temporary residents have permitted absence from Denmark for up to 6 months without permission from the Danish authorities or 12 months with permission from the Danish authorities. Permanent residents have permitted absence from Denmark for up to 5 years. You should inform SIRI if you are planning to leave Denmark to reside in another country.
You will retain the favourable family reunification rules applying to EU citizens, provided that the family life existed before 31 December 2020. Children and adoptive children born/adopted after 2020 will also be covered by the favourable rules.
You will need to apply for a new form of residence status to show that your rights are protected beyond 2020. Both temporary and permanent residents will be able to apply for the new residence document from 1 January 2021 and until 31 December 2021. Also UK nationals who work in Denmark, but live in another EU country – such as Sweden or Germany – will need to apply for the new document to confirm their rights as frontier workers in Denmark.
Posted workers are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, but UK nationals who are posted to Denmark and also reside in Denmark can be considered covered if they are registered as residents in Denmark under e.g. “Sufficient Funds”. Posted workers should contact SIRI for more information about their situation.
In the second week of November SIRI published new information online and in a letter that was sent directly to your eBoks. We understand that the first version of the letter created some confusion around whether you would have to apply for the residency status if your family members are Danish citizens, citizens of one of the Nordic countries, Switzerland or the EU. The letter has now been amended to clarify that all UK nationals in Denmark will need to apply for the new form of residency document, regardless of their family’s nationality.
Healthcare in Denmark is as you know residency based. This means that if you are living in Denmark or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Denmark as you do now, provided you remain resident.
When you register with your local civil registration office (Folkeregistret) you will receive a yellow national health insurance card (Sygesikringsbevis), which gives you access to free medical treatment in Denmark.
You can also register for a blue European health insurance card (EHIC), which gives you access to healthcare in other European countries on the same basis as local residents. Both your yellow and blue insurance cards will continue to be valid after 2020.
You will still be able to receive planned treatment on an S2 form in another EU country provided it was approved before end of 2020.
Work, education and pensions
If you are registered as resident in Denmark on or before 31 December 2020 your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain a resident in Denmark. Denmark and the UK have a double taxation agreement to prevent income being taxed in both countries. Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Denmark have not changed.
If you are resident in Denmark on or before 31 December 2020, you will continue to access higher education on the same terms as you do now. This means you will only pay tuition fees for education in Denmark where EU and EEA citizens also pay tuition fees. You will also continue to have access to Danish student grants.
If you have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications, this will remain valid after 31 December 2020. If you have not had your professional qualifications recognised, you can submit an application under the current rules until 31 December 2020. Read the Danish government guidance on how to get your professional qualifications recognised.
If you are living in Denmark by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.
If you are living in Denmark by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension. If you work and pay social security contributions in Denmark, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Danish pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.
Passports, travel and driving
From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Denmark, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries. You will not be able to use e-gates in Denmark.
Our exit from the EU does not mean that pet owners will not be able to continue to travel to the EU with their pets, but there may be changes to the system from 1 January 2021. The UK has applied to the European Commission for pets coming from the UK to be treated similarly to how they are now. We have published information about what requirements there may be in the future, and will provide further information as soon as possible.
Finally, let me finish off by reminding you that if you are a UK driving licence holder living in Denmark, you should exchange your UK licence for a Danish one. Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020. The UK is currently engaging in bilateral discussions with individual EU Member States to agree the arrangements that will apply from 1 January 2021. These arrangements will publicised in due course.
Where can I get more information?
Finally, you are also welcome to direct any questions you may have via our GOV.UK page.
British Ambassador to Denmark