Till receipts decide immigration applications

Officials use information as proof of residence in EU country A large portion of Danish citizens applying to move to Denmark from another EU country with a foreign-born relative are asked to hand in till receipts and bank statements. The...

A large portion of Danish citizens applying to move to Denmark from another EU country with a foreign-born relative are asked to hand in till receipts and bank statements. The Immigration Service requires the documentation as proof of residence, according to Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

The new control forms part of the government’s attempts at absorbing the consequences of the Metock ruling, which makes it possible to avoid Danish immigration rules after a few months’ residence in another EU country.

The Immigration Service asks to see the documentation in cases in which it suspects fraud, but also as part of spot checks in 50 percent of “non-suspicious” cases.

This is far too stringent, according to EU-experts. “You can demand so much documentation that in the end no-one will meet the requirements,” said Peter Pagh, professor of EU law at the University of Copenhagen.

Groups helping people with family reunification issues say it is unfair to expect Danish citizens to hand over personal information about shopping habits and bank accounts.

“I find it cruel to see Danish citizens being subjected to such strict control and mistrust,” said Social Liberal integration spokesperson Marianne Jelved.

The government has dismissed the criticism. “We’re not monitoring people’s bank accounts,” said Birthe Rønn Hornbech, the integration minister. “We’re simply asking them to document their residence details. If they fail to do that, we’ll ask for further documentation.”

 

Factfile | The Metock ruling

The Metock case concerned four African men who married EU citizens in Ireland after their applications for asylum were turned down. The EU ruling, which came into effect on 25 July 2008, allowed them to claim their EU right of free movement without having legally lived in another EU country – a requirement that currently exists in Danish family reunification immigration law.

Although the Metock case was filed against Irish authorities, the ruling also affects ten other EU countries, including Denmark. The ruling effectively means that immigrants could use their European rights to circumvent Danish immigration requirements.

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