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Residence permits for Ukrainians in Denmark

Most Ukrainians living in Denmark have been granted temporary residence permits since February 24, 2022, as a response to the ongoing war in Ukraine. However, it is important to note that none of them have been granted refugee status. The temporary residence permits are due to expire automatically on March 17, 2025.

Around 750 Ukrainians in Denmark applied for Refugee status. The Refugee Appeals Board decided to temporarily halt the processing of asylum cases involving Ukrainians on February 24, 2022. This suspension was implemented to closely monitor and assess the situation in Ukraine. At the time, there were 6 pending cases at the Refugee Appeals Board.

However, on October 12, 2023, the Board determined that there was no immediate likelihood of resolution and therefore ended the suspension. As a result, they instructed the Immigration Service to re-evaluate the 6 cases as initial applications and reopen any suspended cases for further review. As mentioned there Is around 750 pending cases at the Immigration Service which they will need to consider in the near future.

Even if Ukrainian individuals with temporary protection after the special act choose to apply for refugee status and are denied, their temporary protection status will still be maintained.

The fact that Ukrainians in Denmark have been granted residence permits under a special act demonstrates the recognition of the dire situation in Ukraine. This special act acknowledges the need to provide temporary protection to Ukrainians who have been displaced by the conflict and are unable to safely return to their home country.

While the granting of temporary residence permits is a positive step, there is however a risk that the outcome of the cases regarding refugee status to Ukrainian individuals will be different since there are a number of factors to assess – e.g., whether they are in risk of persecution due to a Refugee Convention ground (political, race, religion etc.). This would maybe be the case for Ukrainians fleeing the occupied areas. However, then the authorities would also need to evaluate the possibility for IFA (Internal Flight Alternative) and since the entire country is not occupied there might be a rejection based on this.

However, there are a number of factors to evaluate in an asylum process and therefore the result Is hard to predict and might differ depending on the Individual circumstances. The process of applying for refugee status is often complex and involves a thorough assessment of an individual’s claims for protection based on well-established international principles and guidelines.

Even if refugee status should not be granted the Ukrainians will maintain their temporary residence permit according to the special act for Ukrainians until March 2025. Ukrainians who have worked during their stay In Denmark might have a possibility to obtain work permit due to labour market attachment If they have been employed by the same employer for the last two years, even if their temporary residence permit elapse.

The future outcome of the asylum cases and the recognition of Ukrainians as refugees will be of great interest to observe.

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