Unaccompanied Minors in Denmark
last update: 1.2.2016
If you are an unaccompanied minor and wish to seek asylum in Denmark you will generally meet the same requirements as adult asylum seekers. However, unaccompanied minor asylum seekers are considered a vulnerable group, which means that unaccompanied minors will be housed in special accommodation centers and will be appointed a personal representative, who will provide support during the processing of the case.
To assess whether an asylumseeker is a minor or not, the Immigration Service can demand that you go through an age-test, carried out by doctors. This can happen even if you have identity-papers that prove your age.
The age test consists of three parts: First, a general medical examination, by which the body's physical development is assessed. Then a radiograph will be taken, of the teeth and yet another one of one of the hands. Based on an evaluation of your psysical development doctors will assess your age with a margin of two years, meaning that they will decide that your age is for example 17-19 years old.
Age tests are controversial and criticized because they are inaccurate. The age assessment is always an imprecise estimate and the authorities often use the age assessment test to determine that you are past 18 years old. The decision can be appealed to the Ministry of Integration but is reversed very rarely. Don't hesitate to appeal the decision if your age is wrongly assessed. Look at the contact list for assistance on the matter.
The Asylum process
As an unaccompanied minor, you will be assisted by a personal representative throughout the asylum process. If you are assessed to be mature enough, you will go through the normal procedure. However, it is possible for the Immigration Service to assess that you as an unaccompanied minor is not 'mature enough' to go through the normal procedure and you may hence be granted a residence permit without having to go through the application process. This happens rarely. If you are not assessed mature enough you will get a temporary residency permit in accordance with § 9 c (3) (1) of the Danish Aliens Act.
However, no matter the outcome of your asylum case (positive/negative) and as long as you are under 18, you cannot be deported to the country you have fled from if you don't have a social (family) network to take care of you or access to a reception/care centre. If that is the case you will be granted a temporary residence permit (the Danish Aliens Act § 9 c (3) (1) and (2)). This will have to be extended every year. The temporary residence permit no longer applies when you are 18 years old. At that age you are normally deported, but in special circumstances it is possible to grant a residency permit after you have turned 18 years.
If you arrive as an unaccompanied minor, the Immigration Service has an obligation to search for your relatives if you don't know where they are. Unfortunately, we have not got much information, nor experience on these cases and therefore cannot say much about the actual practice.
It is now made possible for unaccompanied minors to get family reunification with an adult family member (including aunts, uncles, grandparents or older siblings) who are legally staying in another EU country. The relative does not have to prove that they can provide for the minor. The country the minor is in has the responsibility to trace family members of the minor.
If you get a residence permit by § 7.3, you are as a rule not able to apply for family reunification before you have had the permit for one whole year. However, if you are a minor and do not have children or a spouse yourself, you are able to apply for family reunification.