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No access for 'loser' university degrees

Under a new points system, spouses may have to show degrees from universities like Harvard, Yale or Cambridge to obtain a permanent residence permit

Unless you are from the likes of a top-ranked, elite university, it will now be harder to get a Danish residence permit.

This could be the outcome of an agreement signed between the government and the supporting Danish People’s Party (DF) signed 7 November. The parties agreed that a degree from one of the top 20 world universities could give points in a system to obtain a permanent residence permit in Denmark for a non-European spouse.

Read the article ‘Majority in place for points system’ here.

But 13 of the best 20 world universities are located in the US, according to the Times Higher Education ranking. The two largest universities Copenhagen and Århus are ranked way down in the 100s. Although the Danish universities score higher on other, less anglophile, rankings, none of them have Danish universities among the best 20.

See whether you would make the grade in the new point system here.

New requirements for new times

At the moment, non-EU spouses can live permanently in Denmark only if he or she are at least 24 years old and have DKK 50,000 in the bank. With the agreement, which could include the top 20 university degree requirement, the Government and DF will make the already highly controversial rules for family reunifications stricter. The DKK 50,000 requirement has been lifted to DKK 100,000 for example.

The government and DF is still debating on what the precise text will be. And the opposition has not yet decided what position to take, a source from the Socialist People’s (SF) Party says.

Neither Rasmus Prehn, spokesperson on research and universities for the Social Democrats, nor one of the likely primary authors of the stipulation, the Danish People’s Party’s Peter Skaarup, spokesperson on Immigration and Integration, has yet been willing to comment on the top 20 requirement on the points list to the University Post.

Top 20 or you’re out

Parties are still debating the exact interpretation. But if the points list is interpreted so that a degree from the world’s 20 best universities and DKK 100,000 is required of the non-Danish spouses, it will in effect shut off all spouses from entering. Only a negligible number of students or researchers who actually enter Denmark to reside here are from the top 20 universities.

Most likely however, other selection criteria for those excluded by the Top 20 criteria, may be added in the final legislation, says the Socialist People’s Party source.

Agreement between the government and the Dansk Folkeparti here in Danish.

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