Self interview, two (You can’t move to Denmark, nor do you want to)
Q: How can I move to Denmark?
A: Three easiest solutions are that you can marry into it, study abroad, or you can get a corporate job in shipping or pharma. (But don’t expect to be able to stay after studying.)
Immigration in Denmark is no joke, folks. If you’re not from an EU country and arrive on a spousal visa, you can expect to be forced into Danish language classes and have your housing options restricted by the government. Depending on when you arrived, you might have to pass a language test in order to be allowed to stay. Denmark tightens the immigration rules every six months and has been for the past several years. Immigration policy is the single most changed part of Danish law.
Think you’re from a “desirable” country like the US of A? Haahahahahaaaah! Right. Try again. Unless you’re an EU citizen, you’re also gonna have to pay a shit ton of money to the government. My Danish husband and I paid interest on a bank guarantee of $12,000 the entire time we lived in Denmark. These days, the amount is up around $20,000. If your bank won’t give you a loan of some sort, you have to pay out of pocket. You can have it back if you’re granted permanent residence or you leave, but you never get the interest back. For many, it’s just the cost of living in their partner’s native country.
Oh, and if you’re under 24? Just don’t even try.
You’re also assuming you’ll be able to find a job and feel welcome in Denmark. It’s not very encouraging when you find out that the Danish government has been running a program to send maladapted foreigners home. They’ll actually pay you to leave if you don’t fit in, and you probably won’t anyway. Again, can’t make this shit up.
So, you might want to reconsider the idea that moving to another country magically solves problems and/or creates happiness. In my/our case, it created a hell of a lot of stress and cost us an incredible amount of money. Hell, human rights organizations think this shit might not even be legal.
In the end, we were lucky to get out. I took my great Dane (heh) and split, and though I’m not alone in considering such drastic action, Danes leave for lots of other reasons too. Who wants to feel like a second class citizen in their own otherwise rather progressive country?
If the Danish government wants to keep its own, attract great foreign minds and perspectives, and even just maintain the social welfare status quo, they’re going to need to seriously reform immigration in Denmark.
Next time: Open! Send me questions.
Self interview, one (I’m not Danish; I no longer live in Denmark)
I’ve been receiving messages through my contact form here that somehow escaped my attention. In an effort to catch up on unanswered questions from strangers, the first of several self interviews.
Q: Are you Danish?
A: Do I seem Danish? I can pronounce Rødøvre, but I don’t eat pickled herring. I married into this fate. If Denmark allowed dual citizenship with other countries, I still wouldn’t be Danish. I’m not pretty enough, nor have I been universally accepted into the tribe of Denmark.
Q: Where do you live?
A: Until a few months ago, I lived in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Vesterbro. I recently took my Dane and moved back to the States for good. It’s not hard to find stories about why many couples find this preferable and necessary.
Also, the title is my blog is all about irony. I don’t buy that any group of people is significantly happier than another because I believe in relativity. I also think studies should be done about contentment rather than the ever-elusive idea of happiness.
Next time: How did you move to Denmark? Can I do it too?