What is 'A Successful Integration'? Family Reunification and the Rights of Children in Denmark

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This article explores Danish law on immigration and integration and the quest of third-country nationals for family reunification with their children. The legislation has developed so that age limitations and requirements on integration may entail a denial of a permit for family reunification for very young children who have been living in their parents’ home country for a longer period. This set-up has an impact on the individual and may appear blind towards other types of constraints causing a child to live abroad while their parent is living in Denmark. Moreover, it makes the legal status of children dependent on the integration of the parents in Denmark. The article will address and analyse both the newest legislation and some administrative cases that show the application of the rules in practice. The investigation will illustrate how the latest legal amendments, although presented as a relaxation of rules, have in fact not substantially altered the restraints put on family reunification rights in Denmark in the last decade. In particular, the legal effects of integration requirements for children will be analysed and evaluated from a critical perspective, advocating an ethical assessment of the rules enforced thus far.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRetfærd: Nordisk Juridisk Tidsskrift
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)38-58
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2016

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