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New bill presented before the Danish Parliament

The Danish Government has on 10 December presented a bill before the Danish Parliament which includes a number of different initiatives on asylum policy, including an initiative on seizing valuable assets.

The bill will go through Parliamentary debate in January and will enter into force after adoption by the Parliament. The bill is expected to be effective from February 2016.

The Danish Immigration Service shall ensure that asylum seekers receive the necessary support while their asylum applications are being considered. The support includes basic maintenance, health care and accommodation.

The basic aim is to ensure, that those who are in need, also receive the necessary support.

It follows from current rules that an asylum seeker, who brings sufficient means to take care of him- or herself, should not also receive support from the Immigration Service. The asylum seeker is obliged to inform on any means that the asylum seeker brings with him or her.

The bill presented on 10 December 2015 provides the Danish authorities with the power to search clothes and luggage of asylum seekers – and other migrants without a permit to stay in Denmark – with a view to finding assets which may cover the expenses mentioned above.

It is explicitly mentioned in the bill before Parliament that the new rule on seizure will only apply to cash above approximately 3,000 DKK and tangible assets of a considerable value. Thus, foreigners will always be able to keep assets which are necessary to maintain a modest standard of living, e.g. watches and mobile phones. In other words, the general principle of a minimum amount exempt from execution also applies in this context.

Furthermore, assets which have a certain personal, sentimental value to a foreigner will not, as a main rule, be seized. However, they may be seized if, taking into account the degree of personal, sentimental value and, on the other hand, the economic value of the assets, it is deemed inappropriate not to seize the assets. In general, this implies that only personal assets with a value which is considerably higher than 3,000 DKK will be seized. Assets of a personal, sentimental value may include e.g. wedding rings and jewelry.

The proposed rule also applies to refugees already in the country.

Europe currently receives a very high number of refugees. This put a pressure on all countries, including Denmark. Denmark does take a share. However, a too high number of refugees puts pressure on the Danish society and makes it more difficult to ensure a successful integration of those who come to Denmark. The Government has therefore decided to tighten Danish refugee policies.

Contact

Head of Communications and Press

Mia Tang, tlf.: 61 98 35 10, mta@uibm.dk 

Press Officer

Sarah Andersen, tlf.: 61 98 33 92, san@uibm.dk

Sidst opdateret 18/12 2015