Denmark Passes Special Law for Ukrainian Refugees

The Danish parliament passed legislation allowing Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine to have access to school, labor market, and social benefits soon after arrival in the Nordic welfare state.

The new law was passed after an expedited process in parliament on Thursday evening with an initial budget of 2.2 billion kroner for 2022, over 2 billion taken from Denmark’s foreign development aid budget.

“We have had low asylum numbers for many years. That has meant that very little money from the Danish development framework has been spent on taking in refugees,” Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said in parliament.

“We are now in a different situation,” Tesfaye added.

The special “Ukrainian law” eases the process for Ukrainians compared to the normal asylum system, giving them a two-year residence permit with the option of a one-year extension.

Tesfaye said the first residency permits under the law could be issued this weekend.

“After that, it will be a few days before we can start getting Ukrainian refugees as colleagues, and our children will have new schoolmates,” Tesfaye added.

Ukrainians coming to Denmark would have rights similar to those offered to citizens within the European Union, including relief and accommodation.

According to data from the Danish Immigration Service, a total of 1,733 Ukrainians have sought asylum in Denmark since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Meanwhile, Polish authorities on Wednesday began issuing national identification numbers to Ukrainians, so they could access social services and find jobs.

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