Denmark: Become a Dane by joining a minority organization

Denmark: Become a Dane by joining a minority organization

Karsten Lauritzen doesn't get it: the more bureaucracy, the more loopholes.


Several religious organizations appear in the Danish government's list of associations where immigrants can earn points to get a residence permit.

Learn about Albanian traditions, go to a class on the Koran or African dance in one of the country's colleges and you'll score 15 integration points.

It sounds like a loophole, but foreigners can actually earn points to get a permanent residence permit this way, according to the government's new agreement.

Karsten Lauritzen, Liberal party integration spokesperson, told Newspaq that it's about learning something about active citizenship and therefore it doesn't matter if it's a Christian, Catholic or Islamic organization, as long as they work by Danish democratic values.

Foreigners will get the first 70 points by fulfilling standard requirements laid down in advance.  For example, foreigns need to be in Denmark legally for more than the past four years and pass a Danish-language test.

But the last 30 points can be gotten in other way, for example, by going to college, or participating in club work at the organization on the SKAT list of charitable foundations, associations and institutions.

These include the Islamic Faith Society, Rinzai Zen Buddhist Society and many other associations of foreign or religious flavor.  But it's not important, says Karsten Lauritzen.  Even if the organization has a religious basis, it's still based on the Danish democratic view and people learn something from it, he says.

The Danish People's Party think differently, and don't think it count to actively participate in religious organizations.

Integration spokesperson Peter Skaarup told Newspaq that its' completely clear that they will be aware of this when they work on the bill next week.  You can't me a board member of the Islamic Faith Society and get 15 points, he says, and guarantees that they won't support that.

In additional to organizational work, foreigners have a possibility to go to college. It's a good idea, says Karsten Lauritsen (V).

He says that you go to college with other Danes and learn something about the other students they spend their time with.  If you volunteer to go to Africa for three months, you could then work for the association for 9 months to reach the 12 months of active citizenship.

Karsten Lauritzen does admit that there might be loopholes that applicants could exploit.

He says that naturally there are some holes where you could exploit the system, because it should be simple and easy for the authorities to administer. You can't be sure that the system can't be abused in any way and at the same time have a non-bureaucratic system - the two sadly don't go together, he says.

Source: Avisen (Danish)

No comments: