Business Immigration Law Newsletter: The vast majority of states allow dual nationality – indeed 90% of European citizens are entitled to dual nationality, provided, of course, that they comply with the relevant qualifying conditions of being granted citizenship.

Up until 1 September 2015, Denmark was, however, one of only six European states that did not allow dual nationality. Any Danish citizen living abroad wanting to be granted the nationality of their new country of residence would therefore have to relinquish his or her Danish citizenship in order to proceed with the naturalisation application. This was also the case for any foreign citizens living in Denmark: as Denmark did not allow dual nationality, they had to relinquish their original nationality before being eligible to obtain Danish citizenship and thereby a Danish passport.

This ban on dual (or, indeed, multiple) nationality ceased to apply with effect from 1 September 2015 when amendments to the Danish Nationality Act (lov om ændring af  dansk indfødsret) – which was passed by the Danish Parliament on 18 December 2014 – came into force.

Dual/multiple nationality allowed with effect from 1 September 2015 

The repeal of the ban on dual/multiple nationality came into force on 1 September 2015. The changes brought about by the amendments to the Nationality Act can be summarised as follows:

  • Anyone may be entitled to dual nationality
  • Anyone who has relinquished their Danish nationality will be able to reapply for Danish nationality within a five-year grace period
  • Foreign citizens residing in Denmark who apply for naturalisation (Danish citizenship) will no longer be required to relinquish their nationality of birth.

Impact on foreign citizens living in Denmark

Foreign citizens who apply for Danish nationality will no longer be required to relinquish their previous nationality before being granted Danish citizenship.

However, access to dual nationality is not decided by Danish law alone. Every country has its own laws on how an individual acquires citizenship and some countries do still not allow dual citizenship.

Impact on Danish citizens living abroad

Any former Danish citizens who have lost their Danish nationality by acquiring foreign nationality will now be able to reacquire their Danish nationality – although they must act within a five-year grace period. Certain qualifying conditions must be met.

Any Danish citizens born abroad will similarly lose their Danish nationality when reaching the age of 22 if they have never lived or stayed in Denmark and are unable to prove a “link” to Denmark.