What are quota refugees?

Since 1979, Denmark has run a permanent resettlement program. Resettled refugees are often called quota refugees, because for many years Denmark had a fixed quota for how many refugees could be resettled to Denmark. Quota refugees accepted by Denmark receive a residence permit in accordance with Article 8 of the Danish Aliens Act. 

Refugees recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) may be nominated by the UNHCR for resettlement in countries not their own. Refugees are usually resettled from countries that have received many refugees but are not able to offer them long-term solutions to their situation. 

In 2017, the Danish Parliament decided that it should be up to the Minister for Integration to decide annually whether Denmark would accept quota refugees. In the period from 2016 to 2018 Denmark did not receive any quota refugees. Since 2019, Denmark has again accepted quota refugees, albeit to a lesser extent than before.  

It is the UNHCR that decides who should be nominated for resettlement, and it is the UNHCR that decides to which country a refugee should be nominated for resettlement.