What is asylum?

Getting asylum in Denmark means that an applicant is given a residence permit as a refugee and is thus protected from being sent back to their home country. An applicant can be granted asylum if they are at risk of persecution, torture, or other inhumane treatment in their home country.

The obligation not to send a person back to a home country where they are at risk of persecution, torture or other inhumane treatment follows from the United Nations (UN) Convention on Refugees, the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, to which Denmark has acceded and has incorporated in the Danish Aliens Act. 

In addition to the specific obligations under these conventions, all states are bound by the prohibition against refoulement. This means that a state, whether or not it has acceded to the above-named conventions, may not deport a person to a country where he or she risks persecution, torture, or other inhumane treatment. 

Before applicants can be granted refugee statusthey must apply for asylum with the Danish immigration authorities. Applicants can only obtain a residence permit as a refugee if they meet certain conditions, which are based on the definition of the UN Convention on Refugees as applied in Article 7 of the Danish Aliens Act. 

When applying for asylum, applicants are registered as asylum seekers with the Danish Immigration Service. It is the Danish Immigration Service and the Refugee Appeals Board which decide whether an asylum seeker is entitled to refugee status or not. 

If an asylum seeker has special needs, the authorities must take their situation into account during the processing of the asylum case. This applies, for example, to children who come to Denmark alone and seek asylum – so-called unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.