If a child enters Denmark alone and applies for asylum, the child is called an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker. An unaccompanied minor asylum seeker has special rights and as a result a different set of guidelines will apply for the processing of her or his asylum application.
An unaccompanied minor asylum seeker can obtain a residence permit as a refugee in Denmark based on the same provisions that apply for adult asylum seekers. In addition, unaccompanied minor asylum seekers can, according to the Danish Aliens Act Article 9c, Section 3, be granted certain special residence permits applicable only to unaccompanied minors.
Pursuant to the Danish Aliens Act Article 9c, Section 3, subsection 1, an unaccompanied minor can be granted a temporary residence permit due to lack of maturity – but only until such time as the Immigration authorities assess that the child is sufficiently mature to go through the asylum procedure.
If the application for asylum is refused, a child may be granted a temporary residence permit pursuant to the Danish Alien Act, Article 9c, Section 3, subsection 2, if the Danish authorities assess that the child will be exposed to a actual emergency situation if returned to the country of origin, due to the absence of any network or family and of appropriate care facilities. Such a permit can only be prolonged until the child turns 18 years old.
An unaccompanied minor can be granted a residence permit pursuant to the Danish Aliens Act, § 9c Section 1 (special circumstances) if the child has previously had a residence permit and if special circumstances apply – for example, if the child’s attachment to Denmark is considered stronger than to the country of origin, or if the child needs special support pursuant to the Danish Social Service Law to be able to function physically and mentally.