For refugees - Who is eligible for support?

If you are a refugee and have a residence permit in Denmark due to war and persecution in your home country (Sections 7(1), 7(2) and 8 of the Danish Aliens Act), you can apply for financial support for a permanent return to your home country. Refugees with a humanitarian residence permit (Section 9 b of the Danish Aliens Act) can also receive support under the law, and residents via family reunification with refugees (Section 9 c of the Danish Aliens Act) can also apply.

You cannot receive support to return home if you have become a Danish citizen.


A big decision 
As a refugee, you must consider many things before deciding to return to your home country – for example, whether it is safe to return and whether it will affect your mental state.

It is also important to consider your future subsistence, housing, education, medical treatment options, etc. – and whether you have family or a personal network in your home country that can help you build your life anew. If you have children, it is also important to consider their future – particularly if they were born in Denmark and have never previously lived in the country they will be moving to.


Right of cancellation
Refugees who return to their former home country with financial support under the Repatriation Act have the opportunity to cancel their decision and return to Denmark within 12 months from the time of departure – this is referred to as the right of cancellation.

The right of cancellation also applies for individuals with residence in Denmark through family reunification with a refugee in Denmark – but only if the person leaves Denmark, and returns to Denmark, together with the person who has a residence permit as a refugee in Denmark.

The rules governing the right of cancellation can be difficult to understand. Contact us for more information if you want to know if you are also entitled to this right of cancellation.


Can the right of cancellation be extended?
In certain cases, the right of cancellation can be extended to apply for 24 months. An application for extension must be submitted approximately 3 months before the expiration of the first year’s right of cancellation. There is no application form, but a letter must be submitted containing the main reasons that the applicant requires an additional year to make his or her final decision. The Danish Immigration Service will then notify the applicant whether the right of cancellation has been extended.

Applications for extension must be sent by standard mail to:

   The Danish Immigration Service, 
   Ryesgade 53, 
   2100 Copenhagen Ø
   Denmark

The application can also be sent by e-mail to bortfald@us.dk.


Support is granted to those who need it
As with other social benefits in Denmark, your right to support for a return home will be assessed according to your financial situation. This means that you can only receive support if you do not have the financial means to pay for the move to your home country. You do not automatically gain the right to financial support by giving up your residence permit.

The municipality will conduct an assessment of your finances to determine your eligibility for support. The following factors are considered in this assessment:

  • Personal savings
  • Property – both in Denmark and your home country 
  • Car
  • Pension savings and ATP disbursement

The municipality can reject your application for support if you have more than a certain amount in assets – for example, if you sell your car and withdraw your pension savings. You are allowed to have DKK 50,000 if you are single and DKK 100,000 if you are married. If you have more than these amounts in assets, the municipality can reject your application for support or withhold a portion of the repatriation allowance.


Financial support
If the municipality assesses that you are eligible for financial support under the Repatriation Act, the support can include:

  • Travel expenses: A one-way ticket to your home country or former country of residence. In special cases, the municipality may cover the cost of a round trip ticket for a companion if the person returning is elderly, ill or in poor health.
     
  • Transport of personal belongings (up to 2m³ per person).
     
  • Help with re-establishment in the home country (paid in two parts): 129.430 DKK per adult over 18 (51,772 DKK paid on departure and 77.658,510 DKK after 1 year in the home country). 39,473 DKK per child (15,789 DKK paid on departure and 23,684 DKK after 1 year in the home country).
     
  • Purchase and transport of business equipment (up to 14,984 DKK per adult and up to 19,353 DKK for transport).
     
  • Transport of business equipment already owned by the person returning home (up to 14,984 DKK).
     
  • Expenses for 1 year of health insurance in the home country (6,450 DKK) if no public health service exists in the country. In some cases, this amount can be paid in cash after 1 year.
     
  • Expenses to take 1 year’s supply of prescription drugs to your home country.
     
  • Expenses for transport of personal medical devices to your home country (up to 6,324 DKK) and for necessary vaccinations.


Does the recipient have to repay this financial support?
When exercising the right of cancellation, the municipality in Denmark can – in special cases – require repayment of the financial support granted in connection with the trip to the home country.


Ongoing financial support – reintegration support
Refugees who are unable to support themselves can also apply for ongoing monthly support. This support can be sought for a 5 year period or as a lifetime monthly benefit.

A number of conditions must be met in order to receive reintegration support:

  • The applicant must be at least 55 years old, or; be entitled to disability pension, or; be at least 50 years old and, due to personal health, unable to support himself/herself.
     
  • The applicant must have had a residence permit in Denmark for at least 5 years.

The amount of reintegration support also depends on whether you are married to a person who can receive his or her pension in the home country. If the applicant has received a residence permit before 1 July 2002, an additional special benefit may be granted.

The ongoing financial support totals: 

Group 1: 2,500 DKK per month for 5 years (or 2,000 DKK per month of lifetime support) in countries including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia and Vietnam.

Group 2:3,500 DKK per month for 5 years (or 2,800 DKK per month of lifetime support) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Lebanon

Group 3: 4,500 DKK per month for 5 years (or 3,600 DKK per month of lifetime support) in countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

The special additional benefit for applicants with a residence permit before 1 July 2002 is 1,000 DKK per month for 5 years or 800 DKK per month for life.


Individual counselling at The Danish Refugee Council 
If you are considering a return to your home country, you are eligible for an individual personal meeting with a counsellor from The Danish Refugee Council. The purpose of the meeting is to provide you with the best possible basis for making your decision. We will provide an interpreter for the meeting if you need it.

Choosing to speak with us about your options, thoughts and feelings does not mean that you must return to your home country, but that you are collecting the information you need to make your decision. After the meeting, you may freely decide that you want to stay in Denmark, that you need more time to make a decision, or that you wish to return home (repatriate).

If you would like a meeting with The Danish Refugee Council, you must complete an information form on our website. You can also print out an information form, complete it by hand and send it to us by standard mail (download - PDF).


Anonymous telephone counselling
The Danish Refugee Council also offers anonymous telephone counselling for refugees and immigrants regarding a return to their home country. This counselling is not as extensive as a personal meeting, nor can it substitute for such a meeting.

You are always welcome to call us and ask about anything relating to your thoughts about returning to your home country. You can also call for general information regarding available support, etc.