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Citizenship

Danish nationality can be acquired in various ways; here you can read about how to become a Danish national.

There is no difference between nationality and citizenship. The words mean the same. 

Danish nationality can be acquired in one of the following ways:

  • Automatically at birth
  • Automatically if the parents marry after the child's birth
  • Automatically if a person is adopted as a child under 12 years of age
  • By declaration for nationals of another Nordic country
  • By naturalisation, that is, by statute


It is your parents' nationality which determines whether you become a Danish national at birth. Detailed provisions are provided in the Danish Nationality Act. The Act in force at the time of your birth determines the relevant rules applicable to you.

If your natural parents were married at your birth, you acquired Danish nationality if you were born:

  • before 1 January 1979 and your father is a Danish national; or
  • on or after 1 January 1979 and your mother or father is a Danish national.

If your natural parents were not married at your birth, you acquired Danish nationality if:

  • your mother is a Danish national, regardless of your date of birth; or
  • only your father is a Danish national, and you were born in Denmark on or after 1 February 1999.

So, if your mother is a foreign national and your father is a Danish national, and you were either born before 1 February 1999 or born abroad, you are not a Danish national. However, if your parents subsequently marry, you will acquire Danish nationality with effect from the date of the marriage.

According to section 1 of the current Nationality Act, a child automatically acquires Danish nationality at birth if the parents are married and either the father or the mother is a Danish national. This applies no matter where in the world the child is born.

If the child's parents are not married at the birth, the child automatically acquires Danish nationality if born to a Danish mother. If the mother is a foreigner and the father is a Danish national, the child will only acquire Danish nationality if born in Denmark. If the child is born abroad, the child has to apply for Danish nationality by naturalisation.

 

Nationality through parents' marriage after birth

If a child of a Danish father and a foreign mother does not acquire Danish nationality at birth, the child will automatically acquire Danish nationality if the natural parents marry after the child's birth. This applies even if the parents are later legally separated or divorced.

It is also a condition that the child is under 18 years of age, has not married and did not acquire Danish nationality at birth.

Please see the website of the Danish Immigration Service for further information about Danish citizenship. On their website it is also possible to find a link to the current Nationality Act and all information necessary for citizenship through naturalization.