Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Denmark: Plan to Rewrite Law on Visa Procedures

(Jan. 17, 2012) Denmark's Justice Minister Morten Bødskov recently made it known to a Danish newspaper that the government is planning to revise a 2011 law that changed procedures for requesting visas. While no visa is required for citizens of nations in the Schengen region to visit other countries in the region, including Denmark, the new law meant that Schengen nations could not process Danish visas for nationals of other countries. The 2011 law, citing security needs, requires that all applications for visas be processed in Copenhagen; Finland, France, and Germany have refused to follow this procedure, and the Netherlands is considering joining them. (Government Looking to Renew Visa Agreements, THE COPENHAGEN POST (Jan. 12, 2012); Jennifer Buley, Diplomatic Dispute Costs Denmark 27 Consulates, THE COPENHAGEN POST (Jan. 10, 2012).)

Commenting on the matter, Bødskov stated that Denmark “is working on an amendment that will allow our Schengen partners to once again process visa applications for Denmark.” (Government Looking to Renew Visa Agreements, supra.)

The law had an additional impact, because when some nations refused to follow the new procedures, Denmark cancelled the agreements under which it had joined with those other nations to cooperatively establish consulates located in small, third nations, effectively closing those offices in more than two dozen countries. It is feared that this action, by making it virtually impossible for some foreigners to apply for Danish visas, could have an adverse impact on tourism and commerce. (Buley, supra.)

Eric Bosc of the Foreign Ministry of France complained about the 2011 change, stating:

our Danish friends don't want to let us make the decisions … . They want to have the cases forwarded to them, so that they can say yes or no. That procedure is too work-intensive for us to handle. We would like to help Denmark, but we have to follow the existing rules. Our view is that you either respect the common rules for the procedures, or else you find another possibility. (Id.)

Bødskov stated that, for its part, Denmark viewed the issue as a technical matter and that he expected the cooperative agreements with other nations to be reinstated. (Id.)