Legal Letters, June 2006
Advisers at Dansk Flygtningehjælp answer your questions about asylum and the law.
· Nordea bank has refused to open an account saying that they have received strict instruction not to open a bank account for an asy lum seeker. Is it a new law issued by the Danish parlia ment or there is another authority for issuing laws concerning asylum seekers?
I have contacted Nordea’s head office and talked to a legal adviser. He could inform me that there is no law saying that you – as an asylum seeker – can not open a bank account in Nordea. Nordea, however, needs to receive docu mentation regarding your address for example and there are also cer tain limits regarding loans and other forms of services provided to you. Therefore, I will advice you to con tact your bank again and inform them of this.
· Isn’t funny that Min istry of Integration and Immigration advise an advocate in a letter that the Immigration Service didn’t answer them yet after 9 months and as soon as they have an answer they will contact him? Can we charge the Danish authorities for keeping us waiting for a long?
There can be many reasons why the processing of an application for asylum or a humanitarian residence permit takes a long time. There is no upper limit as to how long time it can take the Danish authorities to process a claim for asylum or a humanitarian stay. The authori ties might for example need to gather information or process new information that might have come to their attention. However, you should of course know why your case has been prolonged. I therefore advice you to contact the relevant authorities and ask them what is happening in your case.
· My teeth and mouth are infected and it is get ting worse and worse, I can not eat other than liquid food. Dentist recom mended quick treatment and surgery. The Immigra tion Service didn’t like the dentist’s quotation. They are negotiating with the center for months. What should I do?
Anyone staying in Denmark as an asylum seeker is entitled to receive medical attention if it is urgent and necessary. It is the Immigra tion Service that decides whether operation or other medical treat ment is needed for. I do not know the precise details in your case but I will advice you to contact the staff at the asylum center where you are staying and ask for further docu mentation regarding your medical condition and send these documents to the Immigration Service.
· I have a stateless Pal estinian friend with a per manent residence in Czech Republic. Does he need a visa to Denmark?
Whether your friend is allowed to travel to Denmark on a visit depends among other things on what kind of residence permit he has. The rules regarding visas and visits to other European states are regulated by the EU. I will therefore advice your friend to contact the Immigration authorities in the Czech Republic or the Danish Embassy in Prague for advice.
· Does the Danish law allows forcibly deportation of asylum seekers, with out any assurances that the recipient country will allow serious and inde pendent monitoring of the respect of their fundamen tal human rights as pre scribed by the UN Refugee Convention?
The Danish authorities have a duty to secure that a person is not send to a country where his or her life would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, member ship of a particular social group or political opinion, in other words well founded fear of persecution. Furthermore, Denmark cannot send a person to a country where he or she faces a death penalty, risk of being subjected to torture or other degrading or inhumane treatment or punishment, or risk of being returned to a country where there is a risk of being subjected to the above mentioned treatment or pun ishment.
· We are a rejected Iraqi family. It’s our 8th year in Denmark. Is there any Danish law considering the long staying time to grant a residence in Denmark?
I understand that 8 years is a very long time to stay in Denmark as rejected asylum seekers. However, since it is the opinion of the Danish authorities that Iraqis can return to Iraq if they wish there are no prospects of receiving a residence permit in Denmark – even if you have stayed here for 8 years. It is only in cases where a rejected asylum seeker has worked with and helped the police in returning home and this still hasn’t been possible for more than 18 months that the asylum seeker has the possibility of receiving a temporary residence permit – and yet it is dependent on an evaluation of the prospects of a future deportation by the police.
· I am cooperating with police in my deportation for more than 22 months and receiving no financial support. I eat at Avnstrup and receive no money at all. I have contacted Immi gration Service, police.
In 2005 the Danish government implemented new regulations for the payment of cash allowances to asylum seekers directed at those asylum seekers who do not live up to the obligations required by the immigration law. The programme is primarily intended for cases where asylum seekers have received final rejections of their applications for Danish residence permits, have not left the country by the date ordered, and who are not willing to leave the country. It is possible for the Immi gration Service to remove an asy lum seeker from the food allowance program if they choose to cooperate with police on their departure. It is difficult for me to comment on your specific case but I can tell you that in principle, if you are a rejected asylum seeker and you are cooper ating fully with the Danish authori ties on your departure you should receive allowance. I will therefore advise you to appeal the decision to the Ministry of Integration and if possible to include documentation stating that you are cooperating, ex. signed papers from the police.
Have you got any questions?
Write to: New Times c/o Red Cross House H. C. Ørstedsvej 47, 1879 Frederiksberg C Or email us at: newtimesdk@ gmail.com Please feel free to ask your questions anonymously.
You can also contact: Dansk Flygtningehjælp Legal Councelling Unit Asylum Department Borgergade 10 Postbox 53 1002 København K
www.flygtingehjælp.dk Email: email@example.com Free legal counselling for asy- lum seekers every Wednesday from 13:00 – 15:00 You need to present your ques- tions in Danish or English.