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Supreme Court of Denmark

Rejection of application for family reunification 

Case no. 173/2009
Judgment 19. March 2010
 

A
vs
The Ministry of Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs

Rejection of application for family reunification

A was born in China in 1992. Her parents were divorced in 1998. Shortly after the divorce, A went to live permanently with her paternal grandparents. In 2001, A's father married a Danish citizen and was, thus, granted a residence permit in Denmark in 2002. That same year he moved to Denmark with A's older brother.
In 2007, A applied for a residence permit. The Danish Immigration Service's rejection was upheld by the Ministry of Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs that same year.
The application for family reunification was submitted after the expiry of the two-year deadline stipulated in S. 9(13), second sentence, of the Danish Aliens Act. It follows from S. 9(13), first sentence, that a residence permit can only be issued if the applicants have or are able to obtain such ties with Denmark that there is a basis for successful integration in Denmark. However, this does not apply "if exceptional reasons make it inappropriate, including regard for family unity".        
The Supreme Court stated that the hearing pursuant to S. 63 of the Danish Constitutional Act of the Ministry's decision to reject the application for family reunification must be based on the applicant's circumstances at the time of the Ministry's decision, and that no regard can be had to the ties with Denmark which she may have otherwise obtained subsequently.
The Supreme Court stated that rejection of a residence permit under S. 9(13), first sentence, of the Aliens Act does not require that it must be considered that the reason for the application for a residence permit only being submitted after the expiry of the two-year deadline was that the child's parents want "the child to be brought up in accordance with the culture and customs of the native country and not be influenced by Danish standards and values".
The Supreme Court held that the specific information on which the Ministry had based its decision was factual and adequate and did not find reason to set aside the Ministry's discretionary assessment of whether A had or was able to obtain such ties with Denmark that there was a basis for successful integration in this country.
Referring to the facts that A was 14½ years of age at the time of application and had previously only lived with her grandparents in China, and notwithstanding the fact that A could not live with her mother, the Supreme Court did not set aside the Ministry's assessment that there were no exceptional reasons that would allow derogation from the conditions provided in S. 9(13), first sentence.  
The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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