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Supreme Court of Denmark

Residence permit for unaccompanied asylum-seeking child 
15-02-2013 

Case no. 75/2011
 

Judgment delivered on 15 February 2013.

A
vs.
The Ministry of Justice (previously the Ministry of Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs)

The immigration authorities' refusal of application for a residence permit for an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child upheld

A entered Denmark as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child in November 2005. A was originally from Afghanistan. In 2006, the immigration authorities refused A's application for asylum. Subsequently, A's application for a residence permit pursuant to s. 9c(3), no. 2, of the Danish Aliens Act was also refused. The immigration authorities did not find that he would in fact be placed in an emergency situation on return to his country of origin. A brought the case before the courts claiming that the refusal of his application should be rescinded or that his case should be reopened. A submitted that the decisions were made on a wrong or incomplete basis, particularly as the authorities had not searched for his family in his country of origin in accordance with s. 56a(8) of the Aliens Act.

The Supreme Court did not find that it is a condition for the immigration authorities' decision under s. 9c(3), no. 2, of the Act that they have initiated a search for an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child's parents or other family members. In addition, the immigration authorities are not obliged to defer a decision on whether to grant a residence permit pending the outcome of a search initiated by the child. The Supreme Court found no basis for setting aside the Ministry's assessment that A would not in fact be placed in an emergency situation on return to his country of origin. The authorities had not acted in contravention of Denmark's international obligations. For that reason, the Supreme Court gave judgment in favour of the Ministry.

The Supreme Court, thus, reached the same conclusion as the High Court.

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