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The Things I Do Double: Thoughts on Denmark’s offer of Double Citizenship

By Kay Xander Mellish

There was big news this week for foreigners in Denmark.  It looks double citizenship will soon be permitted.  Previously, if you wanted to be a Danish citizen, you had to give up citizenship in your home country. Meanwhile Danes who had moved abroad, say to the US or Australia, and became citizens there had to give up their Danish citizenship. There’s now been a proposal to get rid of all that.  It hasn’t been finally approved, but all the Danish parties say they’ll vote for it, with the exception of our anti-foreigner friends in the Danish People’s Party. Now having been here for 14 years, I will probably apply for Danish citizenship.  I realize I’ll have to do a lot of studying about Danish history, and learn things like the difference between King Christian the Fourth and King Christian the Seventh.  But that’s true of any country.  I’m sure people wanting to be American citizens have to learn the difference between, say, George Washington and George Bush. I want to be a Danish citizen for a lot of different reasons.  Right now, my ‘permanent’ residence permit expires if I’m out of the country for more than a year.  That could easily happen if I travel, or have a family crisis back in the US. Also my daughter has no rights here.  She was born here, and has only lived here, but she has no residence rights here, or right to attend university here.  Under the current law, she’d have to apply for a Danish residence permit when she turns 18, and there’s no guarantee she’d get it.  If I’m a double citizen, she can become a double citizen.  And if she’s a double citizen, it means she can hold the Danish flag in her girls marching band.  Right now she’s not allowed. Most importantly, I’ve been paying Danish taxes for 14 years, and I want a say in how those taxes are spent.  I want to vote.

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