And again there is reason to celebrate: On the eve of my return to Australia, I have regained my birthright and am again a Danish citizen.
Those of you who have followed my blog will know that I have longed for being recognised again as Danish, after losing my Danish citizenship when I became an Australian.
Dual citizenship was not allowed by Danish law, but last year a committee reported on its investigation into the issues associated with permitting dual citizenship. In June 2014, a multi-party agreement was struck to support dual citizenship. in December 2014, the Danish Parliament changed that when passing a law to permit dual citizenship. I was excited that the law included a clause that permitted former Danish citizens to regain their birthright. These laws came into effect on 1 September and on that day I submitted my application.
When I next heard from (Statsforvaltningen (Internal Affairs department) who was determining my application, it was with a request to prove that I had, in fact, lost my Danish citizenship. This flappergasted me slightly: That same department had in January 2015 issued a residence card based on family unification with my British citizen husband, who under EU rules easily got permission to stay. No matter, I sent my Australian citizenship certificate. I had my son in Brisbane find and scan it, so I could submit it: It is not something you carry on you at all times, believe me.
Then, exactly two months after the department received my application, they granted it and sent the certificate.
So I hurriedly went to Borgerservice (citizen service), cleverly located at the local library, to lodge my application for my Danish passport. I got commendable service there and my application is now submitted and due to be delivered to the Danish Consul in Brisbane in two to three weeks. No more being permitted to stay in Denmark only as a spouse of an EU citizen. No more waiting in the long, long non-EU queue in Europe. No more feeling like a second class citizen in my mother country. Yes to freedom to come and go in Denmark as a Dane.
To some, it may just be a piece of paper, but to me it means the world. It is like I am whole again. I have lived half my life in Denmark and the other half in Australia and I was starting to think that I did not deserve to feel Danish anymore, even though the feeling has intensified the older I get.
I thank my case manager at Statsforvaltningen for the speedy – and timely – resolution. And thank to the good people in Borgerservice at Copenhagen library in Krystalgade for excellent and competent service.
Achieving this is like crossing the proper finishing line on my otherwise so successful gap year. Thank you!