How can a Canadian stay in Scandanavia?
August 24, 2016 2:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm a Canadian currently living on Copenhagen, Denmark, and my job is about to end. I want to stay here, but I don't know how best navigate the legal stuff and the logistics. Complications ensue, naturally.

My (academic) job ends at the end of August and with it, my work permit (which was specific to the job). I am allowed to stay for six more months, a time which I would like to use to find another (hopefully permanent!) job.

Now, obviously this requires money. Copenhagen is expensive, after all. I have in the past year started dating a woman who lives across the Øresund and who is happy to support me until I can find more permanent work, including letting me live with her until we can find someone to hire me somewhere else.

So here come the questions:

1) How does this work in terms of residence? If she lived in Denmark, this would be easy. I would move in with her, list that as my residence, and continue trying to find work. However, she lives in Sweden, and while I'm hoping to find work in Copenhagen, I'd also be happy to work in Malmö or Lund area. But in the meantime, what can I do about residence? We've considered applying for a Sambo visa, but this requires me to apply from my country of residence... hence our problem, since it isn't completely clear that I would be living in Denmark at the time.

2) Would it be problematic if I was able to list a friend's residence here in Denmark (with their permission) as my own, while essentially living with her in Sweden? When I phrase it that way, I admit that I get a little uncomfortable with the idea.
posted by vernondalhart to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would it be possible for you to move across the Oresund to Sweden and commute into Denmark every day? You can do this by effectively exercising EU freedom of movement rights, which guarantee freedom of movement within the EU for EU citizens (e.g. a Dane in Sweden) and, crucially, their family. So if she is your partner, then you could do it this way. You may have to demonstrate a degree of commitment though (not -necessarily- marriage - this can vary from country to country - but this seems like a reasonable course of action).

You may want to read this blog on the relevant EU directive (and for more background...)

See also: the Surinder Singh route (used a lot by Brits with non-EU partners in Ireland) which uses the same directive.

See also: Bridge of Love.
posted by plep at 2:59 AM on August 24, 2016

Ironically, free movement may make it easier for you to live with a Dane in Sweden than with a Dane in Denmark....

Solvit (EU Commission service) if you run into problems.
posted by plep at 3:00 AM on August 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

(Re-reading the question I realise that I made an assumption that your friend/partner is a Dane living in Sweden; I now see that you didn't actually state that. So apologies if this isn't actually applicable).
posted by plep at 4:39 AM on August 24, 2016

Response by poster: Yeah, my partner is an American with permanent residency living in Sweden.
posted by vernondalhart at 5:37 AM on August 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ok, so likely no free movement rights then (as nonEU - unless she naturalises). This does change things a bit. Swedish immigration rules for families and partners are some way more liberal than Denmark's though - Danish rules are actually very strict. So that may also be worth looking into.
posted by plep at 12:25 PM on August 24, 2016

I've found both the Danish and Swedish immigration departments to be really helpful, like startlingly helpful (I'm nonEU and live in Denmark and work in Sweden). So I'd suggest you read up on the rules on their websites (which you probably have already) then contact one or both of them directly. You probably need to work our your specific questions, but e.g. the one about where to live when applying for SAMBO should be answerable. Even for more general stuff they should be able to point you in the right direction.

I would probably go in person to the Immigration Service Centre in Copenhagen, but I've also had a lot of useful information and interactions by phone and email with the Swedish counterpart (including general questions without my personal identifying info). For Sweden I found phone more productive than in person because I was forwarded to the exact right person. They told me that it's always better to call in the morning FWIW.

Normally you can go where you want between Sweden and Denmark in those six months. The reason why I'd at least look into the rules more deeply now is the border controls. Technically they're supposed to check that you have ID and the right to be there every time when you go into Sweden now. In practise my experience is that as long as you have a valid passport you very rarely get asked for more. I've had to show my residence permit three times in six months of traveling five days per week, and even then showing the Danish one works just as well as showing the Swedish one. Personally I do it too often to take any risks, but most of the time they don't care at all where I live or work, just that my passport isn't expired.
posted by shelleycat at 12:37 AM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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