Minister abandons agreed green card revisions
Liberal immigration minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech has quietly postponed a tightening of the rules for the green card scheme – without informing the other two parties who were part of the agreement, according Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
In September, business organisations and several politicians had criticised Hornbech when it was revealed that, in July, she had toughened the green card scheme – again, without notifying the other agreement parties. Following this change, the green card scheme gave applicants only an 18-month residency period instead of the prior three years.
But a ministry publication dated 14 October indicated that those coming to Denmark through the scheme are again eligible for three years’ residency.
A green card allows foreigners to come to Denmark to work even if they have not secured a job in advance.
The toughening of the scheme’s rules was backed strongly by the right-wing Danish People’s Party (DF), which is now demanding an explanation from Hornbech over the changes.
‘We backed the agreement because we wanted a toughening of the scheme,’ said Peter Skaarup, DF’s integration spokesman.
‘The vast majority of those seeking green cards disappear, don’t use the cards or work unskilled jobs. We need more control of the green card scheme and I don’t believe we’ve heard the last word on the debate,’ he added.
Hornbech had not commented on the recent changes as of Tuesday morning or why they were made.