Sunday, February 06, 2011

Batzul vs Danish Immigration Service


I have spent my Tsagaan Sar [Mongolian New Year] fighting against the Danish Immigration Service. I even forgot to do the morning 'muruu gargah' rituals and i ran straight to school! Felt terrible, cursing the Danish Immigration Service, I have managed to do the morning rituals the next day. I am not superstitious nor religious, but i just do it nevertheless.

PASSPORT EXTENSION - CHECK! BUT VISA - WHAT?

Lets get back to my case. Well, the thing is: i'm refusing to pay 1,600DKK to the Danish Immigration Service, which is equivalent to a USD 291,481, to extend my student visa. My visa was already given to me for my whole bachelors. The permit for my bachelors was given a shorter period of time due to my expiration date of my passport.

I went to Stockholm, Sweden, to extend my passport this January, since there was no Mongolian Embassy nor Consulate in Denmark. The newly established Mongolian Embassy in Stockholm is the one and only place, in the whole Scandinavian countries, where you can extend your passport or deal with visa and other problems. Everything was delightful and marvelous, the sun was shining and the morning was a 'GOOD MORNING' till the Immigration Service Representative started explaining how the rules regarding the immigration system changed, and started showing me the files of fees i have to pay in order to apply for an extension. The sun stopped shining immediately and the clouds prevailed the beautiful blue sky.


FEES FROM 2011 JANUARY 1.

The rules regarding the extension policy has changed in Denmark since January 1, 2011. I was certain that i would be exempted from this fee, since i had a contract explaining why i was given a shorter period of time. However, the Danish Immigration Service still demanded me to pay the fee, when i already had paid all the fees and proofs needed to get a permit for my whole bachelors two years ago before i came here. Why should i pay again? I will definitely pay for an extension for my masters, but i will NOT, and yes, i REFUSE to pay again for my bachelors.

Also, they kindly warned me that if i fail to pay/apply before the expiration date, i will be forced out of Denmark even if i am not finished studying my bachelors.

It seemed like the Danish Immigration Service has become a profit seeking place, because these fees do not guarantee that you will get the permit, so a lot of migrants and international students/wives/relatives are rejected and they apply over and over again to get a chance to live with their loved ones or study for a good degree. The enquiries for extension are always: whether you have paid enough tax and worked non-stop during your stay in Denmark or not.

I have talked to my University of Copenhagen's International Secretariat about this matter, but she explained no matter how sad and unfortunate the situation has become, the institute has no power over this matter. She wished me the very best of luck on a fight against the Immigration Office.

EXAMPLE 1

There are many examples of rejected applicants. A Chinese student, for instance, studying with a scholarship at RUC for her masters, got rejected because she had not worked enough during her studies. She explained how she couldn't work full time, while she was studying literally full-time. Plus the working permit she has on her visa, clearly states that, internationals are only allowed to work 15 hours per week! So why should she work full time?

Nevertheless she is applying once again for the residence permit, since her boyfriend is Danish, and she would like to work and stay longer in Denmark. She is paying 3,350DKK now twice.

She has studied in Denmark for 5 years; speaks perfect Danish; and has an excellent grades and an outstanding performances. Danish Expat studies always show that they need a lot of high skilled internationals, but why reject the highly skilled internationals that are already studying here in Denmark?

EXAMPLE 2

An Afghan translator who has served the Danish military for a number of years continues to be denied residency in DK. 22 year old Barialai Hassanzai returns to Afghanistan to act as a civilian interpreter for Danish troops in the dangerous Helmand province after again having had an application for permanent residency in DK turned down because he doesn't live up to the requirements of 'active citizenship' that requires at least 12 months participation in organization, social projects etc. He came to DK as a 13 year old in 2002 to be reunified with his mother who fled Afghanistan three years earlier. His mother and three younger siblings have all been granted residency, but now with the new strict rules of 2010, he is been rejected yet again. His comments were: 'i put my life on the line by helping Danish soldiers yet the Danish state continues to reject me'. The immigration service said sorry, but they explained how they have followed the correct procedure in the application process.

A LAWYER WHO SPEAKS ON BEHALF OF ME

Internationals are not the only people who think this point system is ridiculous. Some Danes think it is right, but some think it is absurb, ludicrous, and unrealistic. I have an advocate, whose hourly wage is 3000DKK per hour, helping me fight against the Danish Immigration Service FOR FREE; because she thinks and agrees that it is unacceptable that i am being charged when i have a contract that says i should get the visa immediately as soon as i extend my passport.

Pretty funny, isn't it? A lawyer that cost 3,000DKK an hour is helping me fight a case of worth 1,600DKK. LOL :D I am very fortunate and grateful that i am getting such a generous help.

DANISH IMMIGRATION SERVICE

Politicians are debating and talking about abolishing this point systems, but somehow Pia Kjærsgaards and Danish Folks Party always seem to brainwash people with her/their nationalistic points. For instance, this morning's front page of Berlingske newspaper stated that it takes 16,000,000,000DKK to take care of immigrants in Denmark, which is equivalent or close to the early retirement amount. Danes will clearly fuss and respond to this brainwashing big amount.

The question is: will Internationals, highly skilled or not, would like to stay and work here, after all this unwelcoming attitude?


I'll keep you posted regarding my case. Till then cross your fingers and wish me luck! And HAPPY NEW RABBIT YEAR, my dear Mongolians!

Best,
B

4 comments:

  1. Well, Dear BZ,

    We have no rights over protesting and refusing the rules and laws that implemented by the hosting country. We are international students and from the day one we stepped on the foreign soil you have agreed to comply with all the rules and laws. It is ok to complain, but remember we have not much of rights here. So I see the complaining and criticizing part also waste of time and effort

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  2. Oh my godness. What an expensive fee.. I live in Seoul as a graduate student. Here int'l students pay 50$ once in year for extension visa. I think the Korean government tries to attract a lot of foreigners. So they don't change their immigration rules. Some changes regarding to immigration provide more convinience for foreigners. It is an unbelievable that you wrote.

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  3. why did you go to Denmark in the first place??

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  4. She wished me the very best of luck on a fight against the Immigration Office......this is Danish culture, and also sometimes it is unbelievable how they can be the happiest people in the world!

    Vejle,Uugii

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