I am a British citizen, so it's fairly urgent (considering Brexit). I was getting everything ready to apply for EU residency through the self-sufficiency option. Then I found out that I should have applied for this within 3 months of arriving in Denmark. I feel stupid, but I thought this applied to non-EU citizens.

I think I have overstayed over a year. I feel a lot of anxiety and guilt about it and don't know the best way to deal with it. I can't return to the UK and come back in a few weeks because of Covid restrictions.

The document requires me to put a date of entry. It doesn't say I need to provide proof but I assume they might ask for it. I am wondering whether to call and ask what my options are and admit that I have overstayed. However, I feel very concerned about what the punishment might be for overstaying as an EU citizen. I can only find examples for non-EU citizens overstaying.

I looked here. They explain about the 3-month rule but don't mention any consequences or what to do, what will happen, if you have spent longer than 3 months before applying.

According to this EU website:

In some EU countries, failure to report your presence might result in a fine, but you cannot be expelled just for this.

I should add that while I have been in Denmark I have not claimed benefits, used any services etc.

Does Denmark impose fines for EU citizens overstaying? And if so, how much might this be? Will it be a matter for police?

Will this overstay be a problem for me applying for residency?


1 Answer 1


The way EU law is structured, EU citizens cannot really “overstay” and technicalities like that should not have an incidence on your right to reside in another EU country. Think of it as being late on some paperwork rather than overstaying, that would be closer to the truth. If registering is mandatory (as it is in Denmark) and the host state wants to apply sanctions, EU law specifies that you would at most be liable to “proportionate and non-discriminatory sanctions”.

In particular, “non-discriminatory” means that failure to register should be handled the same way a failure to complete some formalities in time would be handled for a Danish citizen. I could not find any details regarding Denmark but in other countries, this ranges between no sanction at all and a fine on the order of €500 (again, similar to the fine that can be applied when locals fail to report a change of address in countries where that's mandatory).

Beyond that, lying on an official form is typically a bad idea, I would recommend writing the actual date of entry in the form.

  • I believe the answer would be improved by using "Danish citizen" instead of "local" in the first sentence of the second paragraph.
    – phoog
    Nov 11, 2020 at 17:19

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