I Danmark Jeg Bor (In Denmark I Live)

The title of this post is taken and modified from Danish folksong “I Danmark er Jeg Født” (In Denmark I was born). Well, I wasn’t born here, but to any happiness feeling I have ever had, I should say that I am happy that I live in Denmark.

And these are some moments, plus the drama :P, before my residence permit was being granted:

In August 2, 2012, I submitted my resident permit application to Danish state administration (after waited during crazy hours at International Citizen Office in Copenhagen). My husband and I would not eventually live in Norway as he has to continue study in Copenhagen. My application, however, is not based on regular immigration law. It was based on EU (European Union) free mobility as I am married to a Norwegian citizen (EEA/EU country members). I remember on the submission day, the staff at the state administration told me that as a third national (non Danish and non-EU) I had to wait up to 6 months before my case dissolved. Six months! yahh he said six months. It is unfortunate to the fact of Indonesia’s lack of participation in many important global legal partnership has caused many bottleneck in processing time for its citizens (for example, it is not part of the Den Hague Apostille  agreement which allows any legal documents to be recognized and accepted among member countries). So, from August onward (I was in Estonia and Canada for projects) I had to sleep in pain, often dreaming that I would get deported if my resident permit application was being rejected.

In late August, on a distanced phone call from Estonia to Denmark, I was crying to my husband to contact the state administration, confirming if proofs of money requirement he submitted for us (and technically as a guarantee of my stay in Denmark) were enough. I was so afraid from being sent back as a refusal from Indonesian government to my marriage which was not done under any acknowledged religions’ law and ceremony there will permit the condition of me not being able to renew my civil status on my ID card, which is the key to most state service (a.k.a shitty reality). Denmark required around 6,000 kronor per person per month as a proof of living cost, and I guessed my husband managed to ensure my case worker that his account was enough for this requirement.

Landed from Montreal, Canada, and handed in Schengen visa to prove my entry to the Danish immigration staff, I was jet lag…tired…and time zone confused. My husband called me when I was dizzy dragging my suitcase at Kastrup airport, Copenhagen. I thought he was just wondering where I was, but his call was a change in my life. September 8 and the sky was grey in Copenhagen. It was raining too, a bit. I guessed I had missed summer in Denmark. Despite this mood of weather, my mood stayed in summer at the peak of sun shine because MY RESIDENT PERMIT IS FINALLY GRANTED. I now legally stay in Denmark and bore the status, right, and responsibility as an EU resident. I couldn’t wait to rush home to read the actual paper from the state department.

Here I was, in front of our small studio room we rent in Brønshøj, Copenhagen Area. I run to hug my husband and grabbed the letter on his hand. It was even more lovely that I was being granted a resident permit UNTIL 2017 and after staying in Denmark for 5 consecutive years I could obtain certificate of permanent resident as an EU citizen. September 8 is the most beautiful day in my life. I felt like the most liberated person in the world. Indeed.

So what’s now?

Plenty. Really plenty.

I should wait several more weeks for the EU resident card from arriving as this card will be my valid Danish ID for traveling worldwide. I have registered for Copenhagen ID, bank account, Danish language course, Danish class in history and culture, and many more legal items.

However, most importantly is I should find work, so that I can earn salary and pay tax to the Danish government. Tax? Yes! I don’t mind paying relatively high tax to Denmark because I know for exact what I and the rest of Danish society receive in return in terms of welfare, security, education, city development, health, and so on. I believe that tax, when it is managed prudently by state, could increase standard of living of its people as a big society (not only few individuals who enjoys the money from corruption of tax, like happen and rooted, but ignored, in many developing countries and emerging markets).

So, yaa…I have to find job! I have to work and contribute! (pssst…it is my resolution during relaxation phase at my yoga class last Wednesday; oh yaa my husband and I join a yoga class too)

Last but not least, I have signed myself for CPH volunteers program and have made Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship as my hang out place every Wednesday, surrounding myself with inspiring Danish entrepreneurs and networking events going on around Copenhagen.

I don’t think that the Danish government need to ask me to sign an integration contract to the Danish society. I mean, I don’t have this contract, and this contract does not exist for me (only for regular immigration scheme) as I am registered under EU free mobility law, but even if I had to, I am more than love to immerse in Danish society, creating the feeling of belonging.

I Danmark Jeg Bor.


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