A Danish restriction that requires a language test for a Turkish worker so that his wife can obtain a residence permit is illegal, the EU’s highest court ruled on Thursday.
The wife of a Turkish worker residing in Denmark filed an application for a residence permit in 2015, which was rejected by the Danish authorities. Her husband is permanently resident in Denmark and has worked there since 1980.
However, the wife’s application was rejected in 2016 because her husband had not successfully passed a Danish language test. However, the worker had completed a course in Danish in subjects such as engineering informatics.
The EU court has found that the requirement for a language test was illegal under an association agreement between the European Economic Community and Turkey in 1980.
This association agreement states that EU countries and Turkey cannot introduce any new restrictions on access to employment for workers and their family members who reside and work legally in their respective areas.
The EU’s highest court stated that the Danish language test was a “new restriction,” which could only be justified by “a compelling reason of public interest.”
The court stated that Danish legislation did not take into account the wife’s ability to integrate nor did it allow the authorities to take into account other factors that prove the integration of the Turkish worker.
This means that the legislation “goes beyond what is necessary to achieve the objective pursued,” according to the court.
The European Court of Justice has previously ruled against Denmark over restrictions on family reunification.
In 2019, the court ruled that a “garnishment requirement” for family reunification violated the EU Association Agreement with Turkey.
This restriction required that a family has a stronger bond with Denmark than any other country for family reunification.