The Application

When he arrived as an Iraqi asylum seeker in Denmark a year ago, Mohammed Al-bayati believed he had a good chance of settling down. His brother had been accepted as a refugee here five years earlier, and Iraq was the kind of awful dictatorship that virtually guaranteed acceptance of his application. Since then, however, the Danish government has adopted a sweeping reform of its refugee rules that is likely to make Al-bayati's future in the country far less certain.

An unmarried physician, Al-bayati has yet to receive a decision on his application — a considerably longer wait than...

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