Emigration is limited, owing mainly to the relatively high standard of living in Denmark. There are 500 refugees accepted every year by Denmark for resettlement. These refugees are those who need an alternative place to their first country of asylum, usually for protection-related reasons. In 1998, Denmark received 5,699 asylum applications; of these, 55% were given permission to stay. The main countries of origin were Iraq, Somalia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iran. An Integration Act was enacted as of 1 January 1999. Under this act, most foreign nationals, including refugees, must participate in a three-year integration program, during which their social assistance is reduced.
In April 1999 the government enacted a plan—"Lex Kosovo"—providing temporary protection for evacuees from Macedonia (Kosovars who had already sought asylum in Denmark but whose cases were pending or had been rejected). Under this plan, all were granted temporary protection for a renewable six-month period. As of August 1999, 2,823 people had been evacuated from Macedonia to Denmark.
In 1999 the net migration rate was 3.22 migrants per 1,000 population.