- Country Name: Kingdom of Denmark
- Capital: Copenhagen
- Population: 5,707,251 (Jan 2016 estimate)
- Language: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic, German
- Time Zone: CET (UTC +1)
- Dialing Code: +45
- Currency: Danish Krone (DKK)
This FAQ has been created as an introductory guide to immigration procedures for Denmark. Since rules and requirements in every country are constantly changing and each case must be assessed on its own merits, for in-depth and up-to-date advice, please contact us.
Please note, we can only advise on matters relating to immigration and are unable support you with employment in a new region. We do however have a network of trusted partners that can support your move, so please visit Our Partners page for further information.
Denmark is home to many multi-national companies and welcomes expats working in Manufacturing (metal products, food processing, paper, transport equipment e.g. shipbuilding), chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, energy industry, construction, tourism, retail, telecommunications, financial services.
A number of schemes have been developed in order to make it easier for qualified professionals to obtain a residence and work permit in Denmark, including:
Fast Track Scheme – Newly-implemented in April 2015 – allows large pre-certified companies to hire foreign nationals for up to four years. The employee can start work immediately after submitting a work permit application, without waiting for approval, with a temporary work permit. Employees may also work alternately in Denmark and abroad without their work permit lapsing. The company and the employee must both meet certain criteria.
Pay Limit Scheme – for applicants who have an employment contract with, or confirmed assignment to, a Danish entity which gives them a salary at or above a certain level, and are not eligible for the Fast Track Scheme
Positive List – for applicants who have been offered a position on the Positive List of professions and fields that are currently experiencing a shortage of workers
Van der Elst – Permission to work is granted to a non-EEA national who is legally resident and working in another EEA country and sent on short-term assignment to Denmark. For stays under 90 days, no work permit is required. For stays over 90 days, assignees must apply for a Danish residence permit.
Other schemes include the Establishment Card (for graduates already in Denmark), Greencard (points based) and Start-up Denmark (entrepreneurs). Contact a Newland Chase advisor for details
WProcesses and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants. We, therefore, recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
The process for the fast track work permit is straightforward and the work permit also acts as an entry visa to Denmark. As a result, once the work permit is issued, the assignee can enter Denmark and start work before registering with the authorities and ordering the residence card.
For the other work permit categories, the applicant must submit their biometrics and apply for a separate entry visa at the Danish diplomatic post overseas once the work permit has been approved. Once the entry visa has been approved, the assignee can enter Denmark and start work before registering with the authorities and ordering the residence card.
For a Van der Elst visa, which is not a work permit per se, the application is submitted to the Danish diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence and the assignee can enter Denmark and start work post-approval.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants. We, therefore, recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
Applicants will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application which include, but are not limited to: passport plus a copy of all pages, degree, job description, declaration of allowances and terms of employments, employment contract/assignment letter, marriage certificate and birth certificate for family dependants.
Some personal documents will also need to be legalised and/or translated prior to submission. Newland Chase can assist with this.
Processing times will vary according to visa type, nationality and country of application. However, an indication of processing times is as follows:
Fast Track – typically takes 1 to 2 months until entry to Denmark and a further 1 month before the whole process is completed.
Pay Limit Scheme – typically takes 2 to 4 months until entry to Denmark and a further 1 month before the whole process is completed.
Positive List – typically takes 2 to 4 months until entry to Denmark and a further 1 month before the whole process is completed.
Van der Elst – typically takes 1 week to 1 month until entry to Denmark depending on country of application
Fast Track Scheme–is valid for a maximum initial duration of up to 4 years. It cannot be extended and the residence permit will expire 14 days after the end date of the employment contract.
Pay Limit Scheme and Positive List – is valid for a maximum initial duration of up to 4 years and is renewable.
Van der Elst – is issued for up to one year and non-renewable.
Nationals from specified countries can enter Denmark without a visa for tourism and business purposes, for short trips and restricted activities. Other nationals can enter Denmark on a business visa, for a short trip, to carry out business activities. Check with Newland Chase before you travel to find out whether you need a work permit to undertake proposed activities.
It is strictly prohibited to carry out any work related activity on a Schengen visa or under the visa-waver agreement. Therefore, while there is nothing to stop you from looking for jobs, you would not be able to commence any form of employment until you have acquired the appropriate work authorisation.
Generally, you must leave Denmark and apply for a work permit in your home country prior to re-entering for work.
In order to obtain a permanent residence permit in Denmark , an applicant must have resided legally in Denmark for the five years immediately preceding qualification for permanent residence.
An applicant must have held regular employment, been self-employed or been enrolled in an educational programme for at least three of the five years prior to qualifying for a permanent residence permit, and be currently employed or enrolled in an educational programme at the time when the Danish Immigration Service decides the case.
The applicant must also meet the following conditions to apply for PR:
You must be aged 18 or over
Being free from a criminal record (different conditions apply to different custodial sentences)
Having no overdue public debt (social security, child support, taxes or benefits), for a period of three years prior to submitting your application
Not having received public benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act (lov om aktiv socialpolitik) or the Integration Act (integrationsloven) for the past three years
Intention of integration and active citizenship in Danish society
Proof of passing the Danish language test 1, or a Danish language test of an equivalent or higher level – Almenprøve, Studieprøve, voksenuddannelsesforberedende prøve or Danish as a second language as part of an AMU program
You can also meet the requirements by having had several grounds for residence, for example, first by being a student and then being employed or first as an au pair and then under the family reunification rule.
Regardless of your situation, it is crucial that you have resided legally in Denmark for the past five years, i.e. the five years must immediately precede qualification for permanent residence. If you have held a residence permit on the grounds of more than one marriage or cohabitation you will meet the requirements only when you have resided in Denmark for at least five years on the grounds of your most recent marriage/partnership/cohabitation. If you divorce and then remarry (or enter into a new partnership/cohabitation), the five-year calculation starts over.
Van der Elst – N/A
Requirements and procedures are subject to change, so please consult with your Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for current and detailed information.
The requirements for the Visa Type D may vary depending on the consulate of application and in some cases additional requirements, such as police clearances, translations and grand legalisation of certain documents may be requested. As such, You would be advised to start the visa application process well in advance of the desired date of relocation.