Types of Residence/Work Permits

Information about the different types of permit for living and working in Denmark…

Generally all citizens of non-EU/EEA/Nordic countries and Switzerland have to have a residence permit for employment or independent business in Denmark. There are a number of different schemes which allow foreigners to work in Denmark:

  1. The Positive List
  2. The Pay Limit Scheme
  3. The Corporate Residence Permit Scheme
  4. The Greencard Scheme

For comprehensive information about non Danish residents working in Denmark for both employers and employees, see the official Danish website for international recruitment, Work in Denmark.

The Positive List

The Positive List is a list of qualified professions which are considered to be in shortage in the Danish job market.

It is possible for someone who has been offered a job in one of the listed professions to obtain a visa under this scheme. To apply for a residence permit under the Positive List scheme, the following is required:

  • Written contract or job offer specifying salary and employment conditions
  • Minimum educational qualifications for that profession specified on the Positive List
  • Fulfil the special conditions that apply for foreign trained doctors

The Pay Limit Scheme

It is possible to obtain a residence permit if offered a highly paid job. There are no special requirements regarding minimum standards of education or the type of job. The current salary criteria are that the job must have a salary of DKK 375,000 and above. It is necessary to have a written contract which specifies the salary and employment conditions.

The Corporate Scheme

Note: The Corporate Scheme is being phased out and is replaced by the Fast-track Scheme on 1 April 2015.

It is possible to get a corporate residence permit if employed by a Danish company's foreign affiliate and working in the Danish company in connection with innovative, developmental or educational purposes. This type of permit is valid for three years with a possibility to extend the permit.

The following conditions apply:

  • The applicant must be in full-time employment in the foreign department of that company at the time of the application
  • The applicant must remain an employee of the foreign department while working in the Danish company
  • The work must be related to a specific project and meet the criteria for being innovative, developmental or educational in nature

Certain conditions also apply for the company who wishes to employ a non-EU citizen under the Corporate Scheme. The company must be able to prove that it is part of an international corporation that has a foreign subsidiary in another country. The following criteria must also be met:

  • The Danish company must have a minimum of ten employees
  • Salary and employment conditions must be equivalent to Danish standards
  • The Danish company must be registered with SKAT (the Danish taxation authority)
  • The Danish company must not be involved in any legal labour disputes
  • There should not be a disproportional number of foreign employees compared with Danish employees

The residence permit is only valid whilst the relationship between the Danish company and the foreign company exists. A new residence or work permit must be obtained should that person find a new job.

The Fast-track Scheme

Note: Valid only as of 1 April 2015.

The Fast-track Scheme replaces the Corporate Scheme. It enables certified companies to employ highly qualified foreign nationals, and allows them to start working immediately after the applications for work and residency have been submitted. Certain conditions apply.

The Greencard Scheme

The Greencard scheme is based on a point system which calculates the likelihood that an applicant is able to find work in Denmark. To qualify it is necessary to:

  • Have a minimum of 100 points (points are allocated for educational level, language skill, work experience, adaptability and age)
  • Have full health insurance for the applicant and any accompanying family members
  • Have documented evidence to prove there are sufficient funds to support the applicant and family members for the first year in Denmark

It is necessary to submit the application to the Immigration Service to be processed.

Note: The Greencard Scheme was changed on 1 January 2015. The validity of the permit and the possibility to extend it, depends on when it was first granted. A Transitional Scheme applies for permits granted before this date.

  • Details about the Greencard Scheme, the points system and the transitional scheme

Additional qualifying criteria/professions for residence permits

Researchers, trainees, athletes, religious workers, and the self-employed may also be granted a residence permit under certain conditions. See the links below: