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Denmark / Danish Visa


Which industries employ expats in Denmark?

In Denmark, different schemes are used under which applicants may apply for a residence and work permit. One of the schemes is the Positive List, listing professions currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. If an applicant has been offered a job in one of those professions, they will have easier access to the Danish labour market. The list i.e. includes fields such as academic work, IT and telecommunication, management, social and religious work, sales, purchases and marketing, healthcare and personal care and education.

What are the types of employment visas offered in Denmark?

To work in Denmark, a residence and work permit is required (Nordic citizens are, however, free to reside and work in Denmark. EU/EEA citizens and Swiss citizens also have the right to reside and work in Denmark but they must take certain formal steps).

A residence and work permit may be applied for under several schemes, including i.e. the Positive List (see question 1), the Pay Limit scheme and the Corporate scheme.

In this connection it should be noted that the Pay Limit scheme is the scheme under which most applications are submitted and permits granted - and typically the easiest avenue to obtaining a work and residence permit. When applying under the Pay-limit scheme, your job must have a gross annual pay of no less than DKK 375,000 (approx. USD 67,000) and you must have a written job contract in which salary and employment conditions are specified. Furthermore, your salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards.

How can I get an employment visa?

To obtain a residence and work permit, an application must be submitted to the Danish Immigration Service. Forms are available at Documentation is also required submitted together with the application form, such as i.e. passport photos, documentation of educational background, employment contract, copy of passport pages, etc.

Can I apply for an employment visa on my own?

Yes, but we generally recommend representation by a Danish legal representative to handle all correspondence with and follow-up action towards the Danish Immigration Service to facilitate the application procedure.

Who can I hire to assist me in processing my papers?

Anyone familiar with the Danish system will be able to provide assistance. However, often questions regarding i.a. employment law may arise in connection with the employment contract to be submitted to Immigration Service and we thus recommend that assistance be rendered by persons familiar with this area and Danish law in general. Furthermore, immigration specialists typically have close contacts within the Danish Immigration Service which is often an advantage.

What documents do I need to submit?

As a minimum, documentation regarding educational background, copy of employment contract, copy of all passport pages and 2 passport photos and documentation of payment of the processing fee. Additional documentation may be required depending on the situation.

How long do I have to wait for my papers to be processed?

The processing time depends on the nature of the application. First-time applications for residence and work permits are higher prioritised than applications for extensions of permits. The service goal for first-time applications is currently approx. 1 month, provided that all necessary documentation is submitted and no additional questions are raised by the Danish Immigration Service.

Where can I check on the status of my application?

You may check on the status of your application HERE, which requires a digital signature (NEM ID).

What will my proof of employment visa be?

When having been granted a residence and work permit, a residence card will be issued to the holder of the permit. This card documents your right to live and work in Denmark.

What are the government fees I have to pay for while I’m on my work visa?

First of all, a processing fee must be paid to the Danish Immigration Service for the processing of the application. The fee depends on the nature of the application.

How long is the validity of the employment visa before it expires?

The validity period of the permit depends on the period stated in the employment contract. A permit can never outlast the period specified in the contract. If no period is stated, a maximum period of up until 4 years will be granted by the Danish Immigration Service.

If my passport expires before my employment visa expires, what should I do?

The passport based on which a permit is applied for must always be valid for three months beyond the planned stay.

When my employment visa expires, how can I re-enter Denmark and accept a new job?

An application for an extension must be filed before the expiry of the current permit. If an application is not submitted until after the expiry of the permit, the permit holder risks being forced to leave Denmark due to illegal residence. Furthermore, in case of the latter a new application must be submitted as a first-time application instead of an application for an extension.

Can I come to Denmark with a tourist visa to search and apply for jobs?

Yes. However, please note that a visa does not allow you to work in Denmark unless the Danish Immigration Service has explicitly granted this right. During visits of less than three months, certain work-related activities may, however, be performed. Furthermore, a visa only grants the right to spend a maximum of 90 days per 6 months in the Schengen region.

What happens when an employer asks me to work immediately without an employment visa?

If you are not a Nordic citizen or an EU citizen, this is illegal, unless a visa is obtained and the activities to be carried out are included in the work-related activities permitted under a visa as stated above.

How do I make sure I don’t get banned from re-entry?

Always apply for extensions prior to the expiry of the current permit.

How can I transfer my employment visa from one employer to the next?

Whenever the employment terms, based on which a permit has been granted, change, a new permit must be applied for. Hence, if you obtain employment elsewhere and are employed by a new employer, a new application must be submitted to the Danish Immigration Service.

Aside from obtaining an employment visa, how else can I reside in Denmark?

If you are married to a holder of a residence and work permit, or are the child of a holder of a permit, you may be granted a residence permit based on your spouse's / father's / mother's permit. An application will have to be submitted along with required documentation.

Furthermore, certain other visa avenues exist for students, refugees and other persons.

How can my partner / spouse or children who work and live in Denmark sponsor my residency?

If you are related to a holder of a permit (married to or a child of a permit holder), you may submit an application for a residence permit as an accompanying family member.

How can I get a job soon after my family sponsors my residency?

Once you have obtained your residence permit as an accompanying family member, you are also allowed to work in Denmark.

How can I apply for permanent residency and acquire citizenship when I get my employment visa?

Foreign nationals of 18 years or older, who have held a temporary residence permit in Denmark for at least the past four years, may obtain a permanent residence permit if special requirements are met. See the requirements HERE.

Does Denmark have single and multiple visa entries? How do I get a multiple visa entry?

Once a residence and work permit has been obtained, you are free to leave and return to Denmark. However, your residence permit will automatically lapse if you no longer have a residence in Denmark and are no longer registered at a Danish address in the Central Office of Civil Registration (CPR office) - and you have left Denmark.If you keep a residence in Denmark, certain rules apply as to how long you may leave Denmark without losing your residence permit.

Will an expat’s child born in Denmark acquire citizenship?

No. Only if the mother or the father of the child has Danish citizenship, the child will also automatically become acquire Danish citizenship.

I am Danish currently living overseas with a foreign nationality. What are the requirements for my partner to be able to reside with me in Denmark?

If you live in Denmark, your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner may apply for a residence permit on the grounds of family reunification. However, you and your spouse/partner, as well as your relationship, must meet certain requirements. See further details HERE.

Where can I find more information on work visa, residency and citizenship?

Find further details and background information HERE.

What should I do to have a successful relocation?

It is essential that all required documentation is submitted to Immigration Service when submitting an application for a permit. Otherwise, the risk of the application being rejected or a longer processing time will be significant.


Denmark Visa

from Danish law firm Kirk Larsen & Ascanius is the head of the employment/immigration law department. Tommy is experienced in providing advice on all aspects of corporate immigration law to corporations and individuals, including advice on residence-and work permits for workers and accompanying family, EU-registration certificates, business visas etc. Tommy specializes in lease of personnel and international secondments and other employment law issues.

Please contact Tommy at  or +45 9627 1096 for immigration law assistance. nor the author guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page. It is recommend that particularly prior to your travels you check with the relevant government authority. Please contact us with any updates you may have. 

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