Denmark Visas and Work Permits

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Denmark Visas and Work Permits Specialists

Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. Companies targeting Denmark for their next global move face unravelling the red tape surrounding work permit, visa, and immigration laws if they intend moving existing staff into their new territory.

Few companies have these resources, or the time. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO-service we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence.

We are experts in hiring staff, applying for work visas in Denmark and ensuring employees meet Danish work visa requirements with the correct documentation.

Our team is trained to research the latest information on Danish visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in Denmark in no time.

What types of Work Visas and Permits for Denmark are there?

Citizens from Nordic countries – Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands, an autonomous Finnish region – are free to work and live in Denmark without visas, work permits or residence documents. However, there are certain requirements (which is explained in further detail below).

Citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland can work and live in Denmark without a visa and work permit but for stays over three months, they must also meet certain registration requirements (which is explained in further detail below).

Citizens from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland and Nordic countries are referred to as Third Country Nationals, and require a Work Permit and Residence Document/Permit before entering Denmark - unless they already reside legally inside Denmark.

Work permits can be dependent on education and qualifications. Also, job vacancies needs to be offered first to the local market and EU nationals.

Work permit/residence applications can be straight forward and mostly done online through the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), but rules and regulations must be carefully negotiated and quite a few documents are required. The entry visa will be issued at the same time.

A Schengen Visa permits entry (for those nationals that are not exempt) but allows only a 90-day stay and foreign nationals cannot apply for a Work or Residence Permit if they enter Denmark on a Schengen visa.

Work Permits

The main channels for workers to obtain both a work permit and residence visa are:

  • The Fast-Track Scheme – aimed at larger companies who are certified by the Danish Agency for Labor Market and Recruitment (STAR), who require highly-qualified foreign staff to start as soon as possible. Employees should be offered a minimum salary to qualify.
  • The Pay Limit Scheme – this is for employees who have been offered employment with a remuneration of DKK 445,000 (€59,800 or US$69,600) per year (rate for 2021).
  • The Positive Lists – are those professions or occupations, where Denmark is lacking qualified people. If the job offered is listed, a work permit and residence permit can be applied for via this scheme, if the employee is qualified for the job.

So, it is best to know the rules and procedures for entering and residing in Denmark, which differ depending on nationality. All conditions should be carefully considered before applying.

How to obtain a Danish Work Permit?

Nordic, European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not require a work permit for Denmark.

Third Country nationals however, do. Firstly, they need a job offer and signed contract of employment to be able to apply for a work permit and decide for which category they can apply. The main types of permits to work include:

  • Fast-Track Scheme – employers have to be registered with the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) and certified to offer employment through the Danish Agency for Labor Market and Recruitment (STAR) and meeting certain conditions, allowing employees a ‘Quick Start’ and an employment contract.

    The work and residence permit for the employee can then be applied for through SIRI. The Fast-Track Scheme can be applied for within Denmark for persons already resident or from abroad:
  1. Non-EU foreign nationals outside of Denmark who can be sent the permit from GTS Nordic authorized by the Danish Immigration Authorities Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) in the applicant’s home country – which takes up to one month.
  2. Non-EU foreign nationals already residing in Denmark, which takes two or three days. A provisional work permit document allows employees to start immediately in lieu of the sanctioned permit
  • The Pay Limit Scheme – this is for employees who have been offered employment with a remuneration of DKK 445,000 (€59,800 or US$69,600) per year.
  • The Positive Lists – are those professions or occupations experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals. If the job being offered is on these lists, a Work Permit and Residence Permit can be applied for based on this scheme. There are two types of positive lists:

    - Positive list for highly qualified employees
    - Positive list for skilled professionals

How to apply for Work Visa/Work Permit in Denmark

Citizens from Nordic countries – Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands, an autonomous Finnish region – are free to work and live in Denmark without visas, work permits or residence documents. However, there are certain requirements:

  • For employment – a tax number is required without delay
  • If stays exceed three months, registration of address with the Civil Registration System (Folkeregister) is necessary to obtain a Central Personal Registration Number (CPR), a tax card and a health insurance card

EU Citizens do not require a visa or work permit but must register with the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) for a residence document showing they are entitled to live and work in Denmark. Paperwork includes:

  • National ID or valid passport plus a passport-sized photo
  • Completed and signed application form for OD 1 which can be downloaded online
  • Document showing the reason for applying for residence as an employee

All other applicants requiring a Work Permit and Residence Permit can apply through the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) from their home country. The entry visa will come with the permits. Some permits can be completed by employers and some permits are linked - so care is needed to make sure all the necessary documentation is at hand.

These are some of the basic prerequisites, but different permits may require additional paperwork. The work, residence and entry visa document is then sent to a local consulate or Visa Facilitation Service Global (VFS Global) centers in the home country enabling the worker to enter Denmark.

Before applying:

  • A case number is required after deciding which permit is being applied for, whether it is through Fast-track, Positive List, Pay Limit schemes
  • Fees need to be paid (unless you are exempt) to the relevant Danish authority
  • A biometrics appointment should be made at a local Danish Embassy
  • If the employer is applying on their behalf, a power of attorney form should be completed
  • To avoid any delay, the fee should be paid in the same year as the case number is issued

Documents to submit at your appointment if they have not been uploaded online:

  • Proof of payment of permit fee
  • A completed and signed power of attorney form
  • Photocopies of all pages of passport including back and front
  • Recent job offer or employment contract (within one month) including all terms and conditions of the position and description of employment, including salary plus any employee information
  • All educational or vocational qualifications or diplomas required to do the job

You can also check out the application forms for work permit and residence.

For employers who are applying on behalf of the employee, you can check here and here for more information.

How much is a Danish Work Permit?

Permit fees must be paid in Danish krone either by bank transfer, online banking, or debit card, not with cash or check. Processing fees increased from 2021. When applying from abroad for the work permit and residence permit, applicants need to pay the following fees (as applicable):

  • Fee for processing to the online Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI)
  • Embassy Fee in home country
  • Fee for using a Visa Center e.g., VFS Global

Fast Track, Pay Limit and Positive List Schemes cost DKK 4,295 (€577, US$671). This should also include the Residence Permit.

Schengen Visa, which is a short-term visit for those who require one, is for 90 days in any 180-day period and is €80 or DKK 595 (US$93)

Working Visa / Permit for Denmark

Third Country Nationals who want to work and stay in Denmark require a Work Permit and Residence permit. There are a number of different types of work permit from researchers to farm managers.

A Danish bank account must also be opened within 90 days of arrival in Denmark or from date of the work permit to enable the salary to be deposited, as part of the conditions of a work permit.

To open the account and receive tax and health insurance cards, the employee must register his address with the Civil Registration System (Folkeregister) to obtain a Central Personal Registration (CPR) number, required for all people living in Denmark. 

Tax and health insurance cards must be applied for separately.

Business Visa for Denmark

In order to make a short -term visit to Denmark in order to conduct business, you need to apply for a Schengen Visa. Before you make the application, you need check to see which countries visa-exempt and which nationalities must require a short-term Schengen visa. 

Foreign nationals requiring a visa to enter Denmark for business purposes such as meetings, conferences, networking with local companies, signing contracts etc., have to stay within the conditions of the visa.

The applicant cannot receive remuneration for any work undertaken in Denmark, as this requires a work permit and residence permit.

Also, workers cannot apply for a work permit or residence permit while in Denmark on the Business Visa. This short-term visa is for valid for 90 days in any 180-day period, although a long-term visa can also be applied for, for multiple visits and other trips within the Schengen area. 

The cost is €80 or DKK 595 (US$93) for the visa, and there may also be a service charge for using visa companies online.

Along with a completed application form, the following may be required:

  • Proof of Invitation from a Danish company – paper or online
  • Insurance to cover the trip - minimum of DKK 223,000 (€29,970, US$34,870)
  • Valid passport for the duration plus three months, issued within the last 10 years with empty pages for the visa
  • A clear and identifiable 35mm x 45mm photograph
  • Paperwork showing the reasons for travel issued from home country and company documentation pertinent to the visit
  • Proof of accommodation, return ticket and funds available to cover the business trip
  • Documentation to show qualifications and experience in the relevant business or trade sector

Danish Visa for EU citizens

European Union citizens do not require a visa for leisure, business purposes or work. However, they must register for a residence permit to stay longer than three months, to show their entitlement to live and work in Denmark.

They should register an address with the Civil Registration System (Folkeregister) to obtain a Central Personal Registration (CPR) number which is a requirement for all people living in Denmark, allowing employees to open a bank account, collect tax and insurance cards.

Danish Visa for UK citizens

UK citizens can visit Denmark for 90 days in any 180-day period for business purposes or leisure without a visa. However, by the end of 2022 a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver will be required.

For a longer stay they must apply for a long-term visa; however, paid work is not allowed on this visa, neither can it be used to apply for a work permit or residence. This must be done separately.

For employment, UK nationals have to apply for the relevant permits from the UK and the work permit and residence permit will be sent to a local consulate or visa facility and will be inserted or stamped into the passport along with an entry visa. A job offer / employment contract is needed.

Danish Visa for USA citizens

United States citizens do not require a visa to enter Demark for business purpose, visiting family, holidays, and cultural visits up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period. By the end of 2022, a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver will be needed.

For longer stays, a long-term Schengen visa or National D Visa is required but apart from limited business and leisure activities, this cannot be used for paid employment or to apply for work permits or residence inside Denmark. This must be done separately.

For employment, US citizens must apply for the appropriate permits through a local consulate or embassy in the USA. Biometrics will be taken. A job offer and/or employment contract is needed.

Danish Visa for Canadian citizens

To visit Denmark for business purposes, pleasure or cultural reasons, Canadians do not require a visa for the first 90 days out of a 180-day period. However, paid employment is not allowed. By the end of 2022, a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver will be required.

For longer trips to Denmark, Canadians can apply for a long-term National D visa.

For employment purposes, a work permit and residence permit are required and can be applied for from inside Canada. A job offer is a pre-requisite. An appointment will be needed to record biometrics for the application.

Also, Canada has a reciprocal special arrangement with Denmark for a Working Holiday Visa program. Individuals aged 18-35 can extend their holiday for up to 12 months for work experience to fund their stay. They do not require a formal job offer. For more information, conditions and how to apply, check out this link.

Danish Visa for Chinese citizens

A Schengen visa is required by Chinese citizens for holidays, family visits or business purposes – but not paid employment. The visa covers visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period and costs DKK 595 (€80, US$93). For more information on applying and documentation, check out this link.

To work, Chinese nationals require a job offer to obtain a work permit and residence document.

Depending on which work permit is required for employment, the employer may apply on behalf of the employee. Whether it is through Fast Track, Pay Limit Scheme or through Positive Lists (a shortage of particular occupations), the process should start in China at a Danish consulate or embassy which will need an appointment to record biometrics. 

The permits will then be sent to the consulate or to a Visa Facilitation Service Global (VFS Global) center in China where they will be stamped or inserted into the passport along with a visa to enable the worker to enter Denmark. 

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Expanding into the Denmark? You will need a firm grip on work permit and visa compliance if moving your staff there. Contact us today for more information or advice, as well as our other global expansion services..