You must hold a residence permit in order to function as an intern in Denmark, if you are a citizen of a country outside the Nordic countries or the EU/EEA.
If you already hold a Danish residence permit
on the grounds of family reunification or asylum, or hold a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, you do not need a work permit in order to work in Denmark.
It is your own responsibility to obtain a work permit if you are required to. If you work illegally in Denmark, you risk deportation, and you and your employer risk fine or imprisonment.
In order to be granted a residence and work permit as an intern, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must be between the ages of 18 and 34 at the time of application (both years included). Please note: The upper age limit does not apply to healthcare interns
- The internship must have as its objective to supplement an educational programme which you have begun or completed in your country of origin. You must include in your application an authorised translation of documentation of your on-going or completed education, including a list of the courses you have taken. Please note that if you have already completed a degree in architecture you cannot be granted a residence permit on the grounds of an internship. (See the section about architecture interns below)
- The internship must have a natural relation to your on-going or completed education in your country of origin. This means that your internship must be professionally relevant to your on-going or completed education, and if you have completed your education this must have happened recently. If more than 18 months have passed since you completed your education, the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment will carry out an individual assessment of your case to determine if there is a temporal connection between your completed education and the internship. Your occupation since completing your education will also be considered as part of the assessment
- The place of internship must be able to provide adequate and relevant training. If internship approvals are not issued in your professional field, you must include a statement describing the planned course of the internship, who will supervise you during the internship, and information about whether the place of internship has any experience with receiving interns/trainees. The Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment may also obtain supplementary information from the relevant organisations
- Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish collective agreements for interns. In some cases, the internship will be unpaid. If this is the case, you must document that you have adequate means at your disposal, corresponding to the Danish state student grant ('SU') rate of DKK 5,753 per month (2013 level). Documentation can be a bank statement in your name or documentation for student grant or scholarship
- Your application must include a description of your responsibilities and the objectives of your internship. Please note: This does not apply to interns in the agricultural, forestry, or horticultural fields
- Your application must also include a description of how the internship will supplement the educational programme which you have begun or completed in your country of origin. Please note: This does not apply to interns in the agricultural, forestry, or horticultural fields
Especially on salary and employment conditions for agricultural interns
Agricultural, forestry and horticultural interns can find further information about current collective agreements on salary and employment conditions on the website Jordbrugets Uddannelser (available in Danish only).
Special conditions for healthcare interns
In addition to the general conditions, interns in the healthcare sector must also meet some additional conditions:
The supervising physician must submit a written statement attesting to your capabilities, and accepting responsibility for your supervision and for the work you carry out during your internship
If you are an unpaid intern, you must document that you can support yourself during your stay. This means that you must have at your disposal the equivalent of DKK 5,753 per month (2013 level). Documentation can be a bank statement in your name or documentation for student grant or scholarship
All Danish public hospitals are approved to host interns.
Special requirements for architecture interns
In addition to the above-mentioned general requirements, architecture interns must meet the following additional requirements:
- The Danish Association of Architectural Firms (DANSKE ARK) and The Union of Salaried Architects (Arkitektforbundet) have created a standard contract titled ‘Internship Agreement and Guidelines’ which should be used when hiring foreign architecture interns. The contract can be found on-line at Danish Association of Architectural Firms website and at The Union of Salaried Architects website
- Residence permits are granted only to interns who have not completed a degree in their home country. If you have completed an architecture degree, you cannot be granted a residence permit on the grounds of an internship
- If you are a paid intern, you must be paid the equivalent of the current Danish state student grant (SU) rate of DKK 5,753 per month (2013 level)
- If you are an unpaid intern, you must document that you can support yourself during your stay. This means that you must have at your disposal the equivalent of DKK 5,753 per month (2013 level). Documentation can be a bank statement in your name or documentation for student grant or scholarship
Architecture firms do not need to seek approval when hiring interns, but the 'Internship Agreement and Guidelines' require the firm to state the number of trained architects, interns and students working for it.
You may be granted a residence and work permit for up to 18 months, but no longer than the duration of your internship contract. Normally, your permit cannot be extended beyond this period. However, it can be extended up to 24 months in total if the internship contract includes a full-time study programme comprising a minimum of six months and a maximum of eight months.
If you apply for an extension, you may continue to work as an intern while your application is being processed, provided that you are at the same place of internship and that the conditions for your stay remain unchanged.
If you wish to begin at a new place of internship, you may not do so before you have been granted a new residence and work permit.
You cannot bring your family members to Denmark if you hold a residence permit as an intern.
How to apply
Read more about how to apply for a residence permit as an intern.