It is possible to be granted a residence and work permit as a professional athlete or coach.
If you are a Nordic citizen
, you are free to reside, study and work in Denmark. If you are an EU/EEA citizen
or Swiss citizen seeking residence in Denmark based on the EU regulations on freedom of movement, you may be subject to special rules. More information about EU/EEA and Nordic citizens
If you already hold a Danish residence permit based on 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.
There must be a particular reason why you should fill a specific position with the sports organisation. Furthermore, you must have a written job contract or job offer which specifies salary and employment conditions. Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards.
Residence and work permits for athletes or coaches will be issued on the assumption that your primary employment is sports-related. The position should be full-time (37 hours per week). However, in special situations, or where part-time employment is the norm, a residence and work permit can be issued if you work a minimum of 20 hours per week.
Those 20 hours must, however, be worked for a single employer. You cannot combine work for multiple sports-related organisations in order to reach the minimum number of hours. Likewise, multiple sports-related organisations cannot jointly create a single position for you to fill.
Normally, a statement will be obtained from the Danish governing body of your sport. The governing body must state whether there is a particular sports-related reason why you are required as a player or trainer for your club or organisation.
Furthermore, the governing body will be required to confirm whether your salary and employment conditions correspond to Danish standards.
Advance statement from a governing body
In order to ensure a faster processing of your application, your employer/sports organisation in Denmark can request an advance statement from the governing body by using the form below.
When your employer has received the governing body's statement, it should be included with your application along with your job contract or job offer.
Advance statement by sports governing body
> Application form
You can be issued a residence permit valid one month prior to your first day of work, if you declare that you are able to support yourself and any accompanying family members for the entire month before you begin working. Otherwise, your residence permit will be valid 14 days before your first day of work.
If you lose your job through no fault of your own, e.g. due to cutbacks, or if your job contract expires, and you find a new job, you must apply for a new residence and work permit. The same applies if you change job. You can start working at your new job before you have received your new residence and work permit, provided that you submit your application no later than on the day you start your new job.
Your residence permit can only be granted or extended up to three months before your passport expires. This means that if your passport expires in 12 months, you can only be granted a permit for nine months, or your permit can only be extended by nine months.
If you have received a residence and work permit as an athlete, it is also possible to get a permit to take other employment.
In order to apply for such a permit, you must submit an application and include an offer of employment with your application. The position's salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards.
Furthermore, it is a requirement that:
- your offer of employment comes from one of your primary employer's main sponsors, or
- the job you have been offered is related in some way to your professional athletic career
If you are to be employed by a sponsor, information about the size of the sponsorship and its duration must be provided.
Permission to take outside employment will be made on an individual basis.
Normally, outside employment in itself will not be sufficient grounds to apply for a separate residence and work permit.
If you hold a residence and work permit as an athlete or coach, your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you, are also eligible for residence permits. Your family members must be able to support themselves and you must live together in Denmark at the same address. Your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period his or her permit is valid.
How to apply
Read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit.