The Positive List
Persons who have been offered a job in a profession currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals have particularly easy access to the Danish labour market. These professions and fields are listed on the Positive List. The scheme also applies to persons who have applied for asylum in Denmark.
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.
Your job must be listed on the Positive List. 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.
The minimum educational level required for a position on the Positive List is a Professional Bachelor's degree, such as a pedagogue. In some cases, you must obtain a Danish authorisation. This is explicitly stated on the Positive List. For example, foreign-trained doctors must be authorised by the Danish National Board of Health.
Read more about authorisation for foreign-trained doctors on the website of the National Board of Health.
Read more about access to regulated professions on the website of the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation.
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.
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.
Residence permit for jobseeking
If you get a residence and work permit based on temporary job contract, you will also get up to six months' extra residence to look for work after your contract expires. However, you cannot be granted more than four years' residence in total. In the jobseeking period you are not allowed to work, so if you find a new job, you must apply for a new residence and work permit based on your new job. You must apply no later than the first day of employment at your new job.
If you lose your job through no fault of your own, e.g. due to cutbacks, you can get an additional six months' residence to look for a new job. In this case, you must apply for a residence permit for jobseeking no later than two days after the termination of your job contract. You can apply by sending a letter to the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment containing your full name, address, CPR number, Alien Identification number (Udl.nr.) and a copy of your valid passport, along with a letter of termination or other documentation which explains why you lost your job. In order to get the additional six months' residence, it is a condition that you are not receiving public assistance under the active social policy act.
If you find a new job
If you find a new job while you are working, or while you hold a residence permit for jobseeking, you must apply for a new residence and work permit. However, you may begin your new job before you have received your new permit, provided that you submit your application no later than the day you start your new job.
If your residence and work permit expires, and you have applied for an extension, and if you are still in the same job, on the same terms and conditions, as when you were granted your original permit, you may stay in Denmark and continue working while your application is being processed.
Your permit can be extended even if your job is no longer on the Positive List, provided that you are still in the same job, on the same terms and conditions.
If you hold a residence and work permit under the Positive List, 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.
The Positive List
The Positive List consists of a number of professional fields currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals.
See a full overview of all job titles on the Positive List.
How to apply
Read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit.
The contact person arrangement
If you represent a company or business in Denmark with foreign employees, you can be assigned a contact person in the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment who can guide you through the rules and regulations. Read more about the contact person arrangement.