You must hold a residence and work permit in order to reside and work in Denmark, if you are a citizen of a country outside the Nordic countries or the EU/EEA. Whether you can obtain a residence and work permit depends, first and foremost, on your qualifications.
The rules also apply in the case of voluntary/unpaid work.
A number of schemes have been designed in order to make it easier for highly qualified professionals to get a residence and work permit in Denmark:
The Greencard scheme makes it possible for highly qualified professionals to come to Denmark in order to seek work and subsequently work in Denmark.
Read more about the Greencard scheme
The Positive List is a list of the professions currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. Persons who have been offered a job in one of these professions, and who have completed the required education, have particularly easy access to the Danish labour market.
Read more about the Positive List
The Pay Limit scheme gives persons who have been offered a job with an annual pay above a certain limit particularly easy access to the Danish labour market.
Read more about the Pay Limit scheme
The Corporate scheme makes it possible for employees in a company outside Denmark to be stationed in the company's Danish subsidiary, parent or sister company or similar for a period of time.
Read more about the Corporate scheme
Please note that the Corporate scheme will be phased out from 1 April 2015, where it will be replaced by the Fast-track scheme.
The Fast-track scheme. A residence permit under the fast-track scheme is contingent upon the company in Denmark (the employer) being certified by the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment. The scheme enables certified companies to quickly hire certain types of highly qualified foreign professionals.
Read more about the Fast-track scheme
Read more about certification
Researchers and guest researchers have particularly easy access to the Danish labour market.
Read more about researchers
Read more about guest researchers
The Start-up Denmark scheme enables entrepreneurs to operate a company in Denmark.
Read more about Start-up Denmark (self-employment)
The Establishment Card enables foreign nationals who complete a Danish Master's (Candidatus) degree or a Danish PhD degree to get a residence permit in order to establish themselves in Denmark after graduating.
Read more about the Establishment Card
Other possibilities for obtaining a residence and work permit
Besides the above-mentioned schemes, you can be granted a residence and work permit if professional or labour market considerations warrant it, especially if the job offered is closely linked to your specific qualifications.
Read more about special individual qualifications
Read more about herdsmen and farm managers
Read more about employees on moveable oil rigs, drillships etc.
Trainees can work in a Danish company for a period of time for educational and training purposes.
Read more about trainees
Labour market attachment/retaining foreign labour in Denmark: If you have held a residence permit in Denmark based on, for example, asylum or family reunification, but your residence permit has been revoked or denied extension, you can be granted a new residence permit if you have held a job or operated an independent business for an extended period of time.
Read more about labour market attachment/retaining foreign labour in Denmark
In connection with processing your application the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment may obtain a statement from the relevant branch organisation or regional labour market council in order to process an application.
In some cases, you may be required to hold a Danish authorisation. For example, this applies to doctors who need an authorisation from the Danish Health and Medicines Authority.
Read more about authorisation for foreign-trained doctors on the website of the Danish Health and Medicines Authority (new window)
Read more about access to regulated professions on the website of the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation (new window)
It is possible to obtain a residence permit in order to acquire the professional and linguistic skills required to obtain a Danish authorisation.
Read more about residence permit in order to obtain a Danish authorisation as a doctor or dentist
Certain groups are exempt from the normal rules, e.g. diplomats, certain musicians and performing artists, personnel in the transport industry, and some Turkish citizens.
Read more about special groups
Job seeking in Denmark
There are several web portals, databases and CV bases which can be useful in the process of seeking work in Denmark.
Read more about job seeking in Denmark
If you are an employer
The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment has created a folder which describes what a Danish residence and work permit looks like and what you must pay attention to when employing foreign labour.
See folder about employing foreign labour (pdf) (new window)
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 Market and Recruitment who can guide you through the rules and regulations.
Read more about the contact person arrangement