In order to be granted a permanent residence permit, it is a basic requirement that you have held a regular employment in Denmark for at least 3 years and 6 months within the last 4 years.

If you have held a regular full-time employment for at least 4 years within the last 4 years and 6 months, you can meet the supplementary requirement concerning employment.

Besides regular paid employment in Denmark, the following types of work will be considered when assessing whether you meet the employment requirement.

Work as a self-employed

Working as a self-employed can be part of the assessment of whether you meet the basic employment requirement.

You will have to document that the work as a self-employed carries the weight equivalent of a full-time employment with an average of at least 30 hours per week. Furthermore you must report the profit/loss to the tax authorities and you must have paid VAT as required by law.

Assisting spouse

If you are assisting a self-employed spouse, this can also be taken into account when the Immigration Service assesses if you meet the employment requirement.

It is a requirement that the wage is taxable. If you are assisting a self-employed spouse, the annual accounts from the tax authorities (SKAT) must specify that you are employed in a self-employed spouse’s company. If you co-own a spouse’s company, you must enclose documentation as a self-employed.

Please note, that there is a difference between assisting the spouse in his/her company or being employee in a spouse’s company or co-owning the company.

Caring for a child or close family member

If you have cared for a disabled child, a seriously ill child or a critically ill family member for a period of time where you received or were qualified for receiving financial support this period can in some cases be taken into consideration when calculating whether the employment requirement is met.

The period only qualifies if it is within the last 4 years or 4 years and 6 months prior to the time when the permanent residence is granted, and if you can document that you have received or were qualified for receiving financial support according to the Social Service Act (lov om social service) or Parental Leave Act (barselsloven), equivalent to at least 30 hours per week.

In order to document that you have received financial support or were eligible to do so, you will be asked to enclose a letter with the municipality’s decision that indicates that you have received assistance. If you have not received financial support but could have received support, you must enclose a statement from the municipality indicating that you could have received financial support.

Employment abroad

Employment abroad can be counted towards fulfilling the employment requirement if, as part of the employment in Denmark, you were stationed or deployed abroad. That means that you are employed in a Danish company but you have been deployed to solve a task or work abroad.

It is a requirement that the employer in Denmark is:

  • a Danish public authority,
  • a private company,
  • a non-governmental organisation, or
  • a foreign or Danish aid agency.

A Danish public authority should be understood to mean a state, regional or municipal institution.

When being stationed abroad for a private company it is a requirement that the organisation has a certain size. This means that the private company must have an average of at least 10 employees over a 12-month period. In the calculation all the employees must be taken into account without regards to the working hours.

Persons who are employed with public subsidies and persons who are employed under an employment agreement that is concluded for a specific task or time period cannot be included when calculating the number of employees.

When being stationed abroad for a non-governmental organisation it is a requirement that the organisation has a certain size. This means that the organization must have an average of at least 10 employees over a 12-month period. In the calculation all the employees must be taken into account without regards to the working hours. Persons who are employed with public subsidies and persons who are employed under an employment agreement that is concluded for a specific task or time period cannot be included when calculating the number of employees.

Furthermore, the organisation must work for the public good, and it must be a natural part of the organisation’s activities that it would have a foreign-based employee. The employee must be paid by the organisation while abroad.

Other employment abroad

Work abroad for other reasons than those mentioned above – that is, not being stationed or deployed – can count towards fulfilling the employment requirement, if there is significant reason for doing so.

It is a specific assessment if there are such significant reasons to the employment relationship in which the work abroad should count towards the employment requirement.

It is important in the assessment:

  • whether the position in Denmark is related to the position abroad,
  • whether you were working in Denmark prior to taking the position,
  • whether you have been granted a leave of absence from the position in Denmark, and
  • whether you will resume working in the previous position upon returning to Denmark.

Time spent working abroad

If you have been stationed or deployed for a Danish company or organisation abroad, you will be able to count up to 2 years of work abroad towards meeting the requirement of at least 3 years and 6 months employment and if applicable the supplementary requirement of at least 4 years employment.

If you have held other employment abroad, up to 1 year can count towards you meeting the requirement concerning 3 years and 6 months of employment and if applicable the supplementary requirement of at least 4 years employment.

Spouses or partners of someone stationed or deployed abroad who find an employment of their own while abroad will be able to count the time spent working towards meeting the employment requirement.