The expected maximum processing time is
6 months

The fee is
DKK 9,625,-

Who can be granted a residence permit as a religious worker?

As a foreign national, you may apply for a residence permit in Denmark to work as a member of the clergy, missionary or to serve a religious order or denomination in some other capacity, such as a nun or monk.

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you do not need a residence permit and are free to reside, study and work in Denmark. If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or of Switzerland seeking residence in Denmark based on the EU rules on freedom of movement, you may be subject to special regulations. Read more about citizens of EU/EEA and Nordic countries
 

What are the requirements?

In order to qualify for a residence permit as a religious worker, you and the denomination/religious order you are affiliated with in Denmark need to meet certain requirements.  
 

Requirements the applicant needs to meet

You can be granted a residence permit as a member of the clergy if you can document that you are to work for an officially acknowledged or sanctioned denomination in Denmark.

You can be granted a residence permit as a missionary if you can document that you are to work as a missionary and preach a specific religion or belief affiliated with an officially acknowledged or sanctioned denomination in Denmark.

You may be granted a residence permit to serve a religious order in some other capacity if you can document that you are to work for a religious order. Generally, this refers to monks, nuns or other members of an order who traditionally have religious functions within the order. The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church (Folkekirken) or another officially acknowledged or sanctioned denomination in Denmark needs to provide confirmation to the Immigration Service that the order is established under, or works within, the religious denomination.
 

You need to document that you are affiliated with the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church (Folkekirken) or another officially acknowledged or sanctioned religious denomination in Denmark. Documentation can be in the form of a written agreement or declaration by the denomination stating that you are a religious worker within the denomination or religious order. 

You need to document that you have a background, training or education relevant to being a religious worker.

You need to sign a declaration stating that you will abide by Danish laws, including those protecting freedom of expression, freedom of religion, gender equality, sexual orientation, an individual’s right not to be discriminated against, and women’s rights. The declaration is included in the application form. 

You need to sign a sworn declaration stating that you will not engage in any activity that poses a threat to public safety, law and order, health, decency or the rights and duties of others. The declaration is included in the application form. 

You need to sign a declaration stating that neither you nor any accompanying family members will receive any public assistance during your stay in Denmark. The declaration is included in the application form. Public assistance is any benefit that has the character of public assistance for maintenance. E.g. cash benefits, old age pension, early retirement pensions, unemployment benefits, early retirement pay, unemployment benefits in the event of illness or birth, child assistance, housing assistance etc.

Requirements the denomination needs to meet

The number of foreign nationals granted a residence permit as a religious worker for a specific denomination needs to be proportionate to the size of its congregation. The denomination will be asked to indicate the size of its congregation (number of members), as well as the number of religious workers affiliated with it. 

About teaching

Normally, you cannot be granted a residence permit if you are to work solely as a teacher (including at religious schools), and if you are to teach subjects that are not characterised by preaching a religious message. Likewise, you cannot be granted a residence permit in order to receive religious instruction or to be educated or trained as a religious worker.

If you are to study theology or a related field, you may be eligible for a residence permit as a student.

Religious preachers with entry ban

A publicly available national sanction list of religious preachers who have been banned from entering Denmark and other countries has been established. The list was created in order to protect the public order in Denmark. Read more about the national sanction list and see the list  

Which type of residence permit will you be granted?

As a religious worker, you can be granted a residence permit for seven months. Permits can be extended for one year at a time, for a maximum of three years in total.

If you are authorised to perform weddings, your residence permit can be extended for two years initially, and then for a period of three years and five months. Subsequent extensions will be granted for four years at a time, with no upper limit on the number of extensions.

If you are granted the right to perform weddings after your initial three-year residency as a religious worker your residence permit cannot be extended. Instead, you must reapply for a residence permit according to the current rules.

If you do not pass the extension test and/or take a course in Danish family law, individual rights and democracy within six months of being granted a residence permit as a religious worker, you cannot be granted an extension. Read more about extension of residence permit

If you are granted a residence permit as a religious worker, you will also be granted permission to work in the position and at the place of work indicated by your residence permit. 

The information below explains what you and your denomination/religious order need to do when you apply for a residence permit as a religious worker.

We recommend that you make sure you know the requirements for obtaining a residence permit before paying the application fee. Read more about the requirements in the ‘Need to know’ tab.

 

When submitting an application or appeal with a fee, you must first create a case order ID.

Case type:

Religious worker and accompanying family

Fee:

DKK 9,625,-

Information about the applicant

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Are you sure you do not want to receive a receipt by mail?

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Are you exempt from paying the fee?

Are you sure a fee is not required to be paid in your case?

Only certain applicants are exempt from paying a fee. If the immigration authorities decide at a later stage that the applicant/appelant is not exempt from paying a fee, the application/appeal will be rejected.
If you have paid a fee and the following case handling shows that the fee should not have been paid, the whole fee will be refunded.

In certain cases the fee is not warranted (fee exemption). Examples are:

  • The Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey
  • Denmark’s international obligations

You are still required to create a case order ID, even if you are not required to pay a fee.

If you have paid a fee and it is not warranted, the whole fee will be refunded.

Read more about Fee exemption

The information is incorrect

All fees are regulated every year on 1 January. Make sure to create your Case Order ID, pay the fee and submit your application in the same calendar year. If you pay the fee before 1 January and submit your application after 1 January, your application may be rejected.

If no case order ID is shown in the field below, please type your case order ID and click on View payment status.

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Payment options

You and a representative from your denomination/religious order in Denmark each need to fill in part of the application form. You also need to enclose documentation, so it is a good idea to gather it all before you start.  

You may need:

Your denomination/religious order may need:

Set aside

20 to 30 minutes

to fill in the application form

2 persons

You and a representative from your denomination/religious order in Denmark each need to fill in part of the application form.

The application form includes detailed instructions for how to fill it in and which types of documentation you need to enclose.

You can fill in the application form in Word format on your computer before printing it out. The application form is also available as a PDF file that can be printed out and filled in by hand.

Download form RF1 for print:

When you submit an application to the Immigration Service, we will process your personal information. You can read more about your rights and how we process your information in the application form or on this page: Personal data – How we process your data

When processing your case, we may seek to verify the accuracy of the information you have given. Read more about verification at the Danish Immigration Service

Applying from outside Denmark

You can submit your application at a Danish mission (embassy or consulate), or an outsourcing office in the country where you live.

See the list of Danish missions or outsourcing offices where you can hand in your application

If there is no Danish mission or outsourcing offices in the country where you live, the list refers to missions Denmark shares a representation agreement with, e.g. Norway or Sweden. If there is no representation agreement, the list refers to the nearest Danish mission or outsourcing office in the region.

The Immigration Service recommends that you visit the website of the Danish mission before you submit your application. Individual offices might have additional requirements, such as extra passport photos or copies of your application.

Applying in Denmark

If you are in Denmark legally, you can normally submit your application in Denmark. This would be the case if you:

  • hold a valid visa
  • are not required to hold a visa, or
  • hold a valid Danish residence permit

You can submit your application to the Immigration Service at Citizen Service.You must book an appointment before you show up at the Citizen Service. Read more about where the Immigration Service’s Citizen Service has branch offices and how you book an appointment

You can also send your application to the Immigration Service in the post.

Read more about the rules for submitting your application in Denmark

 

When you submit your application, you will normally need to have your fingerprints recorded and a picture of your face taken. These are also known as your biometric features. Your biometric features are required in order for you to get a new residence card.

Read more about residence cards with fingerprints and facial pictures

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