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Job prospects

If the asylum seeker is over 18 and he/she meets certain conditions, he/she can apply to the Danish Immigration Service to approve an offer of employment until he/she is granted a residence permit in Denmark, leaves Denmark or is deported from Denmark.

An asylum seeker can be employed in any ordinary job without public subsidy. This employment may be full- or part-time, paid or unpaid. The asylum seeker must be offered employment under the standard salary and under terms of employment that applies to the Danish labour market. The asylum seeker will not be permitted to run his/her own business.

The asylum seeker may not begin working until he/she has entered into a contract with the Immigration Service specifying the conditions of the approval. If the asylum seeker works before signing a contract with the Immigration Service, he/she may be fined or sentenced to up to 1 year in prison, and the employer may be fined or sentenced to up to 2 years in prison.

If the asylum seeker is offered employment within an area of work covered by the Positive List, he/she can also apply for a residence permit on these grounds. If the asylum seeker is offered a highly paid job, he/she can also apply for a residence permit under the Pay Limit scheme.

Conditions

The following conditions must be met before the asylum seeker can work in Denmark until he or she is granted a residence permit in Denmark, leaves Denmark or is deported from Denmark:

  • The Immigration Service must approve that the asylum seeker and the job in question meet the requirements.
  • The asylum seeker is required to enter into a contract with the Immigration Service specifying the conditions under which he/she is approved to work. These conditions include: co-operating with the immigration authorities seeking to process his/her application for asylum if it is still being processed and/or assisting with the deportation process if he/she has received a final rejection of his/her application for asylum, or has withdrawn the application.
  • The employment must comply with standard salary and employment terms.

The following conditions must also be met:

  • The asylum seeker’s identity must have been established.
  • At least 6 months must have passed from the time the asylum seeker applied for asylum.
  • The Immigration Service must have decided that the asylum seeker’s application for asylum is to be processed in Denmark.
  • The asylum seeker will not receive approval for employment if he/she, at any time has been expelled (administrative expulsion) because he/she is considered a danger to national security or a serious threat to public order, safety or health.
  • The asylum seeker will not receive approval for employment if he/she has been expelled by court.
  • The asylum seeker will not receive approval for employment if he/she has been sentenced to prison (served or suspended) for violating the Danish criminal code.
  • The asylum seeker will not receive approval for employment if he/she is covered by the grounds for exclusion in the Refugee Convention (for example, if there are serious grounds to suspect that he/she has committed a crime against peace or humanity, a war crime or a serious crime of a non-political nature).
  • The application may not be processed according to the manifestly unfounded procedure or to the expedited version of the manifestly unfounded procedure. Read more about processing applications for asylum.

If the asylum seeker is under 18, he/she may only be permitted to accept employment in Denmark if, after a specific assessment, the Immigration Service decides that this is in his/her best interests and if the mentioned conditions are met.

If the Immigration Service rejects the asylum seeker’s request to be approved to work, the asylum seeker can appeal the decision to the Ministry of Immigration and Integration. 

Relation to asylum seekers contract with the asylum center 

The contract that the asylum seeker makes with the asylum centre regarding education and other activities must take into account that the asylum seeker's job. An asylum seeker with a job must only take part in education and other activities in the extent that the job does not preclude. 

It is on the other hand not legally due to be absent from meetings with the immigration authorities because of the job.

Tax, labour market contributions and payment of wages

The asylum seeker is required to pay labour market contributions of 8 % and gross tax of 30% of his/her income. Both amounts are withheld by the employer. The regulations can be found in the Danish Withholding Tax Act section 48 B.

The asylum seeker does not receive a CPR number. Therefore the employer has to manually pay labour market contributions and gross tax to SKAT via form 01.014 “Månedlig angivelse af skat for godkendte asylansøgere”. The form and guidance for filling out the form can be found at skat.dk. You can contact SKAT via asylskat@skat.dk or by telephone, phone number 72 22 18 18.

Employer and employee enter into an agreement about how the net wage is paid. Please note that it can be difficult for an asylum seeker to set up a bank account for payment of wages due to the fact he/she does not have a CPR number. It may therefore be necessary to pay the wages in another way than via a bank transfer, e.g. cash.

Offsetting in cash allowance

The wage after tax and labor market contributions is offset in the asylum seeker's cash allowance from the Immigration Service (Basic/supplementary/caregiver allowance). 
The deduction is done by the krone-til-krone principle. 

The asylum seeker can also be imposed to support his/her spouse and children under 18 years. 

Payment of rent

The asylum seeker may be required to pay rent if he/she is accommodated in an asylum centre or in an independent residence affiliated with a centre. It will happen if the asylum seeker gets more paid wages than the level is for cash allowance. Asylum seekers may also pay rent for his/her spouse and children under 18 years. 

The monthly rent per. person to be accommodated in an asylum center is DKK 5,137 in 2016. 

The monthly rent per. person to accommodate in an independent residence affiliated with a centre is DKK 7,119 in 2016. The rent for an independent residence will as a maximum be set at DKK 25,808 per. month for the entire household in 2016. 

The rent must be paid no later than the 5th of each month. 



Last update: 12/9/2016
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Published by: The Danish Immigration Service