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Private visits and tourist visits

It is possible to obtain a visa to visit family and friends, as well as for tourist visits.

An application for a visa to visit Denmark is normally processed by the embassy or a consulate in the country in which the application was submitted.

The embassy or consulate will issue a visa if it concludes that the applicant do not pose a risk of becoming an illegal immigrant or pose a security risk. The immigration and security risk assessment is based on an assessment of current immigration trends in the country or region as well as the applicants personal situation. 

In most cases the embassy or consulate can process the visa applications themselves and either approve or refuse a visa application.

If the embassy or consulate assess that the application needs further investigation, it will be passed on to the Danish Immigration Service.

In certain situations, a Danish embassy or consulate will be required to ask the Danish Immigration Service to process an application. Read more about which applications the Immigration Service is required to process in section 28 of the Visa Executive Order

A decision to approve or refuse a visa application is made in accordance with the guides set out in the Visa Executive Order and in the guidelines on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark. 

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark


Main groups for countries whose citizens must hold visas


Countries whose citizens must hold visas in order to enter Denmark are divided into five main groups.

See: Attachment 1 of Order to amend ‘Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa': Main groups of countries whose citizens are not exempt from visa requirements

Different guideline requirements for obtaining a visa apply to each group. Different countries are grouped based on the overall risk of a citizen remaining within the Schengen countries after the individual’s visa expires.

The division of countries into 5 main groups serve only as a rough guideline. All applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For some applicants, it will be taken into consideration whether an applicant who has previously been issued a Schengen visa abided by the terms of the visa. Other special situations that may be considered include: whether the applicant is seeking to visit an individual suffering from a terminal illness, or if the point of the trip is to attend the funeral of a close friend or relative.

Regardless of which group an individual’s country of residence is in, immigration authorities will reject a visa application if there is a risk that the applicant:

  • will seek to reside in Denmark or another Schengen country permanently or for an extended period, or
  • is a security risk.

Group 1

Group 1 includes countries whose citizens represents a very limited risk of immigrating illegally to Denmark or another Schengen country.

The following countries are currently in Group 1:

Angola, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Cambodja, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Dem. People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Fiji, Gabon, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Cape Verde Islands, China, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Sao Tomé & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Suriname, Swaziland, South Africa, Tajikistan, Taiwan i, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea. 

i Holders of passports issued by Taiwan which include an identity card number are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark. The same applies to holders of passports on which the words ”Republic of China” are stated on the face, and where the place of birth is stated as Taiwan, provided that the passport contains an identity card number

Citizens of countries in Group 1 are generally eligible for visas for purely tourist-related visits even if the applicant will not be hosted by anyone in Denmark.

However, a visa application will be turned down if the immigration authorities have reason to believe that an applicant may seek permanent or long-term residency in Denmark or another Schengen country. This would be the case if the applicant expresses intentions of not leaving after his/her visa expires or if the applicant previously has shown a behaviour that indicates that he/she  might want to stay longer in Denmark than on a short term. This would also be the case if the applicant previously  has violated the rules for visa or a residence permit, or if there is reason to believe that one of the host’s previous guests violated the terms of a visa.

A decision to approve or reject a visa application is made in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Viss Executive Order.

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark

Group 2

Group 2 includes countries whose citizens represents some risk of immigrating illegally to Denmark or another Schengen country. 

The following countries are currently in Group 2:

Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovinaii, Burkina Faso,, Congo (Brazzaville), Cuba, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Macedonia (FYROM)iii, Malawi, Mauritania, Moldovaiv, Mongolia, Montenegrov, Nepal, Niger, Serbiavi, Chad, Thailand, Togo, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

ii Holders of biometric passports issued by Bosnia and Herzegovina are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark.
iii Holders of biometric passports issued by Macedonia (FYROM) are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark.
iv Holders of biometric passports issued by Moldova are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark.
v Holders of biometric passports issued by Montenegro are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark.
vi Holders of biometric passports issued by Serbia are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark. However, the exemption from the visa requirement does not apply to holders of passports issued by the coordinating directorate (“Koordinaciona uprava”).

Citizens from countries in Group 2 can basically be issued a visa, regardless of the nature of the relationship with their host. The visa applicant must be hosted by someone in Denmark, but there is no particular form of relationship that is required in order to be a host. Spouses, cohabiting partners and boy/girlfriends as well as underage children of Danish citizens who live abroad also qualify for visas.

If the application is submitted by someone other than the spouse, cohabiting partner, a child under the age of 18 or a parent of a person living in Denmark, the application will be rejected if the applicant is deemed unlikely to return home after the individual’s visa expires. In such cases, the Danish Immigration Service will take into account what type of residence permit the applicant would be able to apply for.

If the types of residence permit the individual could qualify for do not require a penalty period (such as family reunification), a visa can be granted, even if it is deemed likely that the applicant will apply for long-term residence while in Denmark.

An application will be rejected if immigration authorities find it likely that the applicant will seek to reside illegally in Denmark or another Schengen country.

This would be the case if the applicant expresses intentions of not leaving after his/her visa expires or if the applicant previously has shown a behaviour that indicates that he/she  might want to stay longer in Denmark than on a short term, or if there is reason to believe that one of the host’s previous guests violated the terms of a visa or residence permit.

A decision to approve or reject a visa application is made in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Visa Executive Order.

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark

Group 3

Group 3 includes countries whose citizens represents a significant risk of immigrating illegally to Denmark or another Schengen country. 

The following countries are currently in Group 3:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Philippines, Georgiavii, Ghana, Belarus, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Morocco, Russia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam.

vii Holders of biometric passports issued by Georgia are exempt from the visa requirement when entering Denmark.

Citizens of the countries in Group 3 must prove a relationship with their host.

Citizens of the countries in Group 3 will normally be granted a visa if they are:

  • a spouse
  • a cohabiting partner or boy/girlfriend
  • a child (regardless of age) and their accompanying spouse
  • a parent and their accompanying spouse, and
  • a sibling and their accompanying spouse.

Visas can also be issued to:

  • nieces, nephews and grandchildren under the age of 18 seeking to travel to Denmark on holiday unaccompanied by a parent
  • the close acquaintance of a Danish citizen who previously worked abroad for a Danish company
  • a sponsor child under the age of 18, and
  • individuals accompanying an elderly family member.

Spouses, cohabiting partners and boy/girlfriends as well as underage children of Danish citizens who live abroad also qualify for visas.

In order for a boy/girlfriend (including applicants seeking to travel to Denmark to marry) to qualify for a visa, the applicant and the individual living in Denmark must prove that they have had and still have a long-term relationship. This involves: proving that both host and applicant are unmarried or divorced, that they have met in person and have been together within the past year. If the relationship only involves telephone, written or online communication, a visa will not be granted.

If the application is submitted by persons other than spouses, cohabiting partners, minor children and parents, the application will be rejected if the applicant's ties to the home country or the country of residence are not strong enough that it is sufficiently probable that the person in question will return after the visa stay. In this connection, it may be taken into account which kind of residence permit the applicant may apply for.

Thus, a risk that the applicant may potentially seek to stay longer by applying for one of the types of residence permit which do not entail a penalty period (e.g. family reunification) should not result in a rejection of the visa application. 

An application will be rejected if immigration authorities find it likely that the applicant will seek to reside illegally in Denmark or another Schengen country.

This would be the case if the applicant expresses intentions of not leaving after his/her visa expires or if the applicant previously has shown a behaviour that indicates that he/she might want to stay longer in Denmark than on a short term. 

Travel-agency and tourist arrangements have been established with Russia, Ukraine and India. The arrangements make it easier for citizens of these countries to visit Denmark as tourists. Read more about Travel agency and tourist arrangements

A decision to approve or reject a visa application is made in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Visa Executive Order.

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark

Group 4

Group 4 includes countries whose citizens represents a high degree of risk  to immigrate illegally to Denmark or another Schengen country.

The following countries are currently in Group 4: 

Algeria, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, stateless Palestinians vii, Senegal, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen.

vii Other stateless persons than stateless Palestinians are considered in relation to the country where they reside.  

Citizens of countries in Group 4 normally only qualify for a visa if they are the spouse, cohabiting partner, underage child or a parent of an individual living in Denmark. An applicant will be considered to be a ‘cohabiting partner’ if it can be documented that the applicant lived together with the host for at least 18 months.

An application will be rejected if the immigration authorities find it likely that the applicant will seek to reside illegally in Denmark or another Schengen country. This would be the case if the applicant expresses intentions of not leaving after his/her visa expires or if the applicant previously has shown a behaviour that indicates that he/she  might want to stay longer in Denmark than on a short term, or if there is reason to believe that one of the host’s previous guests violated the terms of a visa or residence permit.

As regards parents applying for a Schengen visa to visit their children living in Denmark the application should be refused in situations where it is deemed, upon a specific assessment, that the applicants do not have significant ties to their home country or the country of residence is not strong enough that it is sufficiently probable that the person in question will return after the visa stay.  

Read more about the processing of applications for visa submitted by parents who are citizens of a country in Group 4 (In Danish only) 

A decision to approve or reject a visa application is made in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Visa Executive Order.

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark 

Group 5

Group 5 includes countries whose citizens represent a particularly high degree of risk to immigrate illegally to Denmark or another Schengen country, and countries that individuals cannot easily be repatriated to.

The following countries are currently in Group 5:

Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria.   

Citizens of countries in Group 5 are subject to a number of restrictions and generally only qualify for visas if there are extenuating circumstances, such as the death or terminal illness of a family member living in Denmark.

In certain instances, a visa can be granted to an applicant from a country in Group 5 seeking to visit a spouse or cohabiting partner in Denmark, if the applicant’s application for family reunification was previously rejected due to an inadequate connection to Denmark. In order to qualify, the spouse in Denmark must have significant ties to Denmark, the couple must be legally married and all the additional requirements for family reunification (housing, financial support, etc) must be met. A financial guarantee would only need to be paid in the event that the individual applied for a new family reunification. 

A decision to approve or reject a visa application is made in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Visa Executive Order.

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark

Qualifying as a host

Visa applicants from countries in groups 2-5 are normally only approved if a Danish resident hosts them. Individuals seeking to be a host must meet certain requirements.

First, the individual in Denmark must confirm that the visit was planned. Unplanned visits do not qualify for visas. An individual seeking to act as host can submit an invitation. The Danish Immigration Service recommends using invitation form VU2, but potential hosts can draw up their own invitation.

Secondly, it is a requirement that the host has a permanent place to live in Denmark. This requirement can be waived in certain cases, such as if the applicant is a spouse, a cohabiting partner, a boyfriend or girlfriend or minor child of a Danish national who has settled down permanently abroad and if the Danish national wishes to spend a vacation in Denmark with his immediate family.

Thirdly, a host will normally be required to be either a citizen or resident of Denmark. If an individual applying to host someone holds an expired residence permit, but has applied for renewal, the Danish Immigration Service will make a decision based on the specific details of the situation. One of the Danish Immigration Service’s considerations will be whether the individual applying to be a host will be permitted to apply for permanent residence at some point.

Read more about processing times

Read more about applying for a visa

A decision to approve or reject a visa application is made in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Visa Executive Order.

See: Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on aliens’ access to Denmark on the basis of a visa 

See: Order no. 202 of 27 February 2017 to amend Executive Order no. 376 of 20 March 2015 on Aliens' Access to Denmark on the basis of a visa

See also: Guideline no. 9201/2017 on the Processing of Applications for Visas for Denmark



Last update: 3/27/2017
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Published by: The Danish Immigration Service