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Fast-track scheme

Fast-track means a quick and flexible job start for highly qualified foreign employees.

The Fast-track scheme makes it easier for certified companies to bring employees with special skills or qualifications to Denmark.

Read more about certification of Companies

The Fast-track scheme enables certified companies to hire highly qualified foreign nationals on short notice without having to wait for an application to be processed by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration. At the same time, the scheme offers the foreign national the option of working alternately in and outside Denmark.

The four tracks of the scheme

The Fast-track scheme is divided into four tracks. The foreign national can apply under the scheme if he or she has been offered a job by a certified company and the job offered meets one of the following criteria:

Adjustment of the minimum gross annual pay effective from 1 February 2017

From 1 February 2017 the minimum gross annual pay has been raised to DKK 408,800. The change is due to a slight technical adjustment.

If you have already submitted an application or intend to submit an application under the Pay Limit track of the Fast-track scheme, you must be aware of the following:

Applications submitted from 1 January 2017 until 31 January 2017:

  • All applications will be processed according to the regulations effective from 1 January 2017 (minimum amount DKK 408,000 annually).

Applications submitted before 1 January 2017:

  • All applications will be processed according to the regulations effective before 1 January 2017 (minimum amount DKK 400,000 annually).

Applications submitted before 10 June 2016:

  • All applications will be processed according to the regulations effective before 10 June 2016 (minimum amount DKK 375,000 annually).

Applications for extensions:

  • If you wish to submit an application for an extension of your current residence and work permit, you can continue with the minimum amount in effect at the time you submitted your first application for a residence and work permit under the Pay Limit scheme, if you continue to work in the same job and with the same employment conditions. See box below.

Applications submitted before 10 June 2016 Minimum amount DKK 375,000 annually DKK 31,250 per month
Applications submitted before 1 January 2017 Minimum amount DKK 400,000 annually DKK 33,333.33 per month
Applications submitted on or after 1 January 2017 Minimum amount DKK 408,000 annually DKK 34,000 per month
Applications submitted on or after 1 February 2017*

* Due to a technical adjustment of the minimum gross annual pay
Minimum amount DKK 408,800 annually DKK 34,066.67 per month

1) The foreign national is employed according to the conditions in the Pay Limit scheme

It is a condition under the Pay Limit track that the foreign national has been offered a job with a gross annual pay of no less than DKK 408,000 (January 2017 level). This is the absolute minimum amount. This means that the requirement of an annual pay of no less than DKK 408,000 must be met for each income year, even if the foreign national takes unpaid holiday.  Holiday pay which has been earned in the course of one income year but will be paid out the following year cannot be included in the calculation of the annual pay of the first income year.

The minimum amount will regulated every year on 1 January

The foreign national must have a written job contract or job offer which specifies salary and employment conditions. Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards. In some cases, the foreign national must obtain a Danish authorisation. For example, foreign-trained doctors must be authorised by the Danish Patient Safety Authority.

Read more about authorisation for foreign-trained doctors on the website of the Danish Patient Safety Authority (new window)

Read more about access to regulated professions on the website of the Danish Agency for Higher Education (new window)

2) The foreign national is employed as a researcher

Please note that guest researchers and PhD students are not included in the Fast-track scheme.

Under the Researcher track there must be specific research reasons why the research should be carried out by the foreign national. Normally, research work is considered to be so closely linked to the individual researcher that the general employment situation in Denmark is not decisive for whether or not the foreign national can be granted a residence and work permit.

The foreign national must have a written job contract or job offer which specifies salary and employment conditions. Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards. Full-time employment is not a requirement.

A researcher who wishes to be attached to several Danish universities as a researcher must submit an application for a work permit for sideline employment. Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards.

Please note that if a foreign national holds a residence permit as a researcher and the job content changes while you are working for the same university or company, for example if you are promoted or if your place of work or research project changes, you do not need to apply for a new residence and work permit, provided that salary and employment conditions continue to correspond to Danish standards.

However, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration must be informed if the foreign national's salary and employment conditions deteriorate.

3) The purpose of the employment is a high level educational stay

If the foreign national is highly qualified and has significant professional experience within a particular field of work, he or she can be included in the Fast-track scheme if the purpose of his or her stay in Denmark is to receive highly qualified training within the certified company, or to train, at a highly qualified level, other employees of the certified company.

Trainees are not included in a high level educational stay under the Fast-track scheme.

If it is not the purpose of the educational stay to receive highly qualified training, we refer you to read more about trainees.

4) The employment is for a short term stay

If the foreign national does not belong to one of the groups who can work in Denmark without a residence and work permit, the Fast-track scheme gives him or her the possibility to reside in Denmark for up to three months without specific conditions being applied to the foreign national's employment. However, the residence permit is conditional upon the salary and terms of employment corresponding to Danish standards.

The foreign national can be granted a residence and work permit for only one stay per year with a maximum duration of 3 months calculated from foreign national’s entry date into Denmark. The residence and work permit cannot be extended.

Read more about special groups who are exempt from the normal rules

The permit will not lapse during stays abroad

With a permit under the Fast-track scheme, a foreign national can work alternately in Denmark and abroad without the permit lapsing - within the validity period of the residence permit.

Normally a residence permit will automatically lapse and become invalid if the foreign national gives up his or her residence in Denmark or if he or she has lived outside Denmark for more than six months. Normally the foreign national will need to apply for a new permit in order to return to Denmark. These regulations, however, do not apply to residence permits under the Fast-track scheme.

However please note, if the foreign national resides and works outside Denmark for certain periods of time and during those periods do not receive the salary stated by the employer in the application for a residence and work permit, the employer must be able to document that the foreign national has not been working in Denmark during the said periods. This can be documented by:

  • Deregistering in the CPR-registry, if the foreign national stays outside Denmark for more than 3 months
  • Boarding pass
  • Passport stamps
  • The company’s internal HR information/registrations – incl. granting of leave
  • Pay slips from abroad

The employer can be requested to provide the above mentioned documentation in connection with an application for an extension or in connection with verification and spot checks.

Conditions for using quick job start

If the foreign national wishes to make use of the Fast-track scheme’s possibility for quick job start, he or she must in principle arrange for legal entry into Denmark by him- or herself. Before the foreign national starts working, he or she must appear in person at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration and be subjected to a number of checks, including an identity check, a check that he or she has not been registered as unwanted in the Schengen region and a check that he or she has entered into a contract with a certified company. In addition, we will check that the processing fee has been paid, and the foreign national's biometric features recorded.

If all the conditions have been fulfilled, a temporary permit allowing the foreign national to start working will be granted. The permit is valid until a decision has been made regarding the application for a residence and work permit.

If the foreign national is not exempt from the visa requirement and not already able to enter Denmark legally and appear in person at the Agency, the procedure described here must be followed.

If there is no need for a quick job start, the foreign national can apply for a residence permit under the Fast-track scheme from his or her home country and await the decision from the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration. The foreign national will still be exempt from the regulations concerning the lapse of a residence permit.

It is possible to book a meeting in our Citizen Centre in connection with the submission of online application AR6/7, if there is need for a quick job start.

It is not mandatory to book a meeting. The foreign national can also appear in person at our Citizen Centre during opening hours and await his or her turn in the line.

A meeting is booked by following the link in the receipt received when the online application has been submitted. The meeting can be booked to take place two hours after the application has been submitted at the earliest. The latest possible booking is 14 days from the date of submission.

Only applicants under the Fast-track scheme can book a meeting.

The foreign national must bring his or her passport and the receipt for a submitted application.

Duration

A residence and work permit under the Fast-track scheme can be granted for a period of up to four years, unless the application concerns a short term stay of up to three months. In this case, a residence permit can be granted for one short term stay of maximum three months within the period of one year.

A residence and work permit for a short term stay cannot be extended and the three months cannot be divided into several stays. An application must be submitted for each short term stay in Denmark and the three months will be calculated from the date of entry into Denmark.

A residence permit will expire 14 days after the end date of the employment contract. However, the permit period cannot exceed four years – or three months in case of a short term stay.

If the foreign national has been granted a residence and work permit based on an indefinite employment contract (that is, an employment contract with no expiration date), the duration of the permit will normally be four years. After this point, it is possible to apply for an extension of the permit if the foreign national is still in the same job. If the permit expires, and the foreign national has applied for an extension, and is still in the same job, on the same terms as when he or she got the original permit, the foreign national can stay in Denmark and continue working while the application for an extension is being processed.

If the foreign national has been granted a residence and work permit based on a temporary employment contract, the duration of the permit will be the same as that of the employment contract plus six months (though not exceeding four years in total). This is because an extra six months to enable the foreign national to look for work when the employment contract expires is given. In this job-seeking period the foreign national is not allowed to work.

Please note that the extra six months will not be given if the foreign national holds a residence permit for a short term stay.

If the foreign national finds a new job, he or she must apply for a new residence and work permit no later than on the day when he or she begins the new job.

Please note that it is a requirement that the passport is valid for at least three months beyond the duration of the residence permit applied for.

Read more about passport requirements in connection with applying

If the foreign national's employment is terminated, the residence and work permit will normally be revoked.

If you lose your job

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, e.g. due to cutbacks, you can get an additional six months' residence permit to look for a new job. In this case, you must apply for a residence permit for job seeking no later than two days after your employment expires. You can apply by letter or by using the application form AR1 (filling in only the applicant’s part). Please attach a letter of termination or other documentation which explains why you lost your job, and a copy of your valid passport. Please note that a fee must be paid for this type of application, and the receipt must be attached. In order to get the additional six months' residence, it is a condition that you are not receiving public assistance under the active social policy act (social benefits).

Please note that a residence permit for job seeking cannot be granted if you hold a residence permit for a short term stay.

If you find a new job

If the foreign national finds a new job while working, he or she must apply for a new residence and work permit. However, the foreign national may begin in the new job before he or she has received the new permit, provided that an application is submitted no later than the day he or she starts the new job.

If you change your job and submit a new application for a residence and work permit under the Fast-track scheme applying for the Pay Limit track, you must be aware that the minimum amount is regulated yearly.

How to apply

Read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit as an employee

Family members

If the foreign national has been granted a residence and work permit under the Fast-track scheme, he or she can bring certain family members.

Please note that the regulations regarding lapse of a residence permit if the permit holder leaves Denmark do not apply to accompanying family members to a foreign national holding a residence permit under the Fast-track scheme.

Read more about residence permit for accompanying family members



Last update: 1/27/2017
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration