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Information for employers

It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that you do not employ a foreign national illegally. This concerns both paid work and non-paid work (volunteering).

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration has issued a pamphlet that will help you avoid employing foreign nationals illegally. The pamphlet explains what you must consider when you employ a foreign national. We recommend that you read the pamphlet carefully.

Read the pamphlet How to avoid employing foreign nationals illegally

If you have any further questions about the rules after having read the pamphlet, you are welcome to contact the agency.

Read more about contacting the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration

Please also note that a number of schemes have been designed in order to make it possible for highly qualified professionals to get a residence and work permit in Denmark.

Read more about the schemes in the area of work

Below you will find information on other matters you need to be aware of as an employer.

Short term visa

Foreign nationals visiting Denmark on a short term visa are normally not allowed to work. Under certain circumstances a foreign national can, however, carry out work-related activities in Denmark on a short term visa. Under other circumstances the foreign national who is to work in Denmark can be exempt from holding a work permit.

Read more about visa or work permit

Extension of residence and/or work permit

As an employer you may continue to employ a foreign national while he or she awaits a decision on an application for an extension of a residence and work permit. It is, however, important that the application for an extension has been submitted before the date of expiry of the permit for which the foreign national is applying for an extension.

As employer you must be aware that extension of a stay in Denmark on new grounds and extension of a residence permit on the same grounds grants different rights.

Example 1 – changing from student to accompanying family member – new grounds

The foreign national holds a residence permit as a student in a higher educational programme (residence card type Z) which is valid until 30 December 2017. The foreign national applies for an extension as an accompanying family member on 15 November 2017. The foreign national is granted a residence permit as an accompanying family member (residence card type C) on 15 January 2018.

As the employer you can employ the foreign national until 30 December 2017 for either 15 or 20 hours – depending on the information on the residence card. During the period 30 December 2017 until 14 January 2018 you are not allowed to employ the foreign national. From 15 January 2018 you can employ the foreign national without limitations until the permit is no longer valid.

Example 2 – from student in one educational programme to student in another programme – new grounds

The foreign national holds a residence permit as a student in a higher educational programme (residence card type Z) which is valid until 30 December 2017 and applies on 15 November 2017 for a residence permit as a student on a new higher educational programme (residence card type Z). As an example, the student changes from being enrolled in an AP Degree in study area A in educational institution B to being enrolled in a Diploma Programme in study area A in educational institution B. The foreign national receives the new residence permit on 15 January 2018.

As the employer you can employ the foreign national until 30 December 2017 for either 15 or 20 hours – depending on the information on the residence card. During the period 30 December 2017 until 14 January 2018 you are not allowed to employ the foreign national. From 15 January 2018 you can employ the foreign national for up to 20 hours per week.

Example 3 – accompanying family member (extension of a residence permit on the same grounds)

The foreign national holds a residence permit as an accompanying family member (residence card type C). The foreign national applies for an extension of his or her residence permit as an accompanying family member (residence card type C).

As the employer you are allowed to employ the foreign national even though the permit expires before he or she has been granted an extension. As long as the foreign national has applied for an extension before the permit expired.

The Job Change Rule


A foreign national holding a residence card type J or R (residence permit based on salaried work) who changes his or her job, can begin working in the new job as long as he or she has applied for a new residence and work permit no later than the first day of work.

Please note that the Job Change Rule does not apply to interns, even though they have been issued a residence card type J. Interns are therefore not allowed to begin a new job before a new residence and work permit has been issued.

Example 4 – the Job Change Rule

The foreign national holds a residence permit under the Pay Limit scheme (residence card type J or R) as an IT consultant at company A. The residence permit expires on 30 April 2019.The foreign national gets a new job as an IT consultant at company B with 1 January 2018 as the start date. The foreign national can begin his new job at company B as long as he or she has submitted an application for a residence permit based on the new job no later than the first day of work at company B.

Permit for job seeking

When a foreign national has been issued a residence card type R, it is important that you - as an employer - are aware that there is a difference between the date of expiry of the work permit and the date of expiry of the residence permit.

The difference is caused by the addition of a residence permit for job seeking valid for 6 months after the date of expiry of the work permit. The residence permit therefore expires 6 months after the work permit. It is important that you are aware that the foreign national does not have the right to work during the job seeking period.

The date of expiry of the residence permit incl. the job seeking permit valid for 6 months appears on the front of the residence card.

The date of expiry of the work permit appears on the back of the residence card. Here you will also find information on which employer the foreign national is allowed to work for.

The contact person arrangement

If you represent a company or business in Denmark with foreign employees, you can be assigned a contact person in the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration who can help you with guidance on the rules and regulations in the area of work.

Read more about the contact person arrangement



Last update: 1/3/2017
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration