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The Greencard scheme

The Greencard Scheme has been repealed with effect from 10 June 2016.

Applications for a residence permit under the Greencard Scheme submitted before 10 June 2016 will be processed.

If you are a greencard holder who has been granted a residence permit based on an application submitted before 10 June 2016, you can be granted an extension of your residence permit if you fulfil the requirements for an extension.

If you are an accompanying family member to a Greencard holder, you can continue to apply for a residence permit and extension of your residence permit. This applies regardless of whether you submit the application for a residence permit as an accompanying family member before or after 10 June 2016.

Please note that the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration received a large number of applications in the days leading up to 10 June 2016, the date the Greencard scheme was repealed. Due to this we do not expect the final applications to be processed until the beginning of 2017. This also means that we cannot meet the service goal in all cases.


Important information for Greencard holders

Please note that within six months of getting your permit, you must move to Denmark and have an official address in Denmark. It is your own responsibility to find a place to live.

It is a requirement that you take out a full health insurance covering the period until you are entitled to be covered by the Danish National Health Insurance.

It is also a requirement that in the first year after you have been granted a residence permit you have earned a minimum of DKK 50,000 in Denmark. The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration will automatically check the Danish income register to see if you meet this requirement. If not, your residence permit may be revoked or you may be denied an extension.

It is a requirement that you do not receive any unemployment benefits for new graduates (dimittenddagpenge) or any public assistance under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act (lov om aktiv socialpolitik) during your stay in Denmark.

Greencard holders do not need to obtain a separate work permit. The residence permit  gives you the right to carry out paid or unpaid work. However, it does not give you the right to work as a self-employed person (run your own business).

Note that you cannot bring any accompanying family members to Denmark before you are settled at an official address in Denmark, have found a job, and have received a salary. Read more about this requirement below.

Extension

As a greencard holder you can apply for an extension for a period of up to 3 years. You must submit the application for an extension before your permit expires. Read about the various extension situations in the section on the transitional scheme below.

Your residence permit can be extended if you meet a minimum income requirement: If, in the course of the past 12 months before submitting your application for an extension, you have earned the average salary (of the public and private sector) for new graduates with a Bachelor's degree.

Overview of the average salary for new graduates with a Bachelor’s degree

  Year     Average salary 
  2010   DKK 289,286
  2011   DKK 296,546
  2012   DKK 301,084
  2013   DKK 306,156
  2014   DKK 309,424
  2015   DKK 313,381
  2016   DKK 317,725

When applying for an extension, you must meet the minimum income requirement for the year in which you were granted your first greencard permit. For example, if you were granted your first permit in 2010, you must document a salary of at least DKK 289,286 over the past year (average salary for the year 2010) every time you apply for an extension of your greencard permit. Therefore, the amount which must be documented does not change for the individual applicant.

The salary can be earned in one or more jobs.

You must have earned this salary on ordinary terms, your salary must have been reported to the Danish tax administration (SKAT), and your employer must be established in Denmark. Public subsidies and support, sick pay, benefits (dagpenge) paid in connection with maternity or parental leave and similar will not be included when calculating your pay.

You can submit your application for an extension no sooner than 3 months before your residence permit expires. It is crucial that you submit your application for an extension before your current residence permit expires.

If you submit your application after the date your residence permit expires, you should expect your application to be rejected. This means that if will not be processed unless special conditions apply, such as, if you cannot be blamed for the delay, or if Denmark's international obligations warrant it. If your application for an extension is rejected, you will have to leave Denmark and apply for a new residence permit in your country of origin. Such an application will be regarded and processed as an entirely new application for a residence permit, i.e. it will be processed in accordance with the rules that apply to first-time applicants, and you will lose the right to an extension of your previous residence permit.

If your residence permit expires, and you applied for an extension before the expiration date, you may stay in Denmark with the same right while your application is being processed.

Transitional scheme

A special transitional scheme applies, if you were granted a residence permit under the Greencard scheme before 1 January 2015, since the then existing Greencard scheme was changed effective this date. As a result, the first application for an extension which you submit after 1 January 2015 will be processed under the previous extension rules. However, any subsequent applications for an extension will be processed under the new extension rules, where you must meet the income requirement. It is stated in your latest residence permit letter which requirements you must meet.

Examples of extension situations

Example 1: The applicant was granted a permit on 4 September 2013 with the expiration date being 4 September 2016. The applicant applies for an extension in August 2016 and must meet the previous extension rules, as this is the applicant's first application for an extension after 1 January 2015. Consequently, the requirement is having worked for a minimum of ten hours per week for the past 12 months. The applicant is granted a one-year extension on 10 November 2016, which will expire on 10 November 2017. When the applicant applies for an extension in 2017, the present requirements must be met.

Example 2: The applicant submitted a first-time application on 21 December 2014 and was granted a permit on 15 January 2015, which will expire on 15 January 2018. The applicant applies for an extension in January 2018 and must meet the new extension requirements, that is, the income requirement. The reason is that the applicant was granted a permit after 1 January 2015.

Example 3: The applicant submitted a first-time application on 5 January 2015 and was granted a permit on 1 April 2015, which will expire on 1 April 2017. The applicant applies for an extension in February 2017 and must meet the new extension requirements, that is, the income requirement.

Establishment Card

There is a special scheme for foreign nationals who complete a Danish Master's (Candidatus) degree or a Danish PhD degree. You can be granted a special residence permit allowing you to establish yourself in Denmark efter graduating.

Read more about the Establishment Card

Family members

If you are a Greencard holder, your family members can be granted residence permits when certain requirements have been met.

Read more about residence permits for accompanying family members in general

Apart from the general conditions for residence permits for accompanying family members, a specific employment requirement must be met by the Greencard holder:

  • You must be employed in Denmark
  • Your employment must have a duration of at least 1 year from the date of submission of your family member’s application
  • You must have been paid at least one month’s salary based on this employment
  • You must have a guaranteed salary of at least (2016 level) DKK 10,968 per month, if the accompanying family member is your spouse/partner or DKK 14,575 per month, if the accompanying family consists of one or more minor children or a spouse/partner and one or more minor children
  • The employment requirement must be met by employment in a single job. It is therefore not possible to meet the requirement by combining several different jobs

Your salary must derive from ordinary employment and reported to the Danish Customs and Tax Administration SKAT and your employer must be established in Denmark.

Your employment must be documented in the form of an employment contract and your most recent pay slip. The employment contract must be in your name and contain information about the duration of your employment and your salary.

The employment requirement cannot be waived and cannot be met, for example, by documenting available funds in a bank account instead.

The accompanying family must not, after the residence permit has been granted, receive any public assistance under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act. If the accompanying family receives any such assistance, both the accompanying family and you may lose your right to reside in Denmark.

Read more about the financial requirements for accompanying family members under the Greencard scheme



Last update: 11/30/2016
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration