The Pay Limit scheme
If you have been offered a highly paid job, you have particularly easy access to the Danish labour market. There are no specific requirements with regards to education, profession, or the specific nature of the job. The scheme also applies to persons who have applied for asylum in Denmark.
Changes to the Pay Limit scheme effective from 10 June 2016
From 10 June 2016 the minimum gross annual pay has been raised to DKK 400,000.
If you have already submitted an application or intend to submit an application under the Pay Limit scheme, you must be aware of the following:
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 submitted on or after 10 June 2016:
- New applications: the minimum amount is raised to DKK 400,000 annually.
- Applications for an extension: If you wish to submit an application for an extension of your current residence and work permit, you can continue with the current minimum amount of DKK 375,000 if you continue to work in the same job and with the same employment conditions.
Your job must have a gross annual pay of no less than DKK 400,000. This is the absolute minimum amount. This means that the requirement of an annual pay of no less than DKK 400,000 must be met for each income year, even if you take unpaid holiday. Holiday pay which was 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.
You 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, you 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)
If you get a residence and work permit on the grounds of an unlimited job contract (that is, a job contract with no expiration date), the duration of your permit will normally be four years. After this point, you can apply for an extension of your permit if you are still in the same job. If your permit expires, and you have applied for an extension, and you are still in the same job, on the same terms, as when you got your original permit, then you can stay in Denmark and continue working while your application for an extension is being processed. Your permit can be extended even if the pay limit is raised, leaving your annual pay under the new limit, provided that you are still in the same job, on the same terms.
If you get a residence and work permit on the grounds of a temporary job contract, the duration of your permit will be the same as that of your job contract plus six months (but no longer than four years in total). The reason is that you are granted an additional six months’ permit to allow you to look for a new job when your job contract expires. During the job seeking period you are not allowed to work. If you manage to find a new job, you must apply for a new residence and work permit no later than on the day you begin at your new job.
If you submit your application from your country of origin or another country where you have legally resided for at least the past three months, you can be granted a residence permit valid for one month prior to the date your job begins. This is to enable you to get settled in Denmark. It is a condition that you declare that you can support yourself and any accompanying family members for one month prior to beginning at your new job. If you do not declare this, your residence permit will be valid for 14 days prior to the date your job begins. If you submit your application in Denmark, your residence permit will be valid from the date your job begins.
Please note that it is a requirement that your passport is valid for at least three months beyond the duration of the residence permit you apply for.
Read more about passport requirements in connection with applying
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 jobseeking no later than two days after your job contract 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).
If you find a new job
If you find a new job while you are working, or while you hold a residence permit for jobseeking, you must apply for a new residence and work permit. However, you may begin your new job before you have received your new permit, provided that you submit your application no later than the day you start your new job.
If you change your job and submit a new application for a residence and work permit under the Pay Limit scheme, 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
Please note: If the company which offers you a job with a gross salary of no less than DKK 400,000 is certified, you can apply via the Fast-track scheme.
Read more about the Fast-track scheme
If you have been granted a residence and work permit under the Pay Limit scheme, you can bring certain family members.
Read more about residence permit for accompanying family members
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 guide you through the rules and regulations.
Read more about the contact person arrangement