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You must hold a residence and work permit in order to reside and work in Denmark, if you are a citizen of a country outside the Nordic countries or the EU/EEA. Whether you can obtain a residence and work permit depends, first and foremost, on your qualifications.

The rules also apply in the case of voluntary/unpaid work.

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:

The Greencard scheme makes it possible for highly qualified professionals to come to Denmark in order to seek work and subsequently work in Denmark.

Read more about the Greencard scheme

The Positive List is a list of the professions currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. Persons who have been offered a job in one of these professions, and who have completed the required education, have particularly easy access to the Danish labour market.

Read more about the Positive List

The Pay Limit scheme gives persons who have been offered a job with an annual pay above a certain limit particularly easy access to the Danish labour market.

Read more about the Pay Limit scheme

The Fast-track scheme. A residence permit under the fast-track scheme is contingent upon the company in Denmark (the employer) being certified by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration. The scheme enables certified companies to quickly hire certain types of highly qualified foreign professionals.

Read more about the Fast-track scheme

Read more about certification

Researchers and guest researchers 

Read more about researchers

Read more about guest researchers

The Start-up Denmark scheme enables entrepreneurs to operate a company in Denmark.

Read more about Start-up Denmark (self-employment)

The Establishment Card enables foreign nationals who complete a Danish Master's (Candidatus) degree or a Danish PhD degree to get a residence permit in order to establish themselves in Denmark after graduating.

Read more about the Establishment Card

Trainees can work in a Danish company for a period of time for educational and training purposes. 

Read more about trainees

A residence and work permit can be granted to foreign nationals with special individual qualifications such as artists, professional athletes and specialised chefs.

Read more about special individual qualifications

In addition, residence and work permits can be granted to herdsmen and farm managers in agriculture and for work on oil rigs, drillships and other moveable work stations temporarily situated on Danish territory.

Read more about herdsmen and farm managers

Read more about employees on moveable oil rigs, drillships etc.

Labour market attachment/retaining foreign labour in Denmark: If you have held a residence permit in Denmark based on, for example, asylum or family reunification, but your residence permit has been revoked or denied extension, you can be granted a new residence permit if you have held a job or operated an independent business for an extended period of time.

The same applies if you have held a residence permit as, for example, an accompanying family member of a foreign national who is working or studying in Denmark, and the residence permit has been revoked.

Read more about labour market attachment/retaining foreign labour in Denmark 

In connection with processing your application the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration may obtain a statement from the relevant branch organisation or regional labour market council in order to process an application.

In some cases, you may be required to hold a Danish authorisation. For example, this applies to doctors who need an authorisation from the Danish Health and Medicines Authority.

Read more about authorisation for foreign-trained doctors on the website of the Danish Health and Medicines Authority (new window)

Read more about access to regulated professions on the website of the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation (new window) 

It is possible to obtain a residence permit in order to acquire the professional and linguistic skills required to obtain a Danish authorisation.

Read more about residence permit in order to obtain a Danish authorisation as a doctor or dentist

Certain groups
 are exempt from the work permit requirement.

Read more about special groups 

Job seeking in Denmark

There are several web portals, databases and CV bases which can be useful in the process of seeking work in Denmark.

Read more about job seeking in Denmark

If you are an employer

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration has created a folder which describes what a Danish residence and work permit looks like and what you must pay attention to when employing foreign labour.

See folder about employing foreign labour (pdf) (new window)

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



Last update: 11/11/2015
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration