Visas, Work Permits and Migration
Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. Companies targeting Denmark for their next global move face unravelling the red tape surrounding work permit, visa, and immigration laws if they intend moving existing staff into their new territory. Few companies have these resources, or the time. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO-service we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence.
We are experts in hiring staff, applying for work visas in Denmark and ensuring employees meet Danish work visa requirements with the correct documentation. Our team is trained to research the latest information on Danish visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in Denmark in no time.
What types of Work Visas and Permits for Denmark are there?
Citizens from Nordic countries – Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands, an autonomous Finnish region – are free to work and live in Denmark without visas, work permits or residence documents. However, there are certain requirements (which is explained in further detail below). Citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland can work and live in Denmark without a visa and work permit but for stays over three months, they must also meet certain registration requirements (which is explained in further detail below).
Citizens from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland and Nordic countries are referred to as Third Country Nationals, and require a Work Permit and Residence Document/Permit before entering Denmark – unless they already reside legally inside Denmark. Work permits can be dependent on education and qualifications. Also, job vacancies needs to be offered first to the local market and EU nationals.
Work permit/residence applications can be straight forward and mostly done online through the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), but rules and regulations must be carefully negotiated and quite a few documents are required. The entry visa will be issued at the same time. A Schengen Visa permits entry (for those nationals that are not exempt) but allows only a 90-day stay and foreign nationals cannot apply for a Work or Residence Permit if they enter Denmark on a Schengen visa.
The main channels for workers to obtain both a work permit and residence visa are:
- The Fast-Track Scheme – aimed at larger companies who are certified by the Danish Agency for Labor Market and Recruitment (STAR), who require highly-qualified foreign staff to start as soon as possible. Employees should be offered a minimum salary to qualify.
- The Pay Limit Scheme – this is for employees who have been offered employment with a remuneration of DKK 445,000 (€59,800 or US$69,600) per year (rate for 2021).
- The Positive Lists – are those professions or occupations, where Denmark is lacking qualified people. If the job offered is listed, a work permit and residence permit can be applied for via this scheme, if the employee is qualified for the job.
So, it is best to know the rules and procedures for entering and residing in Denmark, which differ depending on nationality. All conditions should be carefully considered before applying.
How to obtain a Danish Work Permit?
Nordic, European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not require a work permit for Denmark. Third Country nationals however, do. Firstly, they need a job offer and signed contract of employment to be able to apply for a work permit and decide for which category they can apply. The main types of permits to work include:
- Fast-Track Scheme – employers have to be registered with the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) and certified to offer employment through the Danish Agency for Labor Market and Recruitment (STAR) and meeting certain conditions, allowing employees a ‘Quick Start’ and an employment contract. The work and residence permit for the employee can then be applied for through SIRI. The Fast-Track Scheme can be applied for within Denmark for persons already resident or from abroad:
- Non-EU foreign nationals outside of Denmark who can be sent the permit from GTS Nordic authorized by the Danish Immigration Authorities Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) in the applicant’s home country – which takes up to one month.
- Non-EU foreign nationals already residing in Denmark, which takes two or three days. A provisional work permit document allows employees to start immediately in lieu of the sanctioned permit
- The Pay Limit Scheme – this is for employees who have been offered employment with a remuneration of DKK 445,000 (€59,800 or US$69,600) per year.
- The Positive Lists – are those professions or occupations experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals. If the job being offered is on these lists, a Work Permit and Residence Permit can be applied for based on this scheme. There are two types of positive lists:
- Positive list for highly qualified employees
- Positive list for skilled professionals
How to apply for Work Visa/Work Permit in Denmark
Citizens from Nordic countries – Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands, an autonomous Finnish region – are free to work and live in Denmark without visas, work permits or residence documents. However, there are certain requirements:
- For employment – a tax number is required without delay
- If stays exceed three months, registration of address with the Civil Registration System (Folkeregister) is necessary to obtain a Central Personal Registration Number (CPR), a tax card and a health insurance card
EU Citizens do not require a visa or work permit but must register with the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) for a residence document showing they are entitled to live and work in Denmark. Paperwork includes:
- National ID or valid passport plus a passport-sized photo
- Completed and signed application form for OD 1 which can be downloaded online
- Document showing the reason for applying for residence as an employee
All other applicants requiring a Work Permit and Residence Permit can apply through the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) from their home country. The entry visa will come with the permits. Some permits can be completed by employers and some permits are linked – so care is needed to make sure all the necessary documentation is at hand. These are some of the basic prerequisites, but different permits may require additional paperwork. The work, residence and entry visa document is then sent to a local consulate or Visa Facilitation Service Global (VFS Global) centers in the home country enabling the worker to enter Denmark.
- A case number is required after deciding which permit is being applied for, whether it is through Fast-track, Positive List, Pay Limit schemes
- Fees need to be paid (unless you are exempt) to the relevant Danish authority
- A biometrics appointment should be made at a local Danish Embassy
- If the employer is applying on their behalf, a power of attorney form should be completed
- To avoid any delay, the fee should be paid in the same year as the case number is issued
Documents to submit at your appointment if they have not been uploaded online:
- Proof of payment of permit fee
- A completed and signed power of attorney form
- Photocopies of all pages of passport including back and front
- Recent job offer or employment contract (within one month) including all terms and conditions of the position and description of employment, including salary plus any employee information
- All educational or vocational qualifications or diplomas required to do the job