Non-EU nationals staying in Denmark for longer than three months must apply for a residence permit at least three months before they arrive in Denmark. Non-EU nationals who are staying for less than three months should apply for a visa, though this will not allow them to take on employment.
Danish residence permits for students
Students with residency in one of the Nordic countries do not need a residence permit, but should present an Internordic relocation certificate to the National Register (Folkeregistret) if they plan to stay in Denmark for more than three months.
If you are a student coming to study in Denmark, and you already have permanent residency in another EU country, you do not need to apply for a residence permit before you arrive in Denmark. Instead, upon your arrival in Denmark, you should consult your university in Denmark who will advise you on what kind of permit you need to apply for. You will also need to provide your European Health Insurance Card in order to apply for the residence permit.
Students from Non-EU countries need to apply for a Danish residence permit in their home country roughly four months before arriving in Denmark.
All residence permit applications should be submitted to a Danish embassy, consulate general or consulate in your home country where you need to have been living legally for the last three months. It normally takes about three months before you receive your residence permit for Denmark, though it can sometimes take longer. You will have to pay an application fee to the embassy which cannot be refunded. You must also prove that you have sufficient finances to support yourself during your stay in Denmark.
Residence permit for jobseekers
It is possible to get up to six months’ extra residence on your permit if your permit was issued on the grounds of a temporary job contract. This extra time will allow you to look for new work once your temporary contract expires, and you are not allowed to work during this time. The permit is no longer valid when you find a new job, so you will have to apply for a new permit based on your new job.
The positive list
You can apply for a residence permit if you are offered a job in a profession that currently lacks sufficient qualified professionals. A list of such professions can be found here.
The minimum requirement for applicants is usually a bachelor’s degree, and they must be able to produce a contract of employment listing all the necessary working conditions. Upon approval, you can be issued with a residence permit for up to three years with the option to extend to four years.
Anyone who has received a residence permit based on the positive list is entitled to bring their spouse/registered partner/cohabiting partner and children under the age of 18 to Denmark with them, provided the family lives together and is able to support itself.
The pay limit scheme
The pay limit scheme allows foreigners who are offered a job with an annual salary of at least DKK 375,000 to receive a residence permit. This permit is valid for three years, with the option to extend to four. Applicants have the same entitlements as the positive list with regard to bringing family, and must also provide a contract of employment.
The Corporate Scheme permit
Employees of a foreign part of a company established in Denmark can obtain a three-year residence permit, with the option to extend, if they are required to come to Denmark by the company. The work must be innovative, developmental or educational.
The scheme does not cover temporary workers, so all applicants must be permanently employed by the company. The employee’s contract must not be altered – they must remain associated with the foreign part of the company. The applicant’s residence permit will usually be withdrawn if relations between the Danish company and the foreign unit break down.
Successful applicants are entitled to bring their families over to Denmark under the same conditions as the positive list and the pay limit scheme.
The Green Card Scheme
The Green Card Scheme gives foreigners the chance to obtain a three-year residence permit under a points system. The permit can be extended by up to a year as long as the applicant is in permanent employment, or has had permanent employment but was made redundant within the preceeding three months.
In order to be issued with a residence permit under the Green Card Scheme, foreigners need to have accrued a minimum of 100 points. Points are distributed based on five criteria: education, linguistic ability, work experience, adaptability and age.
Applicants must also have a health insurance policy that is valid for the necessary amount of time. The same regulations as the previous schemes apply with regards to bringing family members to Denmark.