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Migration - Denmark

Denmark is one of the European Union's most active members in trying to recruit skilled workers from around the world. Denmark's immigration policy, similar to the United Kingdom's skilled immigration program, utilizes a point based system called the Danish Green Card to attract skilled workers from outside the EU. In addition, Denmark has a work permit system called the Positive List scheme for people who have a valid job offer from a Danish employer.

A well-balanced family and work life, an excellent business climate and an efficient welfare state. These are just three of the reasons why many foreigners want to come to Denmark.  Danes are always being voted the happiest people in the world because of their healthy balance between work and private life The Danish welfare model, with its flexible working conditions - often being able to choose when they start their working day and having the flexibility of working from home, with minimum 5 weeks’ paid holiday for all wage earners - and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities, not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality league table, but also contributes to a generally high standard of living. 

The Danish Green Card

If you are highly qualified and can score enough points based upon criteria such as age, education, language skills, and work experience, you can obtain a three year residence permit under the Danish Green Card scheme which will allow you to live in Denmark and find work. A previous job offer is not required.  It is also a special route for researchers, trainees, athletes and religious employees who wish to work in Denmark


Score at least 100 points (criteria: education, language skills, work experience, adaptability (education in EU/European Economic Area) & age.

Sufficient health insurance

Age limit 40 years

Financial requirements to support your stay/your family’s stay in Denmark for the first year

While 30 to 50 points are granted for Bachelor’s degree, Master’s & PhD degree holders can early 60 to 80 points besides bonus points up to 15 for School Ranking & 10 for occupation related education based on the prescribed positive list.

Financial requirement is currently DKK 6500 for individuals and DKK 5400 per person for family members, per month.  For children under 18 it is DKK 1350 per month, per children.  One year’s requirement will be roughly DKK 78000 for a single person, DKK 143000 if accompanied by spouse, DKK 170000 if accompanied by spouse & one child.

The Positive List (Work Permits)

Denmark, like many nations, has a large number of occupations for which they are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers. Denmark maintains a large listing of shortage occupations called the Positive List. If you have a job offer from a Danish employer in an occupation on the Positive List, you can obtain a work and residence permit immediately under the Positive List scheme.

Other conditions also apply. If your occupation requires Danish authorization (such as practicing medicine), you must obtain this authorization before a work and residence permit will be granted. In addition, you must have a written job offer that states your expected salary and employment conditions. Salary and employment conditions must meet Danish standards.

Work and residence permits can be obtained for up to three years under the Positive List scheme with the possibility of extension of up to four years.

The list included occupations such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, management professionals and skilled workers, besides social service, teaching, religious occupations, health care, etc.

The Pay Limit Scheme

If you have a highly paid job offer from a Danish employer that pays more than DKK 375,000 (approximately USD 80,000), you are also eligible for a work and residence permit in Denmark under the Pay Limit scheme.

Unlike the Danish Green Card scheme or the Positive List work permit scheme, there are no specific requirements pertaining to the applicant's occupation, education, or experience.  However, certain professions like medical practitioner may need a Danish Authorization.

Family Visa

In all the cases, your spouse or partner is also eligible for residence permits. Any children under the age of 18 who live with you are also eligible for residence permits. Your spouse or partner would be eligible to work for the entire period his or her residence permit is valid.

General Information

Denmark officially known as the Kingdom of Denmark, a Scandinavian sovereign state of Northern  Europe is a constitutional monarchy in the form of parliamentary democracy.  Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark. Denmark has a temperate climate characterized by mild winters and cool summers. Denmark has a modern market economy which features high-tech agricultural sector, pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy.  As a member of the European Union, the Danish legislation conforms to the EU norms and standards. The standard of living is high in Denmark and the Danish economy is characterized by government welfare measures and equitable distribution of income. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and imports mostly raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Denmark has very few natural resources on depends on human resources. The Danish labour market is most flexible in the EU which allows the companies to adjust the number of employees based on market demands with very rare strikes in the labour market. Businesses in Denmark mainly consist of small and medium-sized companies and over 75 percent of Danish industrial companies employ fewer than 75 people. The Danes are committed to ensuring a basic level of economic equality which is the impetus behind the creation and maintenance of a large and generous welfare, social security, national health care, and education system.