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It can be difficult to get a permanent residency visa in Denmark if you’re from outside the EU. To enter Denmark, you’ll need a valid passport. As a foreign national, you shouldn’t plan to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months without a visa. This post gives some information about how to move to Denmark.

Requirements for Australian citizens

Australian citizens will need a visa for a long-term stay in Denmark. Generally, one must have lived in Denmark for 8 years, or worked for 4 at a certain income level, before naturally acquiring a permanent residency card. However, the Danish government has many schemes designed to allow expats to move more easily into the country. For example, the Pay Limit Scheme allows expats into the country who expect an annual salary of at least 400,000kr (about 87,000 AUD).

Requirements for EU citizens

People from Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland) can freely live and work in Denmark. For EU citizens, the rules are similar, but non-Nordics must apply for a registration certificate within 90 days of arriving in Denmark.

Requirements for American citizens

Americans moving to Denmark face the same challenges that Australians do. It’s easiest for Americans to move to Denmark as a student, an employee, or as a spouse or partner of a Dane.

Requirements for UK citizens

UK citizens in Denmark have the same rights as EU citizens (check out again after Brexit)

Requirements for students

Students in Denmark from the EU/EEA area or Switzerland only need to secure a place on a course at a Danish university. Students from outside the EU should apply for student visas. This visa is straightforward and can be obtained with proof of ID and an acceptance letter for a Danish university. A student visa will last the length of the academic year.

Residence and work permit

Before you arrive at Denmark and start working, it is important that you find out whether you are required to obtain a residence and work permit.

The rules vary according to nationality. Be aware that the rules will also apply when conducting voluntary or unpaid work.

Do I need a permit?

Citizens from the Nordic countries, the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are entitled to live and work in Denmark. However, if you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen and intend to reside in Denmark for more than three months, you must apply for an EU residence document.

Read more about EU residence document at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI). (new window)

You can also apply for EU residence document at International Citizen Service.

If you are a citizen from a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must apply for a residence and work permit before you enter Denmark. If you already legally reside in Denmark, you can submit your application for a residence and work permit on newtodenmark.dk, at a Danish police station or in the Citizen Centre of the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration.

You can read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit in Denmark or find out how to have your competences assessed.

Finding a job and get to work in Denmark

It’s important to speak Danish if you want to get a job in Denmark. All government jobs require Danish fluency, and 40% of the jobs in the country are government-provided. Being fluent in English won’t guarantee that you’re seen as special since most Danes are also fluent. The best way to find a job without speaking Danish is through an engineering or tech job. The more specialized you are in a field, the better.

To get started, here are a few job-search resources in Denmark:

Getting a place to live in Denmark

Finding housing in Denmark can be expensive. It’s recommended that you rent before buying a property. The most popular areas to live in Denmark are in its largest cities: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg or Odense. The north of Copenhagen is more expensive than the south. It’s easier to find housing if you have a residency permit since many agencies and landlords will request your CPR number.

Apartments for rent are called lejelejlighed. These types of rentals are small and are sought-after in Denmark because they’re the cheapest. Sometimes they have shared communal space. Raekkehus are also sought-after rentals; they’re terraced houses that are larger than most apartments and have small private gardens. To rent property, you’ll have to pay three months of rent upfront as a deposit. You’ll also need to pay this amount through a bank transfer. Most leases run for one year, and there are rental agencies to help you that specialize in dealing with letting to expats. You should expect to sign a rental contract between yourself and the landlord.

Start your housing search online through the following websites:

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