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Obtain Residency in Denmark

Obtain Residency in Denmark

In order to obtain residency in Denmark, an individual will have to have lived in the country under a temporary permit for a minimum number of years. Apart from this important minimum residency requirement, individuals interested in Denmark immigration in 2023 should also know that there are other criteria that are thoroughly taken into consideration when the application for a Denmark residence permit is made.

 Quick Facts 
Temporary residence
permit types

Work, study, family, start-up founders

Time needed to obtain the temporary residence permit (approx.)

1-2 months in most cases

Temporary residence permit validity

For the period of employment in Denmark (if shorter than 4 years) or the duration of the studies

Up to 2 years for the start-up permit (extended for up to 3 years at a time)
Documents for obtaining temporary residence in Denmark

Application form, proof of fee payment, passport copy, proof of sufficient income (in some cases), permit-specific documents (employment contract, study acceptance letter, business incorporation, etc.)

Mandatory registrations with state authorities (i.e. with the population/municipality register)Registration with the local municipality in the area where the individual will reside
Dependents can join the temporary permit holder (Yes/No) 


Temporary or permanent residency for investment purposes

The start-up program allows applicants to obtain residency in Denmark

Type of investments available for residency purposesAn innovative business. The business idea needs to be approved by the Danish Business Authority
Minimum investment amount to obtain residency in DenmarkNo prescribed minimum business investment, although other conditions for business innovation apply.

The applicant must provide proof of sufficient financial means (140,592 DKK if entering the country without family)
Minimum temporary residence before applying for permanent residence8 years
4 or 2 years in some cases
Residency for individuals married to a citizen of the countryAfter 6 to 8 years, if the spouse had been a Danish citizen for at least 3 years
Documents for obtaining
permanent residence in Denmark
Filled in application and proof of fee payment
Documents related to one’s employment and income status
Proof of Danish language abilities, other documents if applicable
Proof of sufficient language skills and knowledge about the country
Naturalization requirementsContinuous residence, self-sufficiency, not having committed certain types of crime, language and integration skills, signing a declaration of allegiance and loyalty
Citizenship after permanent residenceAfter 8 years in most cases, through naturalization
Dual citizenship permitted (Yes/No)Yes

Understanding the conditions for being able to reside in Denmark permanently is important before submitting the actual application. The grounds for residence may differ, according to one’s personal situation such as if the individual is reunified with a spouse. This is why we recommend reaching out to our immigration lawyer in Denmark for complete information on the application process and how to fill in the form.

Who is eligible to apply for permanent residency in Denmark?

Individuals who have lived in the country lawfully, based on a temporary residence permit, may obtain residency in Denmark after eight years or, in some cases, four years. Individuals can qualify for a shorter period if they are between 18 and 19 years of age and have worked or studied full time in the country at a Danish University like that in Aarhus after completing primary school. Another situation in which the reduced term can apply is if the applicant is of Danish descent, has ties to a Danish minority group, or is a former Danish citizen.

If one of the situations described above for the moderate period applies in your case, please feel free to reach out to our Denmark immigration agents for more information.

When moving to Denmark you will need to think about many different matters, starting with the work and residence permits requirements according to your nationality. Our team can also give you details on the NemKonto account, housing, the use of your current driving licence, taxation, and social insurance, and much more. You can reach out to us if you have any questions.

Individuals who have strong ties to this country can obtain a Denmark residence permit based on this feature. Those who are eligible are those who belong to the Danish minority in South Schleswig (the southern half of a former Duchy in Germany), those who are affiliated with the Danish minority in Argentine, former Danish citizens or those who have both their parents who are natural-born Danish citizens (and in very limited cases, those who have only one of their parents born a Danish citizen).

EU citizens can based on the EU rules apply for permanent residence provided that they have stayed in the country for at least 5 consecutive years. Permanent relocation to Denmark is needed for the type of residence to be granted, meaning that the individual must show proof of having lived daily in the country, not simply through owning property or being registered with a Danish address. Short periods of leaving the country are permitted in the amount of a total of 6 months per year. The EU rules allow individuals to use different residency options, combines, during the 5 years, for example, on the basis of student purposes and then as an employee. Foreign nationals of third countries can still use this option if they are the family member of an EU citizen (and this will be used as the starting purpose of residence).

Individuals can also apply for a permanent residence permit in Denmark if they are the retired employee of an international organization. The condition for having held a residence permit for the 5 years prior to applying for the permanent one also applies. In addition to this, the applicant needs to not have been convicted of certain crimes, needs to pass a language test, and cannot have overdue public debts. The applicant for a Denmark residence permit will need to pass an active citizen exam in addition to the language examination.

What is the application process like for obtaining a residence permit in Denmark in 2023?

In order to obtain residency in Denmark, individuals need to follow a few key steps. The following instructions summarize the process. Please keep in mind that the list below is not an exhaustive one and the steps should be verified before commencing the process.

  1. Create a profile: the application is based on creating a case order ID; for this step, the applicant will provide basic details as well as stipulate if he or she is exempt from paying the fee;
  2. Pay any fees: those individuals who are required to pay need to make sure that they submit the necessary payment in due time; if the profile and the payment are not made during the same year, the application could be rejected;
  3. Prepare the documents: a set of documents is required when submitting the application; these include fee payment proof, proof of accommodation and employment, details on the abilities regarding the Danish language and others;
  4. Fill in the application: this is the effective step during which the formal application for residency in Denmark is submitted with the authorities; the forms will differ according to one’s condition (for example, for a reunified family, both spouses will need to fill in the form).

One of our immigration lawyers in Denmark can provide more details about each of these steps if you wish to apply in 2023. If you have any questions you can always contact our specialists for more specific answers.

You can also watch the following video for details:

What are the main issues to consider when applying for Danish residency?

Obtaining permanent residency in Denmark is subject to a fee as well as a certain processing time. The following values apply:

  • 8 months: this is the application processing time that should be expected in most cases;
  • 7,035 DKK: the fee applicable for permanent residency in case of work or study;
  • 5,030 DKK: the permanent residency fee applicable in all other cases, for example when the applicant is interested in family reunification.

Please keep in mind that these fees may change and that the processing time can be higher in some cases in 2023, as much as 10 months in some situations. Our team of immigration lawyers in Denmark can provide updated information on the requirements and conditions set forth by the Danish Immigration Service.

Eligible foreign nationals who have been lawfully living in the county with a residence permit can apply at any time for a permanent residence permit. There is no requirement to wait, nonetheless, it is important to apply before the permit currently in force expires in order to avoid the situation in which you would have no valid permit whilst in the country. It is important to avoid this situation as the Immigration Service can reject the application based on the fact that in this situation you would be living illegally in the country. Those who have their application rejected will be asked to leave the country unless they start the application process for a new residence permit in Denmark (not a permanent one, but a regular residence permit based on the motive for stay). However, the new residence permit application will be reviewed based on the current conditions (and this rules out the applicant’s option to apply for an extension of the previously held residence permit).

In some cases, it is possible to apply only for an extension of the current permit, if you discover that you do not yet meet the criteria for the permanent permit. For the extension, the application needs to be submitted three months before the current permit expires.

Applicants who apply for a permanent residence permit for reasons such as work, or study will be subject to verification from the Immigration Service which submits an inquiry to the Agency for International Recruitment regarding the applicant’s grounds for residence.

For immigrants who come to the country based on a family reunification permit, the spouse who is already living in Denmark will need to provide collateral for the applicant (the family member who is joining him or her) in the form of a financial guarantee. All expenses related to this amount are paid by the spouse or partner as there is no exemption or deduction. The municipality in which the spouse or partner lives is the one that will process the collateral and the municipality will then issue the approval of the guarantee. Our team can offer you more details on how to extend collateral or now to renew one with the bank with which the initial one was made.

How can an immigration lawyer in Denmark assist you?

Our team is ready to provide complete services to individuals who have just moved to the country as well as those who have been living in Denmark for a number of years and are interested in commencing the process for obtaining Danish residency. We also assist those who are interested in obtaining a business visa in Denmark.

When submitting the application, a number of documents are commonly required as well as the payment of the fee (from which certain categories of applicants may be exempt).

The application process differs according to the individual’s residence status. For example, the application is different for those who apply based on reunification with a spouse, compared to those who apply based on employment or study purposes. It is important to note that the application is only available in Danish. Changes to a submitted application can be made by contacting the Immigration Service, there is no mandatory requirement to resubmit the entire application in order to correct certain errors.

By working with our team, those who wish to migrate to Denmark benefit from complete assistance during the application process: information on the required documents, the correct way to fill in the application in certain conditions (for example when the applicant’s residence is conditioned by employment) as well as details on recording the biometrics (fingerprints) of the applicant.

Contact us for complete information about the application process for obtaining residency in Denmark in 2023 as well as details about other matters related to living in the country. Our immigration lawyer in Denmark is ready to answer any questions.