Employee relocation to Denmark is a process based on a few clear rules, most notably on having a proper employment contract, as well as obtaining a work permit for the foreign national who will be hired by the Danish company.
The permits are different for intra-company transfers, compared to direct employment, and special permits also apply to certain categories of professionals, such as researchers.
Business owners interested in personnel relocation to Denmark can reach out to our immigration specialists for complete information about the requirements for employers.
Our Denmark immigration agents can answer questions about work residence permits, as well as about all other types of residence permits, including those for investors, students, or for family reunification purposes.
We assist foreign nationals interested in moving to Denmark irrespective of their purpose of the relocation (employment, business, study).
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The main requirements for personnel relocation to Denmark
A Danish company hiring a foreign employee will need to be mindful of a number of issues:
- You will need to prepare an employment contract that clearly outlines the terms of the employment position; for a foreign employee who does not yet speak Danish, but is fluent in English, this contract will need to be translated;
- The holder of the residence permit will only be allowed to work with the company for which the Fast Track Scheme work permit was issued (if the company is certified by SIRI);
- For the Pay Limit Scheme, the work permit is linked to the job in Denmark; if the job changes within the same company, the salary needs to continue to comply with the pay limit;
- As an employer, you will not have to provide special Danish lessons, however, companies may choose to include these in their relocation packages; foreign nationals that obtain a residence permit for work purposes can access free Danish lessons; the applicant will be asked to submit a deposit for the lessons.
The entry conditions differ in Denmark according to the nationality of the foreign national being relocated or seeking employment. Non-EU/EEA nationals are subject to more complex requirements, with Nordic citizens being subject to the lightest requirements.
Preparing an attractive relocation package that includes remuneration for issues such as accommodation (for a fixed or variable period, as decided by the company) can be a significant incentive that determines the foreign employee to decide to relocate to Denmark within the same company.
Foreign nationals who wish to work in Denmark will need to apply for a residence and work permit. This is the case when the foreign national has secured employment, and when he will be looking for employment while in the country.
Several options are possible for employee relocation to Denmark. Our team briefly lists these below:
- The fast-track scheme: when the company with which the foreign national has signed the employment agreement is certified by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration;
- The pay limit scheme: when the individual will be working in Denmark for an early salary of at least DKK 465,000;
- The positive list: when the foreign national has been offered a job in a profession for which there is a current shortage in Denmark;
- Special individual qualifications: when the foreign national applies for a job for which he/she is especially qualified (athlete, specialized chef, etc.);
- Other cases: for researchers, guest researchers, farm managers, or as a trainee (employment for a limited period for educational/training purposes).
If you would like to know more about employee relocation to Denmark, you can send us your inquiries.
Our team can also answer questions about the business visa for Denmark if you are interested not in employment, but in starting a business in the country.
For employers: the employee rights that need to be observed
The conditions for personnel relocation to Denmark will not involve creating special conditions for foreign employees, other than the mandatory work permit applications and the observance of the employment legislation, as it is in place for all employees.
We remind employers of some of the most important issues they need to observe when hiring employees:
- Working hours: in most cases, these are 37 hours per week; the EU Working Time Directive is also observed in Denmark;
- Minimum wage: no statutory minimum wage applies, however, the pay limit scheme is taken into account; minimum salaries are common on an industry basis and differ according to the position;
- Holiday allowance: 5 weeks paid holiday per year;
- Social security contributions: the employer’s social security contribution varies, however, it can amount to DKK 14,000 and more per year, per employee.
For employees: what to take into account
Employee relocation to Denmark has two dimensions: the one concerning the employer, and the one concerning the employee. As the individual relocating to Denmark, one needs to be mindful of the following issues such as finding housing, taking up health insurance, or others such as suitable schooling options for those relocating with their children.
Below, our team highlights some of the key issues one needs to sort when moving to Denmark:
- Civil registration: a foreign national will register with the Danish Civil Register (CPR) when he remains in the country for more than three months, has a right to legally reside in the country (a proper residence permit issued for the purpose of stay, such as employment), and when he has an adequate place of residence;
- MitID and NemKonto: the first is used to access the public sector digitally and to use certain online services while the second is used to receive payments from the public sector (family allowance, and others); the foreign national will use one of his bank accounts and the NemKonto, in connection with the MitID account;
- Housing: the foreign national can rent a property in Denmark and, in some cases, benefit from housing allowance;
- Driving in Denmark: driving licenses issued by an EU/EEA country or in the Faroe Islands can be used in Denmark; residents can choose to have their current licence exchanged for a Danish EU driver’s licence (without having to take a driving test); individuals who arrive in Denmark by car need to register the vehicle with the authorities within 30 days of arrival;
- Health services and insurance: a health card is issued upon registration with the Danish National Register; those who have social insurance in Denmark need to apply for the European Health Card; individuals should also note that several types of insurance are mandatory in Denmark (for motor vehicles, fire insurance for the home in most cases, and dog insurance);
- Others: the foreign national’s pension received from another country can be affected upon moving; in Denmark, one has earns Danish social pension (old age and disability pension) while covered by social insurance.
Foreign employees who wish to move to Denmark for work purposes with their significant other can reach out to our team of immigration experts for details on how their partner can also acquire a residence permit.
Our team can answer questions about the work residence permit, as well as about any other topics of interest for foreign nationals already living in the country. If you are interested in knowing more about how you can make your stay in the country a permanent one (provided that you have a stable income from employment or otherwise and also meet the other criteria), you can discuss your options about permanent residency and citizenship with our team.
Statistics on foreigners living and working in Denmark
The employment rate for individuals with a migration background is increasing in Denmark, as foreign nationals are finding employment in many different industries and business sectors, from building sites to nursing homes, to Danish companies in the services sector.
According to a report from the European Commission on migrant labour market inclusion in Denmark, the following data is relevant:
- the percentage of employees with a non-Western background is 64%; this is a record that has remained steady for three years in a row;
- the most significant annual rise in the employment rate of non-Western background individuals was recorded in 2022, a value of 5.3%;
- the employment rate of migrants from Western countries (both first and second generation) has the highest value in the last 40 years, at 72%;
- the gap between the employment rates of ethnic Danes and those with a Western background is only 7.3%, and this gap has never been smaller.
It is estimated that 255,000 individuals from non-Western countries work in Denmark and have an essential role in ensuring the vital functions of society. For these foreign nationals, the improvement of their qualification through education and language training is essential, as the latter is also an important condition for those who wish to relocate to Denmark on a permanent basis.
The data was published in January 2023. For the purpose of the information presented herein, the term “Western counties” is used to define all EU countries along with Andorra, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, San Marino, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the Vatican.
Reach out to us at any time if you have questions about personnel relocation to Denmark. Our team will provide you with personalized answers.