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Relocate from US to Denmark

Relocate from US to Denmark

United States citizens who wish to stay in Denmark for more than three months and for other purposes than touristic ones will need to apply for a residence permit in Denmark, according to their main reason for the stay. Our immigration lawyer in Denmark answers a few of the most commonly asked questions about relocation from US to Denmark and can help you if you are interested in knowing more.

Moving to Denmark can be a suitable choice for many Americans who are keen on exploring employment opportunities or even opening a business. Lastly, those who have a Danish spouse may consider relocating from US to Denmark in order to enjoy the connectivity that is possible whilst living and working within the European Union.

Working, studying, and joining family members are the three main ways in which foreign nationals relocate to Denmark. Regardless of the reason behind the move, it is important to remember that Denmark is a Nordic country where depending on the US state you are coming from, it will have very different weather and the long winter months. If you want to immigrate to Denmark from the US, you should also know that the Nordic culture will require some adjustments from the part of the foreigner coming to live here, especially when he or she has never been to Europe before.

Moving to a new country is an exciting new step and will come with various procedures and issues that need to be handled accordingly. Our team can also help those who have been living in the country for some time and are ready to apply for Danish citizenship.

What types of residence permits are available? 

Coming to Denmark is a fairly simple process once you have established the basis for residence. In order to immigrate to Denmark from US, an American will need to apply for a residence permit and renew it accordingly. Once he or she has resided in the country for at least eight years, permanent residence is possible and one of our immigration lawyers in Denmark can provide more details.

Some of the types of permits are the following:

  • Work: you are a researcher, an employed PhD, are a professional included in the list of professions where a shortage is in place or have secured employment with a Danish company; in this case, you will apply for a work permit.
  • Family reunification: you apply for this permit as the spouse of a Danish citizen, as a parent or child, or as an accompanying family member for someone who is studying here.
  • Study: you have been accepted to a bachelor’s or master’s as well as a PhD programme at a Danish University; then you need this type of residence permit in Denmark.
  • Business: you are an investor who has a proposition for an innovative business in Denmark (excluding those in retail, restaurants, import and export, etc.) and you wish to apply for the Denmark startup visa granting residence in the country.

You can always reach out to our agents specializing in Denmark immigration if you have questions about these types of permits.

 Quick Facts 
  Visa requirement to enter Denmark (Yes/No)

No, for stays of up to 90 days 

Types of temporary residence permits for those who relocate from
US to Denmark


Work, research, special qualifications, au pair, investment, study, family reunification

Documents for temporary residence permits

 Passport, proof of fee payment, documents that are relevant for the type of permit (employment contract, marriage certificate, proof of business idea approval, etc.)
Approximate time needed to obtain a temporary stay permit1 month for the work and start-up permit, 2 months for the study permit, 9 months for the family reunification permit


Residence permits for investors in DenmarkUnder the Start-up Denmark scheme for innovative business ideas
Temporary residence permit duration 

4 years for the work permit or for the duration of the employment agreement

2 years for the start-up permit

different validity periods can apply depending on the type of permit used to relocate from US to Denmark

Post-arrival registration with
the  authorities

Registration with the Central Person Register for the civil registration number is mandatory

US permit holder can bring dependents to DenmarkThe spouse/registered or cohabiting partner and children under the age of 18
Facilities for US nationals married to a Danish citizen Can apply for permanent residence after 4 years
(subject to additional conditions)
Minimum lawful stay before applying for permanent residence  8 years or 4 in some cases
Minimum time in the country before applying for citizenship 9 years
Naturalization requirements for those who relocate from US
to Denmark
In addition to the minimum, uninterrupted, period in the country, the applicant needs to be self-sufficient, not be convicted of criminal offences, pass a Danish language knowledge test, pass the naturalization test and attend the municipal constitution ceremony
Dual citizenship permitted (Yes/No)Yes 
US pension in DenmarkThe amount of the U.S. benefit can be reduced if one qualified for Danish “ATP” pension
US national taxation in DenmarkResidents are fully liable for the progressive income tax
(up to 55.90%)

What are the application costs?

The residence permit application fee will vary according to the chosen type of permit. We highlight some of these costs below, however, please bear in mind that these can change:

  • 3,251 DKK: the processing fee for a fast-track scheme for foreign employees (only applicable to certified companies).
  • 1,900 DKK: the fee for the study residence permit when admitted to a Danish University or higher educational institute.
  • 8,210 DKK: the fee for the residence permit for family reunification as a spouse.

 How long with my relocation from the US to Denmark take?

Although we cannot put a definitive date on how long your relocation will take, you should know that the expected minimum processing time varies according to the chosen type of residence permit. Our Denmark immigration agents exemplify this below:

  • the processing time for an application for family reunification as a spouse can last 10 months;
  • the fast-track employment scheme for a job offered by a company certified by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration can last 1 month.
  • the normal processing time for a study residence permit for a higher educational programme can take 2 months.

Please note that these are the expected processing times and the actual duration may vary in most cases. Our immigration lawyer in Denmark can assist you during the application process so that you can make sure that you submit all of the required documents and that are no delays for incomplete submissions.

If you plan on relocating from the United States to Denmark you should take into consideration all of the issues regarding residence permits presented in this article as well as other aspects, such as learning the language. Like other Nordic languages, Danish may seem hard to learn, however, there are many language schools throughout the country. After a minimum number of years spent as a resident in the country, a US national can apply for Danish citizenship.

If you wish to know more about how to immigrate to Denmark from the US, please do not hesitate to contact us for more details.

You can reach out to our immigration specialists even if you are not a US citizen. We assist all foreign nationals who wish to apply for a Denmark residence permit and we provide guidance and counseling according to the chosen permit type. The application, the needed documents, and the general timeline for submitting the documents will be influenced by the type of permit you are applying for. Please reach out to us for personalized assistance.