Work in Denmark - Work Permits And The Danish Green Card

Work in DenmarkDenmark belongs to countries where work and residence permits are necessary to live in the country legally. The good news is that citizen of the European Union and  Switzerland are subjected to special regulations of EU rules of freedom and movement which are not as strict as for citizens outside EU. Even easier it is for Nordic citizens that are allowed to reside and work in Denmark without any restrictions.

If you are coming from a country outside the EU, though, you need a permit to work in Denmark. The permissions system is known as Green Card scheme and is based on points of individual evaluation. A Danish Green Card is  valid or up to three years. In case someone tries to avoid this duty and decides to work illegally in Denmark, he will risk deportation and his employer will be fine, and may even risk imprisonment.

Eligibility points for the Green Card are given in different categories: educational level, language skills, work experience, adaptability, and age. To be able to obtain the residence and work permit you need at least 100 points.

Other conditions to get a Danish Green Card include health insurance that covers you and your accompanying family members. You are also expected to be able to support yourself during the first year while looking for a suitable job in Denmark.

Overview of the Danish Green Card points system

Education:

Even if academic degrees may be called the same name they vary from country to country. In order to compare your educational level you will be assessed by CIRIUS, a body operating under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. That’s why will be necessary to include your diplomas and transcripts to your application form. To obtain points for education, you have to prove at least equivalent of Denmark’s bachelor degree.

The points will be following:

  • 30 points: Bachelor’s degree/Graduated from medium-length education
  • 50 points: Bachelor's degree followed by one-year Master's degree
  • 60 points: Master’s degree: 60 points.
  • 80 points: PhD

You can earn anotehr 15 points for graduating from a international recognized university according to the latest THES-QS World Ranking.

  • 5 points: top 400
  • 10 points: top 200
  • 15 points: top 100

Language skills:

You can get points for one of these languages: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English, German corresponding at least to Danish level 1. To get the points it is necessary to prove that you passed the exam. The alternative is to prove that you worked in one of those languages at least one year (with a document from your employer) or completed at least one year of studies in higher educational program.

  • 5 points: Level corresponding to Danish Language Test, Level 1
  • 10 points: Level corresponding to Danish Language Test, Level 2 
  • 15 points: Level corresponding to Danish Language Test, Level 3 
  • 20 points: Level corresponding to Study Test in Danish as a Second Language or higher/one year's study or work:

You can be given a maximum of 30 points for your language skills.

Work experience

Especially work experience in the fields where Denmark is experiencing shortages in qualified workforce or research can help you to win some points. The areas with shortages you can find on so-called positive list.

  • 10 points: 1-2 years within the past five years as a researcher/in field listed on the   Positive List
  • 15 points: 3-5 years within the past five years  as a researcher/in field listed on the Positive List:.
  • 5 points: 3-5 years within the past five years, other work.

You can be given a maximum of 15 points for your work experience.

Adaptability

Points could be given also for your educational or work related attachment to the EU/EEA (including Denmark) or Switzerland, as this is seen to increase your ability to adapt faster to the Danish labor market. Points could be given for either education or work.

  • 5 points: Completion of at least one year's study at a higher educational program in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • 10 points: Completion of at least three years' study at a higher educational program in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland

Or

  • 5 points: At least one full year's (12 consecutive months') legal residence and work in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • 10 points: At least two consecutive year's legal residence and work in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland

You will be given 5 bonus points for Danish language skills (passed exam in Danish Language Test, Level 2 (Prøve i Dansk 2) or higher). You can be given a maximum of 15 points for your adaptability.

Age

In case you are younger than 40, this gives you 10 points, for applicants under age 35 is the score 15 points.

Family Members

The family members as well as registered or cohabiting partner, children under18 are eligible for residence permit together with the applicant. The conditions are the same address and the ability to support them financially.

Green Card Validity

The validity of the Danish Green Card is 3 years but an extension is possible by four years and only up to three months before the validity of your passport ends. The main condition is that in the last 12 moths you have been working for at least 10 hours a week.