The Positive List
If you are a Nordic citizen, you are free to reside, study and work in Denmark. If you are an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss citizen seeking residence in Denmark based on the EU rules on freedom of movement, you may be subject to special regulations. More information about EU/EEA and Nordic citizens.
If you already hold a Danish residence permit based on family reunification or asylum, or hold a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, you do not need a work permit in order to work in Denmark.
It is your own responsibility to obtain a work permit if you are required to. If you work illegally in Denmark, you risk deportation, and you and your employer risk fine or imprisonment.
Your job must be listed on the Positive List. Furthermore, you must have a written job contract or job offer which specifies salary and employment conditions. Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Danish standards.
In order for a profession to be included on the Positive List, the minimum educational level required is a Professional Bachelor's degree, such as a nurse or pedagogue. In some cases, you must obtain a Danish authorisation or the like. This is explicitly stated on the Positive List. For example, foreign-trained doctors must be authorised by the Danish National Board of Health.
Read more about authorisation for foreign-trained doctors on the website of the National Board of Health.
Read more about access to regulated professions on the website of the Danish Agency for International Education.
If your job is listed on the Positive List, you can be granted a residence and work permit for up to three years with a possibility for extension of up to four years.
Your residence permit can only be granted or extended up to three months before your passport expires. This means that if your passport expires in 12 months, you can only be granted a permit for nine months, or your permit can only be extended by nine months.
Residence permit for jobseeking
If you get a residence and work permit based on temporary job contract, you will also get up to six months' extra residence to look for work after your contract expires. However, you cannot be granted more than three years' residence in total. In the jobseeking period you are not allowed to work, so if you find a new job, you must apply for a new residence and work permit based on your new job.
If you lose your job through no fault of your own, e.g. due to cutbacks, you can get an additional six months' residence to look for a new job. In this case, you must apply for a residence permit for jobseeking no later than two days after the termination of your job contract. You can apply by sending a letter to the Immigration Service containing your full name, address, CPR number, Alien Identification number (Udl.nr.) and a copy of your valid passport, along with information about why you lost your job. In order to get the additional six monts' residence, it is a condition that you are not receiving public assistance under the active social policy act.
If you find a new job
If you find a new job while you are working, or while you hold a residence permit for jobseeking, you must apply for a new residence and work permit. However, you may begin your new job before you have received your new permit, provided that you submit your application no later than the day you start your new job.
If your residence and work permit expires, and you have applied for an extension, and if you are still in the same job, on the same terms and conditions, as when you were granted your original permit, you may stay in Denmark and continue working while the Immigration Service processes your application.
Your permit can be extended even if your job is no longer on the Positive List, provided that you are still in the same job, on the same terms and conditions
The Positive List
The Positive List consists of a number of professional fields currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals.
IT and telecommunication
Educational, social and religious work
Sales, purchases and marketing
Health, healthcare and personal care
Freight forwarding, postal services, storage and engine operation
Education and tuition