Immigration to Denmark

The Greencard scheme

It is possible to be granted a residence permit for the purpose of seeking work, and subsequently working, in Denmark. A residence and work permit under the Greencard scheme is issued on the basis of an individual evaluation using a point system designed to assess the likelihood that the applicant will be able to find qualified work in Denmark.

A residence permit under the Greencard scheme gives you the right to carry out paid or unpaid work. However, a residence permit under the Greencard scheme does not give you the right to work as a self-employed person (run your own business).

If you hold a residence permit under the Greencard scheme, your spouse/partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you, are also eligible for residence permits. Your family members must be able to support themselves, and you must live together in Denmark at the same address. Your spouse/partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period his or her permit is valid.

Overview:

In order to be granted a residence permit under the greencard scheme, you must attain a minimum of 100 points. Points are given for:

  • Educational Qualification
  • Language skills
  • Work experience
  • Adaptability, and
  • Age

You must have full health insurance covering you and any accompanying family members until you are covered by the Danish National Health Insurance.

You must document that you are able to support yourself during your first year in Denmark. Documentation can be a recent bank statement in your name which clearly states in which currency, and on which date, the statement was issued. If you wish to apply for a residence permit for accompanying family members, you must also document that you are able to support your family members. This documentation must be in either your own or your spouse's/partner's name.

Points for Educational Qualification:

The level of academic degrees may vary from country to country, even if they have the same title. For example, a Bachelor's degree from another country may not necessarily be equivalent to a Danish Bachelor's degree.

In order to receive points for educational level, you must, as a minimum, have the equivalent of a Danish Bachelor’s degree. You will only be given points for one educational level. Points are given as follows:

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

You will be given bonus points if you graduated from a university which is internationally recognised for its high academic level according to the latest THES-QS World Ranking. Points are given as follows:

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

You will be given 10 bonus points if your education qualifies you to work in a field where Denmark is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. You can find these fields on the positive list. In order to obtain the bonus points, your education must be of the level specified for the job type in question, e.g. a Master's degree or a Professional Bachelor's degree.

You can be given a maximum of 105 points for your educational level.

Language skills

Your language skills will be given points based on a four-level system modelled after the official Danish language proficiency tests for foreigners (the Danish Language Test, Levels 1, 2 and 3 and the Study Test in Danish as a Second Language).

In order to be given points for language skills, you must document that you have passed an exam in either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German at a level corresponding to at least Danish Language Test, Level 1 (Prøve i Dansk 1). You can only receive points for one Scandinavian language and for either English or German. As such, you can receive points for both Swedish and English, or both Danish and German, but not for both Danish and Norwegian, or for both English and German.

As an alternative to a language exam, you can document your language skills with a statement from a previous employer attesting that you have used Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German on the job for at least one year, or by presenting documentation that you have completed at least one year of studies at a higher educational programme which was taught in one of these languages. This will be accepted as a level corresponding to that of Study Test in Danish as a Second Language (Studieprøven). Points are given as follows:

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

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

Work experience

Your work experience can be given points according to how many years, within the last five years, you have worked as a researcher or in a field where Denmark is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. You can see these fields and specific job titles on the Positive List. You can also be given points for other work experience. Points are given as follows:

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

You can be given a maximum of 15 points for your work experience. It is a requirement that the work has been of a considerable quantity. For example, no points are given for part-time work.

Adaptability

You can be given points for your educational or work related attachment to the EU/EEA (including Denmark) or Switzerland, as this is seen to increase your ability to quickly adapt to the Danish labour market. Points are given for either education or work. Points are given as follows:

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

Or

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

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

You can be given points based on your age at the time you submit your application. Points are given as follows:

  • 35-40 years: 10 points
  • 34 years or younger: 15 points

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

Download the Positive list:   PDF   Word Format