- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Denmark Guide (PDF)
Denmark is part of the Schengen Area. Citizens of certain countries, and those who've already been granted a valid and current visa to enter another Schengen country, may enter Denmark without a visa. EU citizens and holders of American, Australian and New Zealand passports are included in those that may freely enter Denmark without a visa for up to 90 days.
Coming to Denmark as an employee, intern, student, au pair or on a working holiday cannot be done on a visa alone, and will usually require residence and work permits.
Registration, residence and work permits for Denmark
Many foreigners are free to live and work in Denmark and do not need to apply for work- or residence permits, including citizens of EU/EEA states, Nordic citizens and citizens of Switzerland.
However, anyone intending to stay in Denmark for more than three months needs to register with the authorities and obtain an identification number (CPR number). Without a CPR number, normal life in Denmark is impossible – one can't open a bank account, register with a doctor, get help from public authorities or even buy a registered mobile phone.
Expats who aren’t from one of the exempt countries will need to apply for a residence and work permit. To apply, expats will need to have a specific written job offer that specifies salary and employment conditions. Even if expats have this, they may not be granted a residence and work permit if their prospective job can be filled by available labour in Denmark.
In addition to general work and residence permits, there are a number of special schemes that make it possible for expats in particular sectors to live and work in Denmark, such as those with specialised skills, researchers and holders of Master's or PhD degrees from a Danish university.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats are advised to contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For information on the Danish working world, see Working in Denmark
Are you an expat living in Denmark?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Denmark. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Tom first visited Denmark more than thirty years ago and settled here permanently in 2008. During that time he has taken advantage of the excellent Danish higher education system by spending two years undertaking an MA, worked with some really interesting Danish companies, both large and small, and now runs his own coaching and change management company specialising in supporting expats and trailing expats. Website: www.changecoachdk.com
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