Copenhagen at a Glance
Copenhagen’s Visa Regulations123RF
Nordic citizens and EU/EEA-nationals do not require a visa to move to Copenhagen.
There are different types of visa, applying to different wants and needs of expats moving to Copenhagen. Before your move to the Danish capital, you should get informed about the different visa regulations and make sure to secure the right type of visa.
Requirements for Short-Term Visa
Non-EU/EEA citizens who plan on travelling to Copenhagen for a short-term visit need to apply for a Schengen visa. This allows you to travel to Copenhagen and stay for up to 90 days within six months. Please remember that you are not allowed to take up employment with a Schengen visa. You are merely eligible to carry out work-related activities, such as business meetings or negotiations. EU/EEA-nationals are exempt from these restrictions.
Schengen visas are the right choice for fact-finding visits, for instance. Refer to the Danish Immigration Service for more information and a list of all countries which are obligated to secure a visa for short-term visits. However, you should keep in mind that Schengen visas will not allow you to live and work in Copenhagen on a long-term basis.
Acquiring a Work Permit
Nordic citizens as well as nationals of EU/EEA-countries do not require a work permit if they wish to settle in Copenhagen. However, some minor restrictions apply to the latter. Unlike Nordic citizens, EU/EEA-citizens need to apply for a registration certificate or a residence card within three months of their move to Copenhagen. Thus, expats from Scandinavia and the EU face only few bureaucratic obstacles.
Expats who have to apply for a work permit need not fear, though. The easiest way of applying is by securing a job beforehand. Once you have found work in Copenhagen, you and your future employer have to prove that your stay is professionally justified. This is the case if you were hired for a special type of work and if there are not enough qualified applicants to fill your prospective position. Different work permit schemes should make it easier for you to apply.
Work Permit Schemes
- On the Positive List you can find jobs and professions with a current labor shortage. Positions which belong to the categories on this list allow you to apply directly for a work permit.
- The Pay Limit Scheme addresses expats whose salary lies above a certain limit.
- The Corporate Scheme is tailored to foreign employees who merely transfer to a branch of their company in Copenhagen.
- The Greencard Scheme, on the other hand, is just right for you if you move to Copenhagen for the job search. It allows you to take up employment and is valid for up to three years.
- Researchers with a written job offer have their own scheme, making it easier for them to acquire a work permit.
Additional schemes address religious workers, self-employed expats, trainees, and athletes. Some professionals, such as diplomats, performing artists, or transportation personnel, are – under certain conditions – exempt from the applications process. If you are looking for more information on work permits, contact the Danish Immigration Service.