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Finding Work in the City of Spires

Expats who plan on working in Copenhagen can look forward to a high quality of life in a great central location in Northern Europe. In our Expat Guide, you can find information on a number of different aspects of working in Copenhagen, such as the job search, important sectors, and taxes.
The job search in Copenhagen is not always easy.

Job Centers and Databases: How to Find Work

Trying to find a job in a foreign country can be incredibly challenging and even more so in a city as popular as Copenhagen. Needless to say, intra-company transfers are by far the most convenient way for expats to find work in Copenhagen. Of course, not everyone is so lucky to work for a company able to send them abroad.

Those who are searching for work on their own need to keep a few things in mind. First of all, it can be a good idea to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Danish language. Although most people in Copenhagen speak English quite capably, having at least a basic command of Danish can be a good help on your job search in Copenhagen.

If you have already spent a few months or years in Denmark and are now on the job search again, you should visit a job center. This is also the place to turn to if you lose your current job, in which case you have to register as being unemployed.

It is always a great idea to activate your expat network, especially since not all positions are openly advertised. Perhaps one of your expat friends knows of a job opening that would be just right for you. You should also browse online job databases, like Jobindex or Workindenmark, and keep an eye on newspaper classifieds and magazine ads. Alternatively, private employment agencies might be able to refer you to companies and help you find exactly the right kind of job, at a price of course.

Getting a Work Permit

If you are not from an EA/EEU country, a Nordic country (Finland, Norway, or Sweden), or Switzerland, you cannot move to Copenhagen and take up full-time employment without a work permit. Before applying for one, however, you should note that your prospective Danish employer first has to prove that there were no equally qualified Danish applicants available.

Additionally, a few different work permit schemes serve to make the application process easier for expats:

  • The Corporate Scheme is designed for expats who transfer to a Danish branch of their company.
  • The Pay Limit Scheme applies to you if your yearly income exceeds 400,000 DKK (approx. 60,000 USD).
  • The Green Card Scheme allows you to travel to Denmark to search for a job and subsequently take up employment.
  • The Positive List includes occupations currently short on labor. Securing a job on this list allows you to apply directly for a work permit.
  • Researchers also have easier access to the Danish labor market.

These and other schemes apply to nationals of non-EU/EEA countries. Nationals of EU/EEA countries, Nordic countries, and Switzerland will be happy to learn that they do not require a permit to work in Copenhagen. However, unlike their Nordic neighbors, EU/EEA citizens and the Swiss are not entirely free to live and work in Denmark. Nevertheless, all they need is a residence permit, which they should obtain within three months of moving to Copenhagen.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

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