Denmark: Changes to work and residence schemes

Effective 1 July 2024, the following immigration changes will enter into force in Denmark.

Bill on increased flexibility for work schemes

On 4 June 2024, the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) passed a bill that amends the rules in the Immigration Act concerning Danish bank account requirements, residence based on the Fast-Track scheme’s short-term track as well as an amendment to the job change rule.

The purpose of the bill is to make it simpler for companies in Denmark to use the work schemes and to support companies in the effective recruitment of foreign labour and to ensure a higher degree of flexibility for foreign workers who apply for a residence permit in Denmark based on one of the work schemes.

The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2024.

  • Extension of stay: The bill will make it possible for foreign workers to apply for an extension of their stay based on the Fast-Track scheme’s short-term track without having to appear in one of SIRI’s departments. This means that the foreign worker will be able to continue their work as soon as the application for an extension is submitted and the fee is paid. The application for an extension must be submitted before the original residence and work permit expires, and it is still a requirement that the work stay does not exceed 90 days in Denmark within the last 365 days.
  • Job change rule: In addition, the job change rule will be extended to also include foreign nationals who wish to change their residence and work scheme (their grounds for residence) during ongoing employment without changing their job or employer. The new rules mean that the foreign national can continue to work without interruption once the new application for a residence and work permit has been submitted.
  • Danish bank account rules: Finally, foreign nationals with a residence and work permit based on the researcher scheme or the Fast-Track scheme’s pay limit track, researcher track, education track and short-term track will now be exempt from the requirement that their salary must be paid to a Danish bank account. In addition, the deadline for setting up a Danish bank account will be extended from 90 days to 180 days for the work schemes that are still obliged to fulfil the requirement.

New residence permit scheme for accompanying family members of expatriate Danish citizens

Effective 1 July 2024, accompanying family members of returning expatriate Danish citizens with certain job-related qualifications may be granted a residence permit in Denmark.

This means that Danish citizens that are established abroad and wish to return to Denmark in order to work can bring their foreign family members.

The expatriate Danish citizen must be established abroad and must have entered into an employment agreement or received an offer for a job position in Denmark which, if the Danish citizen had been a foreign national, could result in a residence permit under one of the following work schemes:

  • The Positive Lists
  • The Pay Limit Schemes
  • Researcher
  • Special individual qualifications
  • Herdsmen and farm managers
  • The Fast Track Scheme’s pay limit track, supplementary pay limit track, researcher track, and educational track.

The expatriate Danish citizen may also have an innovative business plan with the intention of running or continuing to run a self-employment business or running a business through a Danish branch of a foreign self-employment business in Denmark, which could result in a residence permit under the Start-up Denmark scheme.

For more information, please contact the Smith Stone Walters global immigration team.

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