Immigration to Denmark: How To Immigrate to Denmark in 2024

Kristian Ole Rørbye


Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian is from Denmark but now lives in Thailand. As a foreigner in another country, he knows the need to get a good start, especially in finance, such as taking out loans, buying a car, and finding the best internet at a reasonable price.

This guide is designed to help potential expats navigate the process of immigration to Denmark. If you're unfamiliar with the Danish language, don't worry! We've compiled this comprehensive guide in English, covering every key aspect you'll need to understand when considering your move to Denmark. 

From the intricacies of visa types to the subtleties of the Danish Hygge lifestyle, we're here to help you through it all, presenting you with the tools and information you need to make your move as smooth as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • Denmark offers various immigration schemes like the Fast-track scheme, Positive List, and Pay Limit Scheme to attract skilled professionals.
  • Proficiency in Danish is not required but can greatly enhance your integration into Danish society and job prospects.
  • Denmark offers a high standard of living with excellent public services like healthcare and education, though it comes with relatively high living costs.
  • The job market in Denmark is thriving, especially in sectors like technology, healthcare, and green energy.
  • Although the immigration process may seem daunting, it's a step-by-step process that can lead to a rewarding life in Denmark.

Why Choose Denmark?

You might be wondering, "Why choose Denmark?" To put it simply, Denmark is a country that offers an unmatched quality of life, incredible job opportunities, and a robust social security system. And that's just the start.

Denmark consistently ranks high in global quality of life and happiness indexes. Here, work-life balance is a catchphrase and a way of life. Danish people value their time — both at work and outside of it. This balance contributes significantly to a sense of contentment and satisfaction in their daily lives. The country's commitment to sustainable living ensures clean, green surroundings, contributing to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

For the job seeker, Denmark boasts a strong economy and is a world leader in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping, and sustainable energy industries. The Danish job market values skills and expertise, focusing on research, development, and innovation. So, if you're passionate about what you do and keen on making an impact, Denmark's dynamic work environment might be what you're looking for!

The Danish education system, recognized worldwide for its high standards, encourages creativity, innovation, and analytical thinking from a young age. Higher education in Denmark is often free for students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland and for students participating in an exchange program.

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The healthcare in Denmark is equally impressive. Accessible and high-quality healthcare services ensure you are well cared for in your new home country. 

Denmark's social security system is designed with the well-being of every resident in mind. The benefits encompass unemployment insurance, health insurance, and pensions, ensuring a secure future for all.

Immigration to Denmark

Eligibility and Types of Visas

Before packing your bags, one of the first steps in your journey to Denmark will be determining your eligibility and understanding the different types of visas available. The Danish immigration system is designed to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible, offering different routes to suit various circumstances and needs.

Eligibility Requirements

While eligibility criteria may differ based on your country of origin and the type of visa you're applying for, there are some general criteria applicable to most applicants. These may include a valid passport, proof of financial sustainability, and a clean criminal record. You might also need a job offer from a Danish employer or a place in a Danish educational institution for some visa types.

Types of Danish Visas

Here are some of the visa types that Denmark offers to those seeking to make the country their new home:

  • Work Visas: If you've secured a job in Denmark, the work visa is for you. The visa requirements may vary depending on your profession and salary. 
  • Study Visas: Denmark is known for its high standard of education. If you've been accepted into a Danish educational institution, a study visa will allow you to pursue your academic goals here.
  • Family Visas: If you're joining a family member who is a Danish resident, you may be eligible for a family visa.

Special Schemes

Denmark offers special immigration schemes designed to attract skilled professionals worldwide. Here's a brief overview:

  • The Positive List: This is a list of professions currently experiencing a shortage of skilled professionals in Denmark. If your profession is on this list, you're in a great position for a smoother immigration process.
  • Pay Limit Scheme: If you have a highly paid job offer, this scheme may ease your immigration process.
  • Fast-track Scheme: This scheme enables certified companies to recruit foreign employees quickly and efficiently.

Each visa and scheme type has its requirements and application process, which we will explain more thoroughly.

The Application Process

Embarking on the immigration process may seem daunting, but fear not! Denmark's efficient and transparent system, coupled with our guidance, will make the journey smoother for you. Let's take a step-by-step approach to understand the process better.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility and Visa Type

The first step is to determine your eligibility and the type of visa that fits your purpose of stay (as detailed in the previous section). The official New to Denmark website is an excellent resource for this. Remember, knowing the correct type of visa to apply for is crucial as the requirements and application process can vary.

Step 2: Gather Required Documentation

Next, you need to gather all the required documentation. Typically, this would include your valid passport, proof of your ability to support yourself financially during your stay, and, depending on the visa type, a job offer or admission letter from a Danish institution. Ensure your documents are complete and up-to-date to avoid delays in the process.

Step 3: Application Submission

Once your documents are ready, it's time to submit your application. Most visa applications to Denmark can be submitted online, though some may require an in-person visit to your local Danish embassy or consulate. Make sure to fill out all the information accurately and completely.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fee

After submitting your application, you'll be required to pay an application fee. The cost can vary depending on the type of visa. It's essential to keep a receipt of this transaction, as you may need to present it later.

Step 5: Wait for Processing

Now comes the part where patience is key — waiting for your application to be processed. Processing times can vary, but the Danish authorities are known for their efficiency. You can use this time to plan your move, learn a bit of Danish, or familiarize yourself with Danish culture and lifestyle.

Living in Denmark

As your move to Denmark draws near, it's time to get acquainted with Danish culture and lifestyle, the all-important 'Hygge,' and some basic Danish phrases that could be useful. After all, immersing yourself in the local culture is one of the best parts of moving to a new country.

Adjusting to Danish Culture and Lifestyle

Danish culture, much like its climate, can seem a bit reserved at first but warms up beautifully as you get to know it. The Danes value simplicity, functionality, and tradition, subtly blending with modern lifestyle elements. 

Respect for others' space and time is an important aspect of Danish etiquette. However, this should not be mistaken for aloofness. Danish people are known for their warmth and friendliness, especially once initial introductions are past. They have a wonderful tradition of 'fællesskab' (community and togetherness), which you'll experience in neighborhood gatherings, festivals, and everyday interactions.

Check out our complete guide to people new to Denmark.

Basic Danish Phrases to Know

While most Danes speak excellent English, knowing a few Danish phrases can make your daily interactions smoother and more enjoyable.

Here are some to get you started:

  1. Hej (Hi)
  2. Tak (Thank you)
  3. Undskyld (Sorry)
  4. Ja (Yes) / Nej (No)
  5. Hjælp (Help)

The Importance of Learning Danish and Resources to Do So

While Denmark is incredibly accommodating to English speakers, learning Danish can significantly enhance your experience. Being conversant in the local language can open up new social and professional opportunities and allow you to engage more deeply with the Danish culture. The government offers Danish language classes for foreigners, and numerous online resources are available.

Living in Denmark is a unique blend of historic traditions and forward-thinking modernity. As you settle into your new life, take the time to explore, learn, and embrace the Danish way of life. Velkommen til dit nye hjem – welcome to your new home!

Working in Denmark

As you prepare to embark on your new professional journey in Denmark, there's plenty to look forward to. From the Danish work culture to workers' rights and navigating the job market, here's what you need to know.

Danish work culture is characterized by a flat structure, where everyone from the intern to the CEO is treated equally and can voice their opinions freely. Decision-making often involves broad consultations, reflecting the cultural value of 'fællesskab' (community and togetherness).

Work-life balance is highly valued in Denmark. Standard working hours are typically 37 per week, and flexible working arrangements are common. Moreover, Denmark is known for its generous vacation allowances, ensuring you have ample time to rest and recharge.

Related: All you need to know about work permits in Denmark

Denmark is internationally recognized for its robust labor market rights and benefits, which contribute significantly to the high quality of life in the country. These rights include fair wages, a safe and healthy working environment, anti-discrimination protections, and the right to join a union. 

In terms of benefits, Danish employees enjoy health insurance, unemployment insurance, and pension contributions. Parental leave policies are also quite generous, promoting a healthy balance between professional commitments and family life.

The Danish job market is diverse and full of opportunities, particularly in sectors like technology, engineering, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. Websites like, and are great resources for job hunting. Additionally, networking can be a powerful tool when looking for job opportunities in Denmark.

Additional Resources


How easy is it to get a job in Denmark?

Finding a job in Denmark largely depends on your qualifications and the sector in which you're seeking employment. The country has a thriving job market, especially in sectors like technology, healthcare, and green energy. Learning Danish can also significantly improve your job prospects.

Can I immigrate to Denmark without a job?

Yes, it's possible to immigrate to Denmark without a job through various schemes like the Positive List, Pay Limit Scheme, or the Start-up Denmark scheme. However, having a job offer simplifies the process significantly.

How long does the immigration process take?

The time it takes to process your application depends on the immigration scheme you are applying under. It's best to check the Immigration Service's processing times online to get a more precise estimate.

How high are the living costs in Denmark?

Denmark offers a high standard of living, which comes with relatively high living costs. However, salaries are also higher than the global average, and public services like healthcare and education are largely free.

Do I need to speak Danish to live in Denmark?

While it's not mandatory, learning Danish can significantly enhance your living and working experience in Denmark. The government offers free Danish classes to foreigners, and most Danes appreciate the effort taken to learn their language.

Next Steps

Continue to educate yourself on all aspects of living in Denmark, from the cost of living to the healthcare system, to the culture and traditions. Use resources like official Danish government websites, expat forums, and this very website to gather as much information as you can.

If you don't already have a job offer, now's the time to start looking. Utilize Danish job search websites, LinkedIn, and networking opportunities to explore the Danish job market in your field.

Once you have a clear plan, start your visa application process. Gather the necessary documents, fill out the application, and pay the required fees. Remember to check the processing times and apply well in advance of your planned move.

Although not a necessity, learning the Danish language can greatly improve your integration into Danish society and open up more job opportunities. Look for language classes in your city, or start learning online.

This includes everything from booking your flight to securing housing. It can be beneficial to start learning about Denmark's rental market, banking system, and healthcare registration process in advance.

Kristian Ole Rørbye

ABOUT Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian is from Denmark but now lives in Thailand. As a foreigner in another country, he knows the need to get a good start, especially in finance, such as taking out loans, buying a car, and finding the best internet at a reasonable price.

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