It will soon be easier for foreign workers to move to Denmark. Here’s which jobs need filling

Denmark is easing its rules for foreign workers.
Denmark is easing its rules for foreign workers.   -  Copyright  Canva
By Angela Symons

Check these lists of job types to see if you might qualify for residency in Denmark.

If you’ve always wanted to move to Europe, there’s never been a better time. Labour shortages across the continent are making it easier to snap up a job as a non-EU worker.

Denmark is the latest country to loosen its immigration rules in a bid to attract international talent.

By lowering minimum salary requirements, expanding its work permit fast-track scheme, and opening up more jobs to foreigners, the Scandinavian nation is making it easier for companies to hire non-EU workers.

It is also granting foreign students studying in the country an extended job search period following the completion of their university degree.

The amendments to the Danish Aliens Act, agreed by parliament on 23 March, will come into force on 1 April.

Denmark’s labour shortage: Which roles need filling?

Like many countries across Europe, Denmark is experiencing a labour shortage.

In the first three months of 2022, 42 per cent of companies in Denmark reported recruitment challenges, according to the European Commission.

On 1 January, Denmark updated its 'Positive List for People with a Higher Education' and its 'Positive List for Skilled Workers', which both detail professions experiencing a shortage of workers in the country.

If you are offered a job included on these lists, you can apply for a Danish residence and work permit.

The country is especially short of science, engineering, healthcare, teaching, IT and finance professionals who are educated to degree level.

To apply for residence with a job that falls within this list, you must show evidence of your educational qualifications. Generally, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is required.

The Skilled Workers list focuses mainly on associate professionals and clerks in science and engineering, business and administration, bookkeeping and social care. It also includes metal, machinery, building and trades.

While the lists are updated twice a year, job roles will remain on the lists for two years instead of six months under the new rules.

How is Denmark making it easier for foreigners to work there?

As well as expanding the list of job titles that foreigners can apply for, Denmark is making it easier for companies to recruit third-country nationals.

The pay threshold will be lowered so that more jobs are open to foreign nationals.

Under the new limit, foreign nationals earning at least DKK 375,000 (€50,344) will be able to apply for work and residence permits. Currently, it is set at DKK 465,000 (€62,434).

Danish companies that want to employ foreigners can apply for fast-track certification. This grants them quicker processing of work permits and more flexible terms for employees.

Currently, companies must have 20 full-time employees to apply for this certification. Under the new amendments, this is dropping to 10 employees, opening the scheme up to more companies.

Denmark is also expanding its start-up scheme for third-country nationals. Currently, it is only open to entrepreneurs who hope to establish a new business in the country.

From 1 April, it will be extended to those who already own a business in Denmark and those who own a business outside of the country and want to open a branch in Denmark.

International students will have more opportunities to stay and work in Denmark

International students studying at universities in Denmark are also being encouraged to stay on after their degree.

They will automatically be granted a three-year job search period following graduation.

During this time, they will be permitted to search for employment and live in the country without needing to apply for a separate residence permit.

Currently, new graduates are only allowed to stay for two years.

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