Work in Denmark 2024: peculiarities of employment for foreigners (updated)



Work in Denmark 2024: peculiarities of employment for foreigners (updated)

Every year, tens of thousands of foreigners apply for jobs in Denmark, as the country offers competitive salaries, a variety of job opportunities and a high standard of living. Find out more about the Danish labor market, the most popular vacancies and the average salary for foreigners in 2024

Order a consultation with a migration specialist to avoid unpleasant situations during the move
Order a consultation with a migration specialist to avoid unpleasant situations during the move

Denmark is one of the most desirable countries for immigration within Europe. Sometimes it is called the "country of happiness" because it has created conditions for a comfortable life. If you are a good specialist in your field, want to work and pay taxes, you will be able to quickly adapt to the living conditions in this country. Let's find out what you need to do to move abroad to work in Denmark. 

Denmark is a country that does not grant work visas to foreigners. This is a plus for the future employee, as a residence permit or residency card is issued instead of a visa If the applicant's profession is in dire need in Denmark, he or she can apply for a special programme, which is more loyal and comfortable. A residence permit is a prerequisite for employment. Without it, you will face deportation and fines. According to statistics, the largest number of labour expats come to Denmark from Poland, Lithuania and Romania.

Specifics of employment for foreigners in Denmark in 2024

Finding a job in Denmark for a long-term stay requires several steps. First, you need to find a local company that is ready to hire you and offer you a contract. After signing the contract, you will be issued a work permit and residence permit (residence permit) through the Danish Consulate in your country.

There is a shortage of personnel in Denmark, so the government has developed special programmes that attract labour migrants from non-EU countries. One of these programmes is the Danish Green Card, which allows you to obtain a residence permit with the right to work, bypassing the preliminary procedures related to obtaining a work permit. 

This programme has a special system for assessing candidates. To be eligible for the Danish Green Card, you need to score at least 100 points according to the following criteria: 

1. Education. Here, you can score from 30 to 80 points depending on the degree of academic compliance of your diploma with Danish requirements. Representatives of shortage professions can receive additional points (up to 50 in total);

2. Language. A foreign language certificate is worth up to 40 points. All Scandinavian languages (Danish, Swedish and Norwegian), as well as English and German are accepted;

3. Adaptation. Additionally, you can earn up to 15 points through work or study experience in the European Union for at least a year;

4. Age. Representatives of the age category under 35 receive 15 points, and those aged 35 to 40 - 10 points. 

In addition, foreign workers who receive a Green Card must provide health insurance and proof of sufficient funds for the first year of residence in Denmark (approximately 17.5 thousand euros).

Upon receipt of the Green Card, the residence permit is issued for two years, with the possibility of further extension for another year. To extend the residence permit, you must have a salary of at least EUR 42.5 thousand per year. After a year of work in Denmark, labour migrants are allowed to bring their families with them.

Requirements for employment of foreigners in Denmark in 2024

To be employed in Denmark, you need to have a residence permit, which is considered by the Danish Immigration Board (Udlændingestyrelsen). While waiting for the decision, you can start looking for a job and signing an employment contract. As soon as you receive a residence permit, you can start working for the company you have chosen.

All communications with government agencies are conducted through MitID, a personal digital signature. In addition, MitID is also required to interact with many private companies, for example, to access online banking.

To receive your salary, you will need a bank account. You can open an account with any bank of your choice. Once you have opened an account, your bank can help you register it as a Nem-Konto (current account), which is necessary to receive payments from the state.

For safe relocation to any country in the world, obtaining citizenship and employment, take the advice of an international lawyer. We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in any part of the world. 

Popular jobs for foreigners in Denmark 2024

Every year, thousands of foreigners plan to get a job in Denmark, especially as part of short-term employment. Seasonal jobs such as picking berries, fruits, vegetables, serving tourists in hotels and restaurants are very popular. For foreigners without experience, this can be a favourable option, as the demand for qualified specialists is quite low.

Denmark has a "Positive List" with scarce vacancies that have a high average salary. If you have the necessary qualifications and skills, you can apply for a work permit for a period of 6 months to 4 years.

The most popular jobs in Denmark among migrants are: 

1. Seafarers; 

2. Architects; 

3. Engineers; 

4. Social workers; 

5. Web developers; 

6. Designers; 

7. Maids; 

8. Medical workers. 

Working conditions in Denmark

The working schedule in Denmark is 37 hours per week or 160.2 hours per month, with a standard working day of 8 hours, with a lunch break not included in the paid time.

In terms of holidays, employees are entitled to around 5 weeks of holiday per year, which can be used discretely. The maximum period of leave at one time may not exceed 3 weeks.

There are two ways to pay for vacation: the employee may be paid his or her full salary during the vacation or an additional 12.5% (14.5% for trainees) of the salary may be paid to a separate account.

Vacation leave can be taken from the beginning of May of the following year, which gives employees flexibility in planning their holidays and using their vacation days. 

Average salary in Denmark in 2024

The employment system in Denmark is very different from other European countries. Here, government agencies interfere minimally in the sphere of small and medium-sized businesses, regulating only the basic conditions of employment. The minimum wage in the country is not fixed and is regulated by collective agreements. Trade unions guarantee its compliance with working conditions, taking into account age, qualifications and specifics of work.

In Denmark, the average salary is about 5,500 euros, but for qualified professionals who meet certain requirements, this amount can reach 7,000 euros. The highest salaries are paid to specialists in insurance, medicine, finance and IT. At the same time, the minimum level of remuneration ranges from 2700 to 4500 euros per month for workers in agriculture, construction and restaurant business.

Applicants for positions with competitive salaries (over €5,000) must have at least a B2 level of English, work experience and positive personal qualities such as leadership and communication skills. In addition, it is desirable to have a relevant university degree and basic knowledge of the Danish language.

For those who already have a residence permit in Denmark, the possibility of accepting a salary offer depends on their own conditions. It is recommended not to accept salary offers below 90 kroons per hour. If you do not have work experience or a high level of language proficiency, you can consider offers of 90 CZK per hour with the right to an increase after one year.

If you have a trainee contract in Denmark, your salary is regulated by a contract with the trade union and amounts to DKK 11,444 for the first six months; and then, depending on your age (up to 25 years or older), DKK 13,328 or DKK 15,345 for the next 6 months. After tax deductions, you can expect to receive DKK 9,600 in the first 6 months and DKK 10,600 or 11,700 in the following months.

If you have a work contract in the field of agriculture, your salary is fixed depending on the region and varies from DKK 26,100 in the North of Denmark to DKK 29,250 in regions such as Southern Denmark. 

Taxation for foreign employees in Denmark

The Danish tax system is complex but well-structured. The general employment tax is 8% of your income. Your salary is then split into two parts: the bikort (tax-free amount) and the residual amount, which is taxed at a rate of 37% to 40%, depending on your municipality.

The bicort is calculated individually for each person based on several factors, such as student status, distance to work, union membership, and other factors. This amount can vary from DKK 4000 to DKK 12000 per month.

You must submit an application to the tax office before receiving your first salary, otherwise 55% of your income will be withheld. The tax application is submitted online on the tax office's website.

Every year at the end of March, the taxes paid for the previous year are recalculated. You may receive a partial refund if you have overpaid your taxes, or you may be asked to pay additional money back if you have paid too little.

Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World

For safe relocation to Denmark, obtaining refugee status and employment, use the advice of an international lawyer.

We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in the Denmark.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in the Denmark;

Legal advice on immigration to the Denmark;

Travel insurance for foreigners in the Denmark;

Medical insurance all over the world.

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