In order to be granted a residence permit under the green card scheme, you must attain a minimum of 100 points. Points are given for: Educational level, language skills, work experience, adaptability, and age.
You must have full health insurance covering you and any accompanying family members until you are covered by the Danish National Health Insurance.
You must document that you are able to support yourself financially during your first year in Denmark. Documentation can be a recent bank statement in your name which clearly states the currency, and the date of the statement. If you wish to apply for a residence permit for accompanying family members, you must also document that you are able to support your family members. This documentation must be in either your own or your spouse's/partner's name.
Furthermore, it is a requirement that you do not receive any public assistance under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act (lov om aktiv socialpolitik) during your stay in Denmark.
Read more about financial requirements.
The level of academic degrees may vary from country to country, even if they have the same title. For example, a Bachelor's degree from another country may not necessarily be equivalent to a Danish Bachelor's degree.
The Danish Immigration Service will decide whether it is necessary to have your educational level assessed by the Danish Agency for International Education, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Development.
If your education is on a level lower than a Danish Bachelor's degree, you will not be able to obtain enough points to be granted a residence permit under the greencard scheme.
Please note that a Master's degree from e.g. a Pakistani university will often be assessed as equivalent to two years' studies at a Danish university, or a Danish Bachelor's degree. Read more about the assessment of degrees.
In order that the Danish Agency for International Education can assess your educational level you must include in your application colour copies of all documentation for all your completed education.
Read more about documentation requirements.
Please note: The Danish Agency for International Education will only assess your educational level if asked to do so by the Immigration Service in connection with an actual application. As such, you cannot have your educational level assessed by the Danish Agency for International Education in advance, i.e. before submitting your application.
Read more about the Danish Agency for International Education.
In order to receive points for educational level, you must, as a minimum, have the equivalent of a Danish Bachelor’s degree. You will only be given points for one educational level. Points are given as follows:
Bachelor's degree/Graduated from medium-length education: 30 points
Bachelor's degree followed by one-year Master's degree: 50 points
Master's degree: 60 points
PhD: 80 points
You will be given bonus points if you graduated from a university which is internationally recognised for its high academic level according to the latest THES-QS World Ranking. Points are given as follows:
Top 400: 5 points
Top 200: 10 points
Top 100: 15 points
See the top 400 list
You will be given 10 bonus points if your education qualifies you to work in a field where Denmark is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. You can find these fields on the positive list. In order to obtain the bonus points, your education must be of the level specified for the job type in question, e.g. a Master's degree or a Professional Bachelor's degree.
You can only obtain points for completed educational programmes. For example, if you are currently studying for a Master's degree in Sweden, you should not apply for a residence permit under the greencard scheme until you have completed your programme.
You can be given a maximum of 105 points for your educational level.
Your language skills will be given points based on a four-level system modelled after the official Danish language proficiency tests for foreigners (the Danish Language Test, Levels 1, 2 and 3 and the Study Test in Danish as a Second Language).
In order to be given points for language skills, you must document that you have passed an exam in either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German at a level corresponding to at least Danish Language Test, Level 1 (Prøve i Dansk 1). You can only receive points for one Scandinavian language and for either English or German. As such, you can receive points for both Swedish and English, or both Danish and German, but not for both Danish and Norwegian, or for both English and German.
Here is an indicative list of approved foreign language exams with their corresponding Danish level. You will only be given points for approved exams. Other exams do not qualify for points.
As an alternative to a language exam, you can document your language skills with a statement from a previous employer attesting that you have used Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German on the job for at least one year, or by presenting documentation that you have completed at least one year of studies at a higher educational programme which was taught in one of these languages. This will be accepted as a level corresponding to "Study Test" in Danish as a Second Language (Studieprøven).
Points are given as follows:
Level corresponding to Danish Language Test, Level 1 (Prøve i Dansk 1): 5 points
Level corresponding to Danish Language Test, Level 2 (Prøve i Dansk 2): 10 points
Level corresponding to Danish Language Test, Level 3 (Prøve i Dansk 3): 15 points
Level corresponding to Study Test in Danish as a Second Language (Studieprøven) or higher/one year's study or work: 20 points
You can be given a maximum of 30 points for your language skills.
Please note: Good Danish skills are often essential to engage effectively in the Danish labour market.
Your work experience can be given points according to how many years, within the last five years, you have worked as a researcher or in a field where Denmark is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. You can see these fields and specific job titles on the positive list. You can also be given points for other work experience.
Points are given as follows:
1-2 years within the past five years as a researcher/in field listed on the Positive List: 10 points
3-5 years within the past five years as a researcher/in field listed on the Positive List: 15 points
3-5 years within the past five years, other work: 5 points
You can be given a maximum of 15 points for your work experience.
You can be given points for your educational or work related attachment to the EU/EEA (including Denmark) or Switzerland, as this is seen to increase your ability to quickly adapt to the Danish labour market. Points are given for either education or work. Points are given as follows:
Completion of at least one year's study at a higher educational programme in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland: 5 points
Completion of at least three years' study at a higher educational programme in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland: 10 points
At least one full year's (12 consecutive months') legal residence and work in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland: 5 points
At least two consecutive year's legal residence and work in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland: 10 points
You will be given 5 bonus points for Danish language skills (passed exam in Danish Language Test, Level 2 (Prøve i Dansk 2) or higher).
You can be given a maximum of 15 points for your adaptability.
You can be given points based on your age at the time you submit your application. Points are given as follows:
You can be given a maximum of 15 points for your age.
The Immigration Service has received far more applications under the greencard scheme in 2009 than expected. As a result, the Immigration Service is behind with the processing of cases and is working hard to reduce the number of pending cases. This means that the normal 30 day service goal for maximum processing time has been temporarily suspended.
To avoid further delay, make sure that your application contains all information and documentation needed by the Immigration Service to process your case. If your application lacks required information or documentation, the Immigration Service may choose to reject your application on these grounds. This means that your application will not be processed.
If it is necessary to have your educational level assessed by the Danish Agency for International Education, you will be notified by the Immigration Service.
You can be granted a first-time residence permit under the green card scheme for up to 3 years. Before the end of this period, you can apply for an extension of up to 1 year. Before the end of this period, you can apply for an extension of up to four years.
Your residence permit can be extended if you have worked for the past 12 months for a minimum of ten hours per week.
Your residence permit can be extended for one year if you have lost your job through no fault of your own (e.g. due to cutbacks) no more than three months before applying for an extension, and if prior to this, you worked for 12 months for a minimum of ten hours per week.
You can submit your application for an extension no sooner than 2 months before it expires.
When applying for an extension of your residence permit, it is crucial that you submit your application on time, i.e. before your current residence permit expires. Failure to do so will normally result in your application being rejected due to your residing illegally in Denmark. As such, an application which is submitted too late will not be processed by the Immigration Service. Instead, you will have to leave Denmark and apply for a new residence permit from your country of origin.
Your residence permit can only be granted or extended up to three months before your passport expires. This means that if your passport expires in 12 months, you can only be granted a permit for nine months, or your permit can only be extended by nine months. If you have your passport renewed after receiving your residence permit, you can apply for the full period by sending a letter to the Immigration Service together with a copy of your renewed passport.
Read more about extension
It is your own responsibility to find work in Denmark so you can support yourself.
There are several web portals, databases and CV banks which can be useful in the process of seeking work in Denmark. Read more about jobseeking in Denmark
Please note that unemployment in Denmark is on the increase in certain sectors. The general unemployment rate for March 2010 was 4.2 pct.
This means that recent years' general shortage in labour has now been replaced by a situation with a shortage in available jobs.
This means that the demand for foreign labour has also been reduced drastically. However, certain sectors still need foreign qualified professionals.
When the Danish economy experiences growth again, the demand for foreign labour is expected to rise.
If you hold a residence permit under the greencard scheme, your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you, are also eligible for residence permits.
Your family members must be able to support themselves and you must live together in Denmark at the same address. Your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period his or her permit is valid.
Read more about how to apply