DENMARK – New Fast-Track Work Permit Scheme and Other Changes
Denmark has implemented a reform of its foreign labour regulations, including a new fast-track scheme, giving certified companies quicker and easier access to highly qualified employees from outside the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
The new scheme, which replaces the previous Corporate Scheme, allows pre-certified companies to hire foreign nationals for up to four years. The employee can start work immediately after submitting a work permit application, without waiting for approval, with a temporary work permit. Employees may also work alternately in Denmark and abroad without their work permit lapsing.
The certification process takes about 30 days, and can be initiated immediately. The first possible application date for the individual work permit is 1 April 2015.
Which Companies Qualify for Certification?
- The scheme is intended for larger companies with a real need to recruit highly qualified foreign employees quickly. The scheme encompasses both private and public companies, including universities.
- It is a precondition for a residence permit under the Fast-track scheme that the company is certified by the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment.
- The company must also have at least 20 full-time employees, comply with Danish salary and employment standards and not have any serious issues with Danish authorities.
A company meeting the conditions will be certified for a period of four years, with the possibility to extend the certification if the conditions continue to be met.
Which Employees Qualify for the Scheme?
One of the following four criteria must be met:
- The foreign national is employed according to the conditions of the Pay Limit Scheme (minimum salary DKK 375,000 per year; or
- The foreign national is employed as a researcher; or
- The purpose of the employment is a high-level educational stay (not for trainees); or
- The employment is for a short stay of maximum three months.
To benefit from quick job start, the candidate must arrange legal entry into Denmark themselves, and undergo various checks at the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment
- A residence permit under the Fast-track scheme is granted for a period of up to four years, unless the application concerns a short stay of up to three months. In this case a residence permit can be granted for a maximum of three months within one year.
- The permit for a short stay cannot be extended and an initial application must be submitted for each short stay in Denmark.
- A residence permit is granted in such a way that the permit will expire 14 days after the end date of the employment contract.
- Establishment Card– a new scheme which enables international graduates who complete a Danish Master’s or PhD degree to stay in Denmark with a two-year residence permit which allows them to work.
- Greencard– the criteria for this existing scheme have been tightened. This points-based scheme allows high-scoring candidates to search for jobs in Denmark with a residence permit that allows them to work.
- Start-up Denmark – this is a new trial scheme to help foreign entrepreneurs with innovative business plans to start businesses in Denmark.
- Better conditions for researchers.
- Qualifying companies interested in benefiting from the Fast-track scheme to hire highly qualified foreign employees quickly should apply for certification as soon as possible, to be ready for the 1 April 2015 start date for Fast-track work permit applications.