Denmark

    Guidance

    1.1 Has any guidance already been issued in relation to Brexit, for example on residence or work permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

    The Danish government has taken steps regarding UK nationals currently living in Denmark under the rules on free movement for the purpose of ensuring that they can remain in Denmark on similar terms.

    If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, UK nationals living in Denmark can remain in Denmark in accordance with the agreement.  

    In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK nationals would be considered third country nationals as a starting point for the purposes of Danish immigration law.

    Following the UK parliament voting down the Withdrawal Agreement, the Danish government introduced a bill in February 2019 (the Danish Brexit Act). The bill was passed on 19 March 2019 and the Act will come into effect only in the event of a no-deal Brexit, whenever the date. In broad outline, under the Act UK nationals currently living in Denmark will be entitled to stay under a ‘temporary transitional scheme’ which will be close to the rules on free movement (i.e. no requirement for a residence and work permit).

    To prove residency, UK nationals and family members currently staying in Denmark under the free movement rules are encouraged to make sure that they have the relevant EU residence card and, if not, to make sure they submit their application for a card to the Danish authorities before Brexit. 

    Further information on the proposed temporary transitional scheme can be found (in English) here:

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    Business visas

    2.1 When UK employees become third-country nationals will they require a business visa?

    Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It will apply from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. However, due to Denmark’s EU opt-out on criminal justice and home affairs, new EU decisions regarding Schengen would have to be ratified before the rules can take effect in Denmark. It is expected that this decision will be ratified.

    When it takes effect, UK citizens will be able to enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    The Schengen exemption will apply:

    • from Brexit date in the event of no deal;
    • from 1 January 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA’) is ratified (under the WA, UK nationals keep their EU free movement rights until 31 December 2020).

    In Denmark, UK nationals will be able to participate in engagements such as meetings or training, but will not otherwise be entitled to work without a work permit.

    2.2 What documentation will be required for business travel on arrival at the border once UK citizens are considered third-country nationals?

    Only a passport (or similar travel documentation) will be required. The passport must be valid for at least three months after the date of departure and must not have been issued more than ten years ago.

    Further, the normal conditions for visa-free entry must be met, including the requirement for sufficient means and documentation for the purpose of the stay, if requested. 

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    Permission to work

    3.1 When UK citizens become third-country nationals will they need permission to work?   

    UK nationals not covered by the Danish Brexit Act, see 1 above, must generally have a residence and work permit to be entitled to work in Denmark.

    Certain exemptions may apply, such as:

    • short stays for engagements such as meetings or training. that can be undertaken without a work permit;
    • the spouse of a third country national who holds a work permit will be able to work without a work permit of his or her own;
    • third country nationals with a permanent residence permit for Denmark are exempt from the requirement for a work permit. 

    3.2 If permission to work is needed do any quotas apply for employing third-country nationals?

    No quotas apply.

    3.3 If permission to work is needed, as of when will it be needed?

    As a starting point, from the date of a no-deal Brexit. However, the special provisions under the Danish Brexit Act will apply to UK nationals currently staying in Denmark, see above.

    3.4 If permission to work is needed, what are the most common categories?

    The most common scheme in Denmark is the Pay Limit Scheme under which the applicant must have a job offer with a minimum annual base salary of DKK 426,985.06 (approximately EUR 57,400).

    Other relevant schemes include the Positive List (for professions experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals) and schemes for trainees.

    All schemes are subject to specific requirements under Danish law.

    3.5 If permission to work or stay is needed, how long does the procedure take?

    The application procedure for the Pay Limit scheme takes approximately one month if all requested documentation is provided when filing the application.

    Both the employer and the candidate must fill out a part of the application form and the candidate must have his or her biometric features registered at a Danish embassy.

    3.6 If permission to work and stay is needed, what Government fees would be due for such a permission?

    Currently, the fee for applying for a permit under the Pay Limit Scheme is DKK 3,025 (approx. EUR 410).

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    Permanent residence

    4.1 From when can third-country nationals obtain permanent residence?

    As a starting point, third-country nationals must have stayed in Denmark for eight years. However, a four-year limit applies under certain circumstances.

    Permanent residence in Denmark is subject to a number of conditions. For example, the applicant must work and not have received public benefits and pass a Danish language test, among others.

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    Residence Status

    5.1 What steps could UK nationals still take to secure their residence status?

    UK nationals currently staying in Denmark have been encouraged to make sure that they have an EU residence card before Brexit.

    UK nationals could apply for permanent residence under EU rules before Brexit provided that the conditions are met. 

    UK nationals could consider applying for Danish citizenship if the conditions are met. The Danish immigration authorities have announced, however, that a fast-track scheme or similar will not be established for UK nationals applying for Danish citizenship. Currently, the turnaround time is 19 months.

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