Visa exemption for Turkish citizens who are to perform a service in Denmark
Turkish citizens who are residing and employed in Türkiye, and who can be designated as a service provider, can enter Denmark without a visa if the purpose of the stay in Denmark is to provide a service of short duration.
This is the result of a judgement from the European Court of Justice of 19 February 2009 (C-228/06 Mehmet Soysal and Ibrahim Savatli). In the judgement the Court stated that Denmark – as a consequence of a so-called association agreement with Türkiye from 1973 – cannot require entry visas for Turkish citizens who wish to enter Denmark, when the purpose of the stay in Denmark is to provide a service, and the duration of said service is less than 90 days.
The visa exemption applies only to Turkish citizens who can be designated as service providers. In certain cases paid employment of short duration carried out by Turkish citizens is also covered by the rule. Læs juridisk fortolkning af stand still-klausulerne i EU's associeringsaftale med Tyrkiet (pdf)
A service provider is a person who receives payment for performing a temporary and time-limited service from another person without actually being employed by that person.
According to Danish legislation, aliens are as a general rule not permitted to work in Denmark without previously obtaining a work permit, but section 24 of the Executive Order on Aliens’ Access to Denmark (Aliens Order) contains a list of occupations for which a work permit is not required. You can see more about which groups of service providers are exempt from the work permit requirement by reading the provision here (Danish text). Thus, a Turkish citizen who wishes to provide a service in Denmark must ensure that the service he/she intends to provide is included in section 24 of the Danish Aliens Order, as he/she will otherwise need a work permit. In case of the latter the work permit must be obtained prior to entering Denmark.
If the duration of the service, which the Turkish citizen is to perform in Denmark, exceeds 90 days, the visa-exemption cannot be referred to as grounds for visa free entry, as a visa free stay, according to Schengen law, may only last up to a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period (according to article 20(1) of the Schengen Convention, an alien who is exempt from visa requirements may reside in Denmark and the other Schengen countries for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period). Thus, in this case, the Turkish citizen who wishes to provide a service must apply for a residence and work permit at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) prior to entering Denmark.
Read more about who can obtain a residence and work permit and how to apply
Turkish citizens who wish to enter Denmark for the purpose of a family visit, tourism etc. will continue to be required a visa in order to enter and stay in Denmark.
- A Turkish citizen wishes to visit family/friends in Denmark. The visit will last less than 90 days. The Turkish citizen will not be providing a service in Denmark, and is therefore not exempt from the visa requirements upon entry into Denmark. Thus, the person in question must apply for – and obtain – a Schengen visa before he/she can enter Denmark.
- A Turkish citizen is sent to Denmark by his/her company to install a machine for a Danish company. The work will take about 1 month. Thus, the Turkish citizen will be providing a service in Denmark, and is therefore exempt from the visa requirements upon entering Denmark. Furthermore, the type of work is included in section 24 (2) (vi) of the Danish Aliens Order, which means the Turkish citizen can enter Denmark and perform the service without a visa or a work permit.
- A Turkish citizen is sent by his/her company to install a machine for a Danish company and the work will take more than 90 days. As the work will take more than 90 days the visa exemption cannot be referred to as grounds for visa free entry. Thus, the Turkish citizen must in this case apply for a residence and work permit before he/she can enter Denmark and perform the service.
A Turkish citizen who is to enter Denmark to provide a service of less than 90 days duration, and who therefore is exempt from the visa requirements, must – as a condition for entering Denmark without a visa – verify at the Danish border, that he/she is a Turkish citizen, and owns a company which is legally established in Türkiye, or is employed by a company which is legally established in Türkiye. Furthermore, the person in question must verify that he/she will be providing a service in Denmark.
The border control can therefore require documentation for the following:
- the legal existence and trade relations of the company in Türkiye (i.e. a copy of a registration certificate)
- and (unless the applicant is self-employed) documentation that the person in question is employed by the legally established company in Türkiye (i.e. a copy of a contract or ID-card from the company).
- as well as documentation that the person in question is to provide a service for a company in Denmark (i.e. a copy of the confirmation of the commission).
Travelling through other countries
Turkish citizens who wish to enter Denmark visa-free with reference to the fact that he/she is to perform a service in Denmark on behalf of a Turkish company, must be aware that the visa exemption mentioned here does not apply to the other Schengen countries – with the exception of Germany and the Netherlands. If the Turkish citizen in question intends to travel through one or more Schengen countries en route to Denmark, he/she must apply for a Schengen visa for these countries, as the person in question will otherwise be turned away at the border of the country concerned due to the lack of visa.
This will happen regardless whether or not the Turkish citizen is able to verify that he/she is to provide a service in Denmark in accordance with the above-mentioned requirements.