EU residence as a worker
You are an EU citizen and carry out paid work in Denmark.
Normal processing time
Who can be registered as a worker?
You can be registered as a worker if you carry out actual and real work in Denmark.
Your work is actual and real if you carry out work as instructed by an employer and are paid for it. The work takes place over an extended period for a certain number of hours each week.
What are the conditions for being registered as a worker?
When we process your application, we assess specifically and individually whether you are a worker according to EU law.
You must normally carry out paid work for at least 10-12 hours a week.
In order to be registered as a worker, your employment agreement must normally apply for a minimum of 10-12 weeks.
The assessment of whether your work is actual and real will consider, amongst other things, pay as well as the above-mentioned requirements on the number of hours worked and duration of employment.
Factors such as collective-bargaining agreements, holiday pay and pension can be included in the assessment of actual and real work. However, the absence of these factors in an employment agreement does not in and of itself mean that the work is not actual and real.
When submitting your application, you must present your employment agreement and / or an employer statement that describes your terms of employment.
If you have already begun working, you may include copies of your pay statements.
Read more about documentation in the ‘How to Apply’ tab.
If you, as a temporary worker, are guaranteed paid work for at least 10-12 hours a week for at least 10-12 weeks, and this is stated in your temporary-employment agreement, you can be a worker in the same way as persons in regular employment.
If you are not guaranteed a certain number of hours for a certain period, it will not be possible to establish in advance that you are a worker according to EU law.
If, when submitting your application, you can document that you have been working as a temporary worker for the previous 10-12 weeks for at least 10-12 hours a week, you may be registered as a worker, even if you are not guaranteed a certain number of working hours per week. You must document the extent of the work already carried out in the form of pay statements or the like.
What rights do an EU residence document give me?
An EU residence document is proof of a right that you have as an EU citizen when you enter Denmark, if you meet the conditions for grounds for residence under EU rules. This means you have the right to reside, work or study in Denmark with or without an EU residence document.
In Denmark, you will, however, in many situations need a Civil Registration System (CPR) number. You must present your EU residence document to your municipality of residence to be given a CPR number (and health insurance card and the like). The information below explains the rights an EU residence document (and CPR number) conveys to you, as well as the limitations that are placed on your residence.
As an EU citizen, you may freely enter Denmark and you may begin to work upon arrival. You do not need a permit to work in Denmark.
There is no limit on the number of hours you may work while living in Denmark. This also applies if you are studying in Denmark.
You do not need an EU residence document in order to begin work. This is the case even if you have – or have applied for – a residence document as a worker, as a self-supporting individual or for some other reason.
With an EU residence document in Denmark, you are entitled to partly user paid Danish lessons. However, you must have turned 18 and have your Danish address registered in the Danish National Register.
Your municipality of residence is obliged to offer you Danish lessons and refer you to a language centre.
If you have not been offered Danish lessons within a month after registering your address in Denmark, you can contact your municipality.
You will have lessons together with other foreign nationals who have arrived in Denmark recently.
During your stay in Denmark under EU rules, you must normally be able to support yourself and your family financially. Depending on your grounds for residence, that means you, amongst other things, may not receive cash benefits or other forms of public assistance regulated by the Active Social Policy Act (lov om aktiv socialpolitik).
If you or a family member receive such benefits while living in Denmark, your right of residence can be terminated and you can lose your right to be in Denmark.
Benefit payments from the municipality or any other public authority to a foreign national are reported to SIRI. SIRI will then assess whether this affects your grounds for residence.
If you meet the requirements to be a worker as defined by EU law – or if you have retained worker status despite no longer working – receiving the above-mentioned benefits will normally not in and of itself lead to termination of your right of residence. The same applies if you have grounds for residence as the family member to a worker.
If you plan to live and work in Denmark, there are several things you need to consider. Depending on your situation, there may be more important information you need to be aware of.
The website lifeindenmark.dk contains information about:
- The CPR register
- Health card
- Tax matters
- Holiday entitlements
- School and daycare
- Danish lessons
- Car registration and driver’s license
How long can I stay in Denmark?
As an EU citizen, you may freely enter Denmark.
If you plan on remaining in Denmark for less than three months, you do not need to apply for an EU residence document. If you are seeking employment, you may remain in Denmark for up to six months before obtaining a residence document.
If you plan on being in Denmark for longer than three months, or six months if you will be seeking employment, you need to apply for an EU residence document. If you have a residence document, you may remain in Denmark indefinitely, provided you meet the conditions for your grounds for residence. There is no date of expiry for residence documents.
If your grounds for residence are terminated – e.g. if you stop working or studying – you must apply for a new residence document on other grounds – e.g. as a person with sufficient funds. If you are uncertain whether you meet the conditions for new grounds for residence, you must contact SIRI.
If you continuously have met the conditions for EU-secured grounds for residence in Denmark for five years, you can – regardless of whether you are a citizen of an EU state or a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland – apply for a permanent right of residence under EU rules.
If you hold a permanent right of residence you do not necessarily need to continue to meet the conditions for your original grounds for residence. Please note, however, that your permanent right of residence can lapse if you reside outside of Denmark for an extended period.
What happens if I no longer have paid work?
If you have been granted a residence document based on your status as a paid worker and you lose your job, regardless of whether you were fired or quit, your right of residence has as a rule been terminated.
If you will be leaving Denmark after losing your job, you do not need to do anything about your grounds for residence. All you need to do is to inform the Civil Registration System that you will be leaving Denmark. You can do this on-line at lifeindenmark.dk (requires NemID).
If you would like to remain in Denmark after losing your job, and you haven’t found a new job, it is important that you sign up for the job centre within 14 days of your termination of employment. In some cases worker status – and thus your grounds for residence as a worker – can be retained temporarily after you lose your job. This depends on factors such as the reason why you lost your job and whether you registered with the job centre within the allotted time after you stopped working. How long you can maintain your worker status depends on how long you worked in Denmark before your termination of employment.
If you believe that you meet the requirements for other grounds for residence, for example, as a self-supporting person, you must submit an application on these grounds.
SIRI will write to you to inform you if it is considering making a decision that could affect your grounds for residence.
In such instances, you will have the opportunity to provide information or documentation to support extending your residence.
If you no longer meet the requirements for grounds for residence under EU rules your ties to Denmark will be considered and this may influence whether you retain your right to residence. Among other factors this includes how long you have lived in Denmark and your work history here.
Can my family qualify for an EU residency document?
If you are an EU citizen, you can qualify for grounds for residence based on your own qualifications. You can also qualify as the family member of someone who has grounds for residence.
You have independent grounds for residence if you, as an EU citizen, work, are self-employed, are a student or are a self-supporting person.
Your grounds for residence can be derived from a family member who is an EU citizen.
If you are a citizen of a third country who is related to an EU citizen, your family can apply for family reunification according the rules for citizens of EU countries.
If you are citizen of a third country, granted residence as the family member of an EU citizen, you may not yourself sponsor an individual applying for family reunification. In certain cases, the EU citizen who sponsored you for family reunification can sponsor your family members.
What more do I need to know before I apply?
Applications for a residence document under EU rules should be submitted to the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
The ‘How to Apply’ tab (at right) provides more information about the application process, as well as the application form itself.
SIRI normally makes its decision based on the information and documents you submit with the application form. In some cases, SIRI will need to contact you to request further information.
Please note that SIRI will only request information from you. Your employer, for example, will not be contacted to provide information.
Likewise, SIRI will not provide information about your application to others than you. If SIRI is contacted – by telephone or in writing – by anyone other than you requesting information about your application, the request will normally be turned down.
You may grant SIRI permission to give information about your application to others than yourself. To grant someone else permission to receive information, you must submit a power of attorney in advance. The power of attorney needs to indicate by name the individuals authorised to receive information about your application.
If you state in your application that you are being represented by a solicitor, you do not need to submit a power of attorney. Solicitors, due to their profession, are automatically granted power of attorney. If you are being represented by a solicitor, SIRI will send all correspondence about your application to your solicitor.
In this tab, you can read about the application process. You must submit your application to the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
You can submit your application in person at one of SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg or Aabenraa.
Before reading this tab about submitting an application for EU residence, we recommend that you read about the conditions for residence as a worker etc. in the ‘Need to know’ tab at left.
It is a good idea to gather the necessary documents before you start to complete the application form.
You can use the checklist below.
You must bring the following to your appointment with SIRI:
As documentation of your grounds for residence as an employee, you can either submit an employment contract or a declaration by your employer:
Expect to use
to complete the application form
You complete the application form yourself
In this step you have access to the relevant application form OD1.
The application form contains instructions for how to complete it and what kind of documents you must submit along with the form.
The form cannot be completed or submitted online. It must be printed out, completed and submitted in person at one of our branch offices together with the relevant documentation.
You can submit your application in person at SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg and Aabenraa.
Remember to book an appointment at SIRI
You can see the normal case processing time to the right of this tab. When we make a decision in your case, you will receive an answer.
SIRI will contact you or your employer if we need further information to process your case. In some cases, we will need to obtain further information, e.g. from other public authorities, including SKAT and the police and relevant authorities abroad.
You have the right to reside and work in Denmark while you wait for an answer.