New rules effective from April 2023

The rules introduce changed requirements and new schemes in the workforce and study areas

On 23 March 2023, the Danish government passed a bill that aims to strenghten international recruitment and to make it easier to recruit foreign labour. The new rules introduce changes which affect several of the schemes administered by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration ("SIRI").


Highlights of the changes


Requirements for a Fast Track certificate have been eased

From 1 April 2023, the number of employees has been reduced to 10 full-time employees. The Fast Track certificate gives foreign employees of Danish companies the opportunity to apply for a residence and work permit based on the Fast Track scheme. One of the previous conditions for a Danish company to be Fast Track certified was to have at least 20 full-time employees.

New scheme introduced: Supplementary Pay Limit scheme

To support the Danish labor market, a new scheme has been introduced. The scheme is referred to as a supplementary Pay Limit scheme.

The new supplementary Pay Limit scheme will also be added as a track to the Fast Track  scheme. As a main condition, the employee must be offered a gross annual salary of at least DKK 375,000 (2023-level).  

Below is a list of the main conditions for the Supplementary Pay Limit scheme:

  • Annual gross salary must be at least DKK 375,000 (2023-rate)
  • The salary must be paid into a Danish bank account
  • The job must have been advertised on Jobnet and the EURES for at least two weeks.

The Danish immigration authorities are not allowed to issue residence and work permits if the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate exceeds 3.75% within the last three months.

The minimum required gross salary will be adjusted once a year on 1 January.

The existing Pay Limit scheme remains unchanged.

The Positive List scheme

According to the new legislation, the positive list for people with a higher education is expanded which means there will be added more job titles to the list. The job titles on the positive list will be locked and cannot be removed from the list for at least two years.

Previously, the job titles stated on the Positive List scheme were updated twice a year in January and June.

Jobseeking permit for students

From 1 April 2023, the Danish Immigration Authorities will grant a jobseeking permit valid for three years.

With the new bill, the Establishment Card will be replaced by the jobseeking permit for students.

Currently a non-EU national with a permit as a student in Denmark has a jobseeking permit valid for six months after completing at least a Danish bachelor's degree.

Since 2015, students have had the opportunity to apply for a permit based on the Establishment Card scheme. The purpose of the Establishment Card was to allow non-EU national students to work and reside in Denmark after completing at least a Danish bachelor's degree.

During the three-year validity period of the jobseeking permit, the same rules will apply as for the jobseeking permit valid for 6 months. The holder of this jobseeking permit will be eligible to apply for a special residence and work permit after completing the education. The special work and residence permit will allow work  for different employers.

Expanded Start-up Denmark scheme

According to the new regulation, it has been agreed to expand the Start-up Denmark scheme. This means that a non-EU business owner established outside Denmark will be able to apply for a residence and work permit based on the Start-up Denmark scheme in order to open a branch in Denmark.

The Start-Up Denmark scheme was implemented in 2017. The purpose of this scheme was to give non-EU nationals the opportunity to apply for a permit to set up a business in Denmark. The application for a residence and work permit could only be processed once the business plan had been approved by an independent expert panel.


We believe that these changes will give companies more options for smoother recruitment processes for non-EU nationals.

However, the consequences of hiring foreign national employees without the necessary work permits could be a fine or, in the worst case, imprisonment for up to two years. 


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At KPMG Acor Tax, we have a global immigration practice covering 150+ countries with more than 1,800 immigration experts. We offer a full spectrum of immigration-related services.  Please reach out to us if you need assistance on this matter.