How to Obtain a Danish Residence and Work Permit for In-Demand Professions

How to Obtain a Danish Residence and Work Permit for In-Demand Professions


1. Denmark continues to experience labor shortages.
2. The country requires foreign workers to fill hundreds of positions listed under 202 job titles.
3. There are 141 job titles available for highly educated foreign workers and 61 job titles for skilled foreign workers.

Denmark's Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has updated its Positive Lists of occupations with shortages of skilled and highly qualified workers.

The two lists – the Positive List for People with Higher Education and the Positive List for Skilled Workers – have been effective since July 1, 2024.

Under the Positive List scheme, foreign non-EU workers offered a job on either list are eligible to apply for a Danish residence and work permit, allowing them to legally reside and work in the country for the duration of their employment contract.

If you have a job offer included in the Positive List, you can apply for a Danish residence and work permit based on this scheme.

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI)

The permit duration under the scheme depends on the length of the employment contract. For example, a work contract may initially be for four years and then be extended if the foreign worker remains in the same job.

As explained by SIRI, the newly updated list of professions experiencing shortages includes a total of 202 job titles.

Of these, 141 job titles are under the Positive List for People with Higher Education, and the remaining 61 are under the Positive List for Skilled Workers.

While there are 141 job titles, the number of open positions is greater. For example, Denmark needs up to 1,000 foreign workers in the social and healthcare sector alone. This means that multiple foreigners might be needed for the same position in different parts of Denmark.

Job Titles for Highly Educated Foreign Workers

The Positive List for People with Higher Education includes professions experiencing a shortage of qualified workers in Denmark. Some of the job titles open for highly educated foreign workers are:

  • Military Work: Officer with at least three years of education at the bachelor level.
  • Senior Managers: Head of Public Administration, Department Manager, Operations Manager, among others, all requiring at least three years of education at the bachelor level.
  • Natural Science & Engineering: Chemist, Biologist, Environmental Coordinator, Automation Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer, and others, requiring a professional Bachelor's or Master's degree.
  • Healthcare: Chief Physician, Medical Doctor, Nurse, Midwife, Dentist, Pharmacist, and others, with relevant degrees and Danish authorisation.
  • Teaching & Educational Work: Researcher, Assistant Professor, Upper Secondary School Teacher, Primary School Teacher, and others with relevant degrees and Danish official recognition.
  • Economics, Administration & Sales: Auditor, Tax Auditor, Business Controller, Data Analyst, Marketing Professional, requiring at least a bachelor's degree.
  • Information & Communication Technology: IT Engineer, Programmer, IT Architect, Software Developer, System Administrator, all requiring at least three years of IT education.
  • Law, Social Science & Culture: Legal Counsel, Economist, Psychologist, Journalist, Communication Consultant, with relevant degrees.
  • Technicians & Assistants in Healthcare: Radiographer, Pharmacy Technician, Dental Hygienist, requiring a professional Bachelor's degree with Danish recognition.

Job Titles for Skilled Foreign Workers

Denmark also needs skilled workers for various job titles, including:

  • Science and Engineering Associate Professionals: Laboratory Technician, Production Manager, Quality Assistant, Agricultural Technician.
  • Health Professionals: Inspection Technician, Food, Paramedic.
  • Business & Administration Associate Professionals: Bookkeeper, Sales Consultant, Logistic Assistant, Legal Secretary.
  • Legal, Social, Cultural & Related Associate Professionals: Parish Clerk, Head Chef, Canteen Manager.
  • Information and Communication Technicians: IT Supporter, Webmaster.
  • General & Secretary Clerks: Senior Clerk, Office Assistant.
  • Numerical & Material Recording Clerks: Finance Assistant, Sales Support Assistant.
  • Personal Care Workers: Social and Health Care Worker for institutions and hospitals, including private homes and nursing homes, with a quota of 1,000 for social and health care workers.
  • Metal, Machinery & Related Trade Workers: Welder, Auto Body Technician, CNC-operator, Mechanic.
  • Operator Work at Stationary Plants & Machines: Process Operator for steam engine plants, water supply, and incineration plants.

Denmark also has openings for landscape gardeners, bricklayers, electricians, bakers, and agricultural assistants.

Foreigners with job offers in these professions are eligible to apply for a Danish residence and work permit. However, they must have the necessary qualifications and receive a job offer from a Danish employer before applying. The exact number of job openings per profession is not specified, but multiple foreigners may be needed for each job title.


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