Denmark: Immigration changes affect green card and pay limit schemes


Effective June 10, 2016, several Danish immigration changes will come into force affecting both the Green Card and Pay Limit Immigration Schemes.

Green Card Scheme Abolished

Citing significant ineffectiveness, the Danish authorities approved the abolition of the Green Card Scheme. This immigration route previously allowed qualified foreign nationals to obtain work and residence authorisation in Denmark without the need for a sponsoring employer; however, recent findings showed that Green Card holders were often unable to find employment in their industry and instead were employed in low-skilled work.

While the Danish authorities will no longer accept new Green Card scheme applications as of June 10, current Green Card holders and their accompanying family members will still be permitted to apply for renewal of their work and residence permit through the Green Card Scheme.

Minimum Salary Requirements Increased for Pay Limit Scheme

In addition, applicants filing for a new work permit under the Pay Limit Scheme must now earn a minimum annual salary of at least DKK 400,000 (increased from the previous level of DKK 375,000). This new minimum salary threshold will be reviewed and adjusted for inflation on an annual basis.

The Pay Limit Scheme is available to highly-paid foreign nationals with a sponsoring employer. Foreign employees currently holding a work permit under the Pay Limit Scheme will be permitted to apply for renewal of the same using the previous DKK 375,000 minimum salary level if their employment conditions remain the same.