Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Danish Green Card

So I've posted about the Czech Green Card. The Danish Green Card is another beast entirely and it's a completely different way in to Europe, not just in terms of destination, but also method.

From one of my trips to the lovely city of Copenhagen
If you've been reading this blog for a while — or just researching moving abroad in general — then you know that the basic way to acquire a work permit is to apply for a job while outside of your target country and then the company applies for the work permit. You must not be in the country while the permit is issued lest it be considered invalid. The rules on this are so strict that I was forced to miss my father's partner's funeral in the UK because I was getting a work permit issued.

Countries do this because they don't want people seeking work on tourist visas and possibly becoming illegal immigrants if they don't find it. Denmark has tried a different approach, the Danish Green Card. This allows you to move you and your family to Denmark for up to three years and live there while you look for work. There are several preconditions:
  • You must score 100 points on their assessment
  • You must document that you can support yourself financially for a year
  • You must have health insurance
  • You may not receive any public funds
Again from a trip to Copenhagen
The points are fairly straightforward and are well-documented. You'll need at least a bachelor's degree (30 points) to qualify for the green card and you'll receive a bonus of 10 points if your education qualifies you to perform a job on in which they have a skills shortage.

You must also speak one of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German (since you're reading this, you can figure out which one you qualify for). They make it clear that even if you speak English, without the ability to speak Danish your opportunities in the Danish market are somewhat limited. You will also be given a few points if you've worked in your field recently, gone to school in the EEA and are young enough.

You'll need to have the equivalent of around $1,100 to $1,300 US per month (for a year) to prove that you can support yourself. Obviously, this will increase if you bring your family.

This is a fantastic scheme for a fantastic country. I've been to Copenhagen twice and not only is the city gorgeous, but the people are friendly and things are simply relaxed. It's also possibly more bike-friendly then Amsterdam. You should also be happy to note that Danish is a "category 1" language and thus is considered easy for English speakers to learn.