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New card is to help graduates stay in Denmark

A new visa, or 'establishment card' is now available to help international graduates 'establish' themselves in Denmark after their studies

The government’s newest reform is intended to help attract highly skilled workers to Denmark’s labour market, giving the newest graduates a special advantage.

From 1 January 2015, international students who have completed a Danish master or PhD program can now be granted a special permit to remain in Denmark with rights to full-time employment, to make themselves a life in Denmark before applying for further residency.

The application process is simpler than the points-based system for the current Green-Card scheme, requiring only a Danish Master’s or PhD diploma, and the ability to financially support oneself in Denmark for one full year.

Less expensive than a Green Card

Applicants for an Establishment Card only pay a fraction of what was previously required by foreign nationals in the same situation. A standard green card application costs DKK 6850, while applying for an establishment card is only DKK 1750. See all price categories here.

Beyond that, while other green card applicants have to prove that they have over DKK 130,000 at their disposal, establishment card applicants only require proof of just over DKK 80,000.

Unlike the Green Card, the establishment scheme allows card holders to start their own business in Denmark, with fees similar to the scheme for other highly desired immigrants such as the self-employed under the ”Start-up Denmark” program.

Easier to employ internationals

The international recruitment reform will make it easier to employ internationals by loosening regulations. For example, international researchers are allowing them to leave Denmark for more than six months or work part time abroad while retaining their permit.

These changes will make it easier for companies and universities to attract key international staff to Denmark.

See a full policy document on the scheme here.

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