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University staff not affected by green card changes

Controversial green card changes are unlikely to affect most current international students and staff. But the changes will make it harder for some incoming scientists

Students and staff at the University of Copenhagen are unlikely to be affected by new green card rules that make it harder to live and work in Denmark.

The controversial new law, which applies retroactively to current green card holders, is however likely to discourage new applicants. Changes include a required minimum salary of DKK 315,000, and no points given for an applicant’s work experience and age.

Students and staff at university are less likely to be affected, because they often don’t go through the green card scheme but rely on alternative immigration processes, according to the International Staff Mobility office (ISM) of the University of Copenhagen (UCPH).

Alernative pathways for university staff

“While the university does employ some people on a green card, the majority are hired through other processes” says Søren Kjærsgaard Høfler, ISM to the University Post.

“International Staff Mobility (ISM) rarely takes on researchers or academic staff members on a green card. The reason for this is that we normally assist the upcoming employees with their residence and work permit [instead]” he says.

“It’s much easier to obtain a residence and work permit than it is to obtain a green card once you have received a job offer from the university.”

Other groups not so lucky

Universities will be able to continue to hire people from outside Europe outside the green card scheme. But the new rules will still affect many attempting to live and work in Denmark.

“The new rules regarding green cards decreases the rights of the green card holder and especially the possibility of extension and getting family members to Denmark on a green card,” Høfler explains.

“All in all, I would say the new rules concerning green cards are constructed in a way that fewer people will now apply for a green card and even fewer will be able to obtain the green card and get an extension. But this is also clearly the purpose.”

See more information in fact box right.

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