The Danish Parliament has just passed two bills which result in the salary threshold under the pay limit scheme being increased to DKK 400,000 and the repeal of the green card scheme. The new rules apply to any applications submitted on or after 10 June 2016.

Foreign nationals who are not EU citizens are required to obtain a residence and work permit in order to reside and work in Denmark. There are several schemes which are aimed at making it easier for foreign nationals with specific qualifications to obtain a work and residence permit.

The special schemes

One of these special schemes is the pay limit scheme which has been created to give highly qualified foreign nationals particularly easy access to the Danish labour market. The pay limit scheme enables foreign nationals, who have been offered a job with an annual salary above a certain amount (up until now DKK 375,000) to apply for a Danish work and residence permit. No specific requirements are placed with regard to the applicant’s education, occupational field or the precise nature of the job.

Another special scheme is the green card scheme, under which foreign nationals are able to obtain a residence permit with the aim of applying for work in Denmark. Residence permits under the green card scheme are awarded by reference to a specific points based system which is based on the applicant’s education, language abilities and adaptability.

The bills which were passed

The first bill will result in the salary threshold under the pay limit scheme being increased from DKK 375,000 to DKK 400,000. The increase also applies to the salary threshold under the so-called Fast-track scheme. The bill does not result in any changes to the calculation method of the annual salary threshold requirement.

The new rules apply to any applications submitted on or after 10 June 2016.

However, specific rules will apply to any extension applications for work or residence permits which have already been granted under the current salary threshold. Such applications can still be submitted after 10 June 2016 by reference to the current threshold of DKK 375,000, provided the extension application relates to the same employment relationship and the same terms and conditions of employment.

The second bill will result in repeal of the green card scheme with effect from 10 June 2016. Any residence applications under the green card scheme which are submitted prior to this date will, however, still be processed. 

Any foreign nationals who have already been granted a residence and work permit under the green card scheme will also be able to apply for an extension after 10 June 2016 provided that they comply with the rules governing extension applications which are currently in force.