From 10 June 2016, it is no longer possible to apply for a residence permit in Denmark through the Green Card scheme, and the minimum yearly salary required to obtain residence and work permit under the Pay Limit Scheme is abolished.

The Green Card scheme was introduced in 2007 - during an economic upturn and a low unemployment rate - and was expanded in 2008 as part of the job plan to attract more qualified labour to Denmark.
Under this arrangement, foreign citizens from countries outside the EU/EEA can obtain a residence permit in Denmark for the purpose of applying for work. The arrangement is based on a point system where the applicant must obtain points within language skills, education and adaptability.

Why abolish the Green Card scheme?

It turned out that the arrangement had not had the intended effect - to attract qualified persons who could obtain work in Denmark within their educational skills. Almost 50% of the persons having Green Cards works as unskilled workers, and less than 1/3 works within their original education.

Changes in the Pay Limit Scheme

The Pay Limit Scheme was frequently applied when employing foreign labour from countries outside EU/EEA. The primary requirement for obtaining a work permit under this scheme is that the applicant will obtain a minimum gross annual pay of DKK 375,000. As of 10 June 2016, the minimum gross annual pay will be increased to DKK 400,000. This is to ensure that only highly educated foreign labour is available to Danish employers.
In the future, the minimum gross annual pay will also be subject to government regulation with the effect that the regulation equals the general pay development.

What happens after 10 June?

The changes came into force on 10 June 2016, and from this date, it is no longer possible to submit new applications under the Green Card Scheme or the Pay Limit Scheme if the yearly pay is less than DKK 400,000.  
It is still possible to apply for an extension of an existing Green Card and to apply for a residence permit for the family of the Green Card holder.


Kristine Friis Nolsø

Specialist Attorney