Working and living in Denmark, some suggestions and advices

I just signed on, I am from Mauritius, and living in Montreal, Canada for the past 11 years.  I am  thinking of travelling and staying in Denmark for a year, and also visiting some nearby countries.  If I apply for a work permit, I will be allowed to work 6 months maximum in Denmark, so that I can pay for my expenses while being there.

I had a few questions, and was hoping to get some feedback and advices.
- How easy is it to find accommodation in Denmark, where do I look for these information?  Is it possible to rent an apartment already by email while I am here?  How expensive is rent?
- Is it easy to find small jobs, given that I do not speak Danish?
- How easy is it to meet people and make friends, and travel around?  Do most people speak English?


Hi Bhinesha

I don't think your project is feasable at all.

It is not easy to find odd jobs at all, not even for Danishspeaking guys so you cannot depend on finding a job.
All flats are rented unfurnished. Either there is a long waiting list, or they are very expensive, and they are not meant for short-term rentals.
It is easy to travel around, but not cheap. The rent depends on where in the country the flat is situated.
Most people speak English to some extent, but you shall expect to make friends with somebody when only here for a rather short stay. The Danes are not as easy to get to know as the Americans.

If you still want to go, I would advice you to find a room mate via this site. At any rate, never, never pay in advance for a housing. See the flat, get the keys before you pay. Be sure that the landlord really is the landlord and not a fraudster. In these days, the new college students look for a place to stay. And many of them are cheated by a false landlord. The papers just warned against it today. They also warned against false accounts. In Copenhagen you may pay up to 5,000 Kr. for a single room (not a flat) as people are desperate to get a housing. … oebenhavn/ (an example of a search result)

Come and visit the country as a tourist. Maybe it would be an idea to make a swap housing, e.g. to reduce costs. If you like animals, you could try

Hi Nellie,
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post, and for the suggestions.

It is indeed a good idea to come as a tourist, but as you might know, in the Canadian/American work culture, we are allowed only 2-3 weeks holiday per year (in my case 2 weeks per year), which is not a lot, so if I want to travel to a few places, that does not give me much time.  I thought the 1 year working/visiting plan sounded more interesting as it at least gives a better idea of what it's like to be in the city.  But now, after your post....I'll see.

I see, this idea won't work either.

As you don't master the language, I imagine that cleaning jobs in hotels will be the only ones within reach. If you think you have the health and strength for that kind of job, you could try to contact the big hotels/hotel chains in the country or e.g. this cleaning company:

There has been some television broadcasts on cleaning work in hotels this spring. Many Danes are jobless, especially unskilled workers. Is the reason that they cannot get a job, or do they prefer to live on benefit? The TV followed three persons in a week, but they all stopped when the experiment was over. The hotel manager said that bed making is very hard, and that they could not do quickly enough. But the Filipinos and the Eastern Europeans can. Therefor the hotel manager preferred them to the Danish.

Another possibility, as I see it, is to contact an Irish Pub. Search irsk bar e.g. København, Aarhus, Helsingør, Aalborg.

If I haven't discouraged you totally, you could start finding a job, and then we could find out if you will be able to survive on that amount.

You've totally discouraged me.

Dear Nellie,

it is really getting complicated for me to know more about immigration in Denmark. in 2015 it seems really hard to apply for Denmark GC.  the income requirements seemed to be real hard for an extension. apparently it is found to be easy to get Green card in Denmark but getting work by my own is ok, but finding the income requirement that hard is making me disappointed to apply. Please advice, I am from Bangladesh, working in a Business Analyst position.

all Green Card scheme complies that seems really hard for me are:
1. from the first year of Residence I must earn DKK 50K. (how come a person just come in to very unknown place can earn that amount all of a sudden)
2. to extend the GC schem after 2 year, DKK 319k income needs to be shown on average of 12 months. (it seems real ridiculous to me, any one would easily be rejected for extension with that). is it possible to earn that amount.

looking forward to have your answer. I found you reliable to have my confusions removed as I might need to invest a lot on that.

thank you

Hi Saad

Thank you for your confidence in me, but let me start stating that I am not an expert, not at all.

As you have already read, I totally discouraged poor Bhinesha. Probably, I will have the same effect on you.

The financial crisis in 2008 was tough for all countries, and Denmark still suffers from it. We have many unemployed people, also among academics. However, we are in lack of some professions, especially engineers of some kind. You'll see the list here: … e-list.htm

If your profession is not found on the list (it isn't), your only chance is to go for a green card. And now I'll have to repeat that I am not an expert in these matters, but I have read that the application for a green card costs 6,375 Kr., thus a considerable amount to travel costs, housing expenses and so on.

A little statistic:
55 - 65 % of the green card takers come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Iran. Two out of three don't apply for an extension when their green card runs out. About 70 % will never find a job, or they will go into low-paid unskilled jobs. 40 % will earn less than 200,000 Kr. a year which is the lowest level in this country. Some people joke with the term green card as they call it clean card! It is also said that we have the highest educated taxi drivers in the world.

To obtain a green card your qualifications shall be at least on a bachelor level. Therefor the income shall equal to the Danish starting average wages for new graduates which are 319,725 Kr. in 2015-prices. This to securing a fair competition and  proper working conditions and pay. The income demand of 50,000 Kr. for the first year is actually 64,400 Kr. for people under 25 years and a little more for people older than that. This amount equals to the SU (the public support for further education) /starting benefits for refugees, thus the lowest thinkable level to live on in this country. So you see what seems very high requirements to you is just reasonable requirements from a Danish point of view.

You have a fine education, and I will guess that your chances for making a career is better in Bangladesh than in Denmark even that the statistics show as clearly as possible that it isn't easy. The companies get many job applications when they seek for a new employee, and compared to the locals, you'll be handicapped as you don't speak the language. I don't know if you know this site, but have a look at it: … -in-dk.htm

My advice to you is quite clear: You shall have a job in hand before you come or you shall not come at all.

I am afraid that I have also succeeded in discouraging you.

thank you....nellie


I don't have fair idea on job market in Denmark but upon visiting there i found this country quite wonderful and tourist friendly. Check my latest blog post about most famous Danish fantasy:

r u on tourist visa brother naim? all we r worried about whether the danish market is frindly for getting job..or not...really thank you for your feedback about tourist attraction of denmark. yes denmark is quiet a splendid  place to visit.all we know very well about people and nice attractions of denmark.Topic is..about work permit in denmark.i am really  very disappointed on income requirement of this Green Card scheme. fact is, it seems quiet rigid and stiff to think about green card scheme. i wish i could go there to visit and live in this beautiful place. actually i was very much excited and enthusiast about going there. Even i was ready to learn danish, take challeng and work hard. but we people from third world country are not that smart enough to grab that fast pace of europe. it requires flexibility and time to get adabted. actually sorry for writing this long story, matter of fact is that, i am feeling really depressed. post of nellie shown me a real veiw of this scheme. about my self,i am already working in a multinational telco industry at market operation department in Bangladesh. Specially, all i was looking forward to have one beautiful  place live and work with relaxation. Actually,not so much. that's all. All requirement was okay from my side,  i wish demark authority could soften on income requirement. saas

Hi Saad

Cheer up. You have a job. Maybe, it is just as good as any job in Denmark. The wages are high in Denmark, but so are the expenses.

However, have you tried the link I sent to you? You can also put your cv there?

What about finding a job in an English-speaking country? Then the  language wouldn't pose the same problem?

Many Danish people go to Norway to work because they cannot find a job in Denmark. Norway is in lack of many kind of employees. Maybe, that could be of interest to you? The wages in Norway are even higher than in Denmark, but so are the expenses.

I would suggest you to address some recruitment agencies.

Hi Nellie Berg. Thanks for posting the real face of green card scheme.
In fact we the people from developing countries have got fantasies about Europe. We seek and hope to find out all the comforts, joys and relaxation which we lack in our countries.
By the way I think everyone must test his luck. I want to know that if it is possible for green card holder/worker permit holder to get admission in post graduate program in his field of studies, secondly do the government offer and TV some sort of loans and bursaries to green card holder for doing post her adulation in Denmark like in Canada and Australia? last but not the least wether the green card holder can operate and run his business no matter small or big?


No secret any longer that I don't encourage people to go for a green card. It would be to cheat them if I said that it would be easy to find a job when first here. Getting a green card is far from getting a decent job within your skills. Fortunately, there are also some success stories.

Actually, there should be a thread here where expats tell about their personal success story. It could be interesting to hear how they have managed.

You are, however, quite right. Everyone shall feel free to pursue his own happiness and luck as it is important to maintain hope for a better future. When said, I will add that it is better to know the hard facts in advance rather than discovering them on the hard way on arrival in Denmark in the belief that everything is rosy here.

Back to your question about studying: I am not an expert, and I don't want to write something wrong. I am also not quite sure that I understand your question fully. I therefore refer you to have a look at this link to see if it answers some of your questions:
With my best will, I cannot see that you qualify for SU:
By the way, neither would a Dane in this situation. As a PH.D.-student, he gets his pay. If a graduate would enroll for further education, he would never be granted SU as you can only get it for totally 70 months, and he would already have used all his months during his study.

I am not aware of any loans and bursaries beyond the SU. I would presume that you shall apply for those things in your own country.

The rules about running a business as a green card holder is clear: It is not allowed. … scheme.htm

Hi Sayed

Have you seen my pm?

Fair comments from Nellie. I believed Nellie was sincere when she posted comments and feedback. Me too, have dreaming of settling down in Denmark. I am still 100% hoping for a call from prospective employer and still optimistic over the future.

Whatever it is, do search other opportunity elsewhere and don't give up.

Dear Saad,
I am a traveler, by hobby.
As I know, cost of living and doing is quite high in Denmark and so are the salaries. But it may be relatively difficult to get that great job which you can find in few other countries. It doesn't mean at all that it is not a good place for careers, all you need to do is to explore the potential and take a right move.
The world is big with many opportunities. If you ask my choice of preferred relocation, I will say US, Australia, UK or Canada but again many factors come into play. Language does matter.
Finally, never let anything bring you down. Wherever you go, you can make it for your best.

Dear Naeem,
yes indeed, thing is, i was quiet excited and found it amazing to apply. for sure i will try another opportunity, thing is europe always attracts me. thank u for ur direction  and advice. saad

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