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DENMARK – Stricter Permanent Residence Requirements and New Salary Rules for Pay Limit Scheme

, 08/06/2017

The Danish Parliament has recently passed two pieces of legislation affecting immigration: one act imposing stricter eligibility criteria for permanent residence, and another act defining salary requirements for work permits under the Pay-Limit Scheme, which also affects the Fast-track Scheme.

Permanent Residence

On 4 May 2017, the Danish Parliament passed a bill further restricting the requirements for permanent residence. The changes apply retroactively to applications submitted after 15 March 2017.

The changes for non-EU nationals applying for permanent residence are as follows:

Applicants must now have resided legally in Denmark for at least ‘’’eight years’’’ (rather than six years as previously) unless they have fulfilled the supplementary requirements (see below);
Applicants must not have received any public benefits in Denmark for the last ‘’’four years’’’;
Applicants must have been in regular, full-time employment for ‘’’three and a half years’’’ (up from two and a half years) in the last four years;
Applicants must have fulfilled ‘’’all four’’’ of the below supplementary requirements (rather than two out of the four, as previously) to qualify for permanent residence after a stay of only four years.

The four supplementary requirements are:

Passing the active citizenship exam or demonstrating active citizenship in Denmark for at least one year;
Regular full-time employment for at least four years in the previous four and a half years;
A minimum annual taxable income of DKK 275,400 for the last two years;
Passing the Dansk Prøve 3 language test.

Pay Limit Scheme Salary Rules

The bill amending the salary requirements for the Pay-Limit scheme was passed on 2 June 2017 and is applicable to all applications submitted on or after 1 July 2017.

The yearly gross salary of at least DKK 408,800 (DKK 34,067 per month). must no longer include employer-paid benefits.
This means that per diems, transportation, accommodation or other paid employer part can no longer be counted as being part of the salary requirement.

Note: It is still possible to pay the assignee a fixed salary of at least DKK 34,067 and make the assignee responsible for covering the above costs.

The salary must be paid to a Danish bank Account.

Action Items

Employers should ensure that salaries for employees with work permits under the Pay-Limit scheme meet the new requirements;
Employees should be made aware of the new stricter requirements for permanent residence.