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WORKING IN DENMARK

Denmark cuts back on ‘positive list’ of jobs eligible for work permits

Denmark has cut 15 job titles from its two positive lists of in-demand professions or trades eligible for work permits.

Denmark cuts back on 'positive list' of jobs eligible for work permits
Welders are on the positive list of skilled workers. Here one works on a wind turbine at Vestas' factory in Esbjerg. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) at the start of this year released a new “Positive List for People with a Higher Education”, which reduced the number of eligible job titles to 40 from the 46 which were on the list valid from July 1st until the end of 2022. 

The number of job titles in the “Positive List for Skilled Work“, meanwhile, has been reduced from 46 to 36.

The new lists will apply to anyone seeking a work permit between January 1st this year and the end of June. 

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

For people from countries outside the EU, the positive lists represent one of the best routes to a job in Denmark, with the first list outlining the qualified professions in demand in Denmark, and the second the skilled trades where there is a shortage of qualified labour. 

If someone from outside the EU has been offered a job in Denmark in any of the professions on these lists, they can apply for a work permit through the scheme. 

Siri updates the two lists twice a year on January 1st and July 1st on the basis of the Arbejdsmarkedsbalancen or “labour market balance”, prepared by the The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment, also biannually. 

The Arbejdsmarkedsbalancen lists which job titles are currently experiencing severe labour shortages, labour shortages, which are employable, and which are less employable. 

You can find the positive list from last July for people with higher education here, and the positive list from last July for people with skilled jobs here

As of January 1st this year, the following job titles are on the positive list: 

POSITIVE LIST FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGHER EDUCATION

Managers in the field of production and service: 

  • Head of product. Bachelor’s degree required. 

Natural Science and Engineering

  • Chemist: Master’s degree
  • Biologist: Master’s degree
  • Mechanical Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Civil Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Environmental Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Electronics Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Town Planner: Master’s degree

Healthcare 

  • Medical Doctor: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Hospital Doctor;´: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Nurse: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Veterinarian: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Dentist: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Physiotherapist: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Occupational therapist: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorization

Education

  • Ph.D, Social Sciences: Master’s degree
  • Assistant Professor at a University College: Master’s degree
  • Subject Teacher at a Vocational Upper Secondary Education: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Upper Secondary School Teacher, Natural Sciences and Sports: Master’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Independent School Teacher: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Primary School Teacher: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Child Care Worker/Support Worker: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Social Education Worker: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Special Education Teacher: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish official recognition

Economics, administration and sales

  • Auditor: Master’s degree
  • Accounting Controller: At least three years education at bachelor level
  • Financial Analyst: At least three years education at bachelor level

IT and communications technology

  • IT Architect: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • IT Engineer: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • IT Project Leader: At least three years education at university or business school level
  • IT Consultant: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • Programmer and System Developer: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • System Administrator: At least three years IT education at bachelor level

Law, social science and culture  

  • Legal Officer: Master’s degree
  • Psychologist: Master’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Social Worker: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Priest: Master’s degree
  • Organist, cantor: At least three years education at bachelor level

Technician work in science, engineering, shipping and aviation 

  • Architectural Technology and Construction Manager: Professional Bachelor’s degree

Technicians and assistants in healthcare 

  • Dental hygienist: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorisation

POSITIVE LIST FOR SKILLED WORK

Science and Engineering Associate Professionals 

  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Geotechnician
  • Plumber
  • Machine Constructor
  • Foreman

Business and administration associate professionals

  • Import and Export Employee
  • Sales and Account Manager
  • Sales Consultant
  • Shipping Agent
  • Property Manager
  • Logistic Employee, sales and purchasing
  • Legal Secretary
  • Medical Secretary

Legal, social, cultural and related associate professions

  • Parish Clerk
  • Head Chef

General and Secretary Clerks 

  • Lead Office Clerk
  • Office Assistant

Numerical and material recording clerks

  • Bookkeeper
  • Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerk
  • Payroll Bookkeeper

Personal services workers 

  • Chef 

Personal care workers 

  • Social and Health Care Assistant: Danish authorisation

Market-oriented skilled agricultural workers 

  • Landscape Gardener

Building and related trades (excluding electricians) 

  • Bricklayer
  • Carpenter
  • Building Painter and Decorator

Metal, machinery and related trades workers

  • Welder
  • Blacksmith
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Industrial Technician
  • CNC-operator
  • Mechanic, passenger cars and vans
  • Crane Mechanic, agriculture and industrial machines
  • Agricultural Machinery Mechanic

Electrical and electronic trade workers 

  • Electrician

Food processing, wood working, garment making and other craft-related trade workers

  • Cabinetmaker

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For members

WORK PERMITS

EXPLAINED: Why Danish businesses want to scrap bank account work permit rule

The Confederation of Danish Employers is pushing for an end to a rule that means the salaries of foreign employees must be paid into a Danish bank account.

EXPLAINED: Why Danish businesses want to scrap bank account work permit rule

What is the background to the banking rule? 

The rule was first introduced in 2017 by the Liberal (Venstre) Party minority government, but was then extended by the Social Democrats to cover practically all employees working in Denmark from outside the European Union. 

When the rule was proposed, the government said requiring all payments to be made to an account in a Danish bank would “strengthen the possibilities for Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) to check if an employee is in fact receiving the salary promised in their employment contract”. 

Under the rule, a bank account needs to be set up within 90 days of the residence permit being granted or the employee entering Denmark. 

Why is it a problem? 

It can take months for a new arrival in Denmark to get a Danish bank account, as they first need to get a residency permit, then a CPR number, a Danish address, access to the MitID digital identification service, and a health insurance card. 

As a result, business organisations have argued that bureaucracy means they can sometimes go for months without a salary.

“For employers, it is extremely stressful to have highly educated and highly qualified employees they would like to retain in their new position, but they cannot pay their wages,” Rikke Wolfsen, head of the Danish immigration practice at EY, told the Politiken newspaper. “As for the employees, companies have told us that some just say, ‘well, I can’t do that, this. There are other countries in the EU where I avoid all that hassle’.” 

According to a survey by the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), 84 percent of Danish companies said that international employees had problems getting a Danish bank account. 

Søren Kjærsgaard Høfler, a consultant at DI, argued in comments to Politiken that SIRI could check that the right salary was being paid through the Danish Tax Agency’s digital reporting system, eIndkomst, making the extra security of requiring Danish bank accounts unnecessary. 

In addition, he said he knew of no other country that had a similar requirement. 

Who wants to get rid of the bank rule? 

Denmark’s three major business organisations, DI, the Confederation of Danish Employers, and the Danish Chamber of Commerce are all calling on the new three-party coalition to remove the rule in reforms to work permits expected to be announced later this month. 

“We have set something up which is quite simply pointless,” Erik Simonsen, deputy director of the Confederation of Danish Employers told Politiken, calling on the government to “remove this sort of thing, which only serves to make life more difficult.” 

Høfler said that DI “supported the companies in saying that we do not see any sense in this rule”. 

The Liberal Party, one of the three parties in Denmark’s new ruling coalition, has given its support to scrapping, or at least reforming, the rule. 

“Of course, we must take the messages we receive from the business community seriously when it comes to the fact that they do not think this makes sense”, Christoffer Aagaard Melson, employment spokesman for the Liberals, told Politiken. 

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