Residency permits For Members

How to move to Denmark as a citizen of an EU country

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
How to move to Denmark as a citizen of an EU country
What steps do you need to take as an EU national moving to Denmark? Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

EU citizens have the right to live and work in Denmark under EU free movement, but certain bureaucratic steps are required.


There are several different ways in which a foreign citizen can be granted residency in Denmark.

The broad categories are residency covered by the EU’s rules on freedom of movement; residency permits for people from third countries working or studying in Denmark or for family reunification; and asylum granted to people fleeing from war or persecution.

This article is specifically focused on the rules for EU citizens and is a broad introduction to the rules and process – we cannot make any guarantees about the outcome of applications and you should contact the relevant authorities if you have questions specific to your individual case.


Generally, all EU nationals who exercise their EU free movement rights to move to Denmark are required to obtain an EU registration certificate (EU-registreringsbevis).

It’s worth keeping in mind that EU (or EEA, or Swiss) citizens can stay in Denmark for up to three months without the registration certificate, or for six months if applying for work. The three or six months begin from the date of entry into the country.

Citizens of Nordic countries (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) are not required to obtain a registration certificate.

It's worth keeping in mind that free movement rules mean you can begin working or studying from your first day in the country, while you are waiting for the registration to be processed.


Why do I need to register in Denmark?

Generally, then, EU nationals staying in Denmark for three months or longer must apply for an EU residence document (EU-registreringsbevis in Danish), sometimes referred to as a registration certificate.

As a citizen of an EU member state, you have the right to live, work or study in Denmark and do not need the document for this. However, the document is proof that you meet the grounds for residence under EU rules.

As such, it is an important piece of because you need it to be added to Denmark’s civil registry to get CPR number, the equivalent of a social security number which allows you to register an address, use the public health system, open a bank account and more.

In order to be eligible for the EU residency document, you must fulfil one of a list of criteria: you must be in employment for at least 10-12 hours a week; run or be about to establish a business; be a registered student; have sufficient personal wealth to be able to provide for yourself; or be a family member or dependent of an EU or EEA citizen living in Denmark.

People who fall into the latter category can live in Denmark under EU rules even if they themselves are not EU citizens. 

To apply for the registration document, you must submit an application with the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI). The agency has branch offices in seven locations across Denmark: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Sønderborg and Bornholm. 


How do I do this?

You can apply online but, if you are applying for the first time, must also attend an in-person appointment at one of SIRI’s offices.

If you prefer, you can also fill out a printable form and bring it with you to your appointment at SIRI.

Both the online application portal and printable forms can be found here, and the same page has a link through which you can book an appointment at the SIRI office of your choosing.

You will need to provide relevant documentation: both personal identification and documentation for your residence in Denmark, for example an employment agreement or university enrolment. It may be possible to submit these online if you choose the online application.

There is no fee for the application and the processing time is up to 30 days, according to SIRI’s website. This is extended to up to 90 days if you are a family member of an EU national who lives in Denmark.

Once you have received your EU registration certificate, you can apply for a personal registration (CPR) number and accompanying yellow health service card at an International Citizen Service (ICS) centre. As mentioned above, the CPR number is key to accessing Danish social and health services as well as for private matters like Danish bank accounts and phone contracts.

There are ICS centres in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Sønderborg.

After five years’ uninterrupted, legal residence in Denmark under free movement, you become eligible for permanent residency.



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