Danish work permit agency changes practice for hotel and restaurant interns

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Danish work permit agency changes practice for hotel and restaurant interns
Illustration photo. Denmark will base assessment of work permit applications for internships on existing trade union agreements. Photo by David Valentine on Unsplash

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Immigration (SIRI), which processes work permit applications, has confirmed it will adjust the way it assesses the salaries of hotel and restaurant workers in certain application types.


In a statement on its website, SIRI said on Wednesday that it will “adjusts the practice on how to assess salary conditions for foreign interns in the hotel and restaurant industry”.

It will also change the way it assesses the “professional connection” of internship applications in the sector, it added.

When SIRI assesses applications for work permits, including for internships, from foreign nationals, it generally makes an assessment of whether the salary offered by the employer is in line with Danish labour market standards.

This means the agency is not just checking for too-low salaries, but also ones that are above market levels. The purpose of this is to ensure that the employment itself is genuine and not solely for the purpose of obtaining residence on behalf of the applicant.

READ ALSO: Danish authority confirms new wage data for work permit applications

The change in practice for internship applications means that the foreign interns will now be divided into two categories, interns in education and graduates, when their cases are processed.


“For interns still in education, SIRI will… assess that the salary offered is normal if it corresponds at least to the first salary level (during the first 12 months of internship, then the second salary level)” in relevant collective bargaining agreements, SIRI said in the statement

The bargaining agreements (overenskomster in Danish) in question set out salary and other working conditions for people working as interns in the restaurant and hotel sectors, and are agreed between employers and the two trade unions Horesta and 3F.


“When assessing whether the salary offered graduate interns meets the Danish standards, SIRI will be using the salary levels for unskilled workers” in the hotel and restaurant collective bargaining agreements with Horesta and 3F, it said.

The change in practice takes effect from April 1st.

Essentially, it means that collective bargaining agreements with Horesta and 3F will now be used as a primary reference point when assessing whether the salary offered in an application for a work permit, related to an internship offer, can be approved.

In the statement, SIRI also said it will change the way it assesses the internship’s relevance – in other words, whether the internship offer matches the applicant’s educational background.

“In those cases where an educational programme does not in itself support a professional connection to the internship, the applicant must have passed a sufficient amount of subjects relevant to the internship, so that the subjects make up one semester's worth of credits,” it stated.


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