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Denmark scraps compulsory bank account work permit rule

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Denmark scraps compulsory bank account work permit rule
Foreign hires in Denmark can now be exempted from the rule requiring their salaries to be paid into a Danish bank account. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish parliament has adopted a law exempting a broad group of foreign workers from a requirement to be paid into a Danish bank account.


A bill voted through by parliament on Tuesday means foreign workers who receive a work permit under the "researcher" scheme and four so-called "fast track" schemes will no longer be obliged to open and receive payment in a Danish bank account. 

The exemption will apply to those granted work permits under the "researcher" scheme and also to the "pay limit", "education", “researcher” and "short-term" tracks of the fast-track scheme. 

To be eligible for a fast-track permit, foreigners need to hired by a so-called "certified" company, typically a mid-sized and large company that hires internationally quite regularly. 

To become certified, a company must have at least 10 full-time employees in Denmark, and offer salary and employment conditions that meet Danish norms. 

READ ALSO: Fast Track Scheme: What are the rules on Danish work permit programme?

The researcher scheme is aimed at persons offered salaried jobs as researchers (but not PhD students, who use a different scheme).

For employees still covered by the bank account requirement, the government has meanwhile extended the time limit for setting up a Danish bank account from 90 days to 180 days.

The changes take effect on July 1st.


The Confederation of Danish Employers last year led a campaign to end the bank account rule, which can mean that new recruits go months without receiving a salary, as they must first obtain a residency permit, then a CPR number, a Danish address, a health insurance card and access to the MitID digital identification service before opening a Danish bank account. 

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

In a statement, the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) praised the decision to large scrap the bank account rule.

The change means “both the private and public sectors can now more flexibly recruit international staff,” DI said.

“It’s very positive for Danish business that the government is now partly ending the compulsory Danish bank account rule for international workers,” DI vice director Steen Nielsen said.

“There has been a lot of hassle and administration with this rule and it has proved to be ineffective at preventing evasion of the rules. There is surely a sigh of relief at a lot of companies today,” he said in the statement after the bill was passed on Tuesday.

Some 9 in 10 new hires in Denmark are currently from abroad, according to DI.


The bank account rule has proved such an administrative burden that there have been many instances of it causing a job offer to be cancelled, the organisation said.

“Denmark needs more labour and more international workers are crucial. That’s why it is due diligence for the government to remove rules which are obstacles for businesses and the public sector when they are trying to recruit staff,” Nielsen said.

The bill was passed by a broad majority in parliament, with only the left-wing Red Green Alliance and Socialist People’s parties, and the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, voting against it. The seven other parties on the right and left wings voted in favour.

The bill also includes a provision for people who wish to change their work permit type while continuing in the same job to continue working while their case is being processed (an extension of the so-called jobskifteregel).

It also includes what DI called “better flexibility” for short-term work permits by allowing short-term, fast-track work permit holders to extend their stay without applying for a new work permit, provided the total stay does not exceed 90 days.



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