Denmark: Changes for Recent Graduates and Positive Skills List Employees

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points  

  • Beginning 1 July 2022, recent graduates may be eligible to begin working in Denmark while their work and residence permit is processed  
  • Denmark will extend the timeframe for calculating educational obligation requirements for employees under the Positive Skills List beginning 1 July 2022  


The government of Denmark will introduce changes to work permit requirements for recent graduates and to select individuals employed under the Positive Skills List for Skilled Work beginning 1 July 2022.  

Changes for Recent Graduates

The government will allow recent foreign national graduates to begin working in Denmark while their work and residence permit is processed. The law will go into effect on 1 July 2022. To qualify, applicants must: 

  • Hold a valid residence permit as a student in Denmark; 
  • Have completed a higher educational program at the master's level or higher at a Danish university.  

Applicants must also apply under one of the following work and residence permit schemes: 

  • The Positive List for People with Higher Education  
  • The Positive List for Skilled Work 
  • The Pay Limit scheme  
  • Researchers  
  • Special Individual Qualifications  
  • Drill-rigs and other mobile workplaces  
  • Herdsmen and farm managers  
  • The Fast-Track scheme 

Changes for Positive Skills List Employees

The new law will also provide greater flexibility when calculating whether the employing company has met their educational obligations regarding the training of apprentices, known as the AUB requirement. Employers will now be able to meet the AUB requirement by reaching the target number within two of the latest three calculated contribution years. The deadline for meeting this requirement has been extended to the date the application is submitted.  

What are the Changes?  

The government of Denmark introduced a new law that expanded the right for recent graduates to work in the country while their work and residence permit is processed, and granted more flexibility to employers when calculating educational obligations. Previously, the employer could only meet the AUB requirement by reaching the target number of trained apprentices in the latest calculated contribution year.  

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the government of Denmark’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.