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In Denmark, all families are offered childcare and a choice between public schools free of charge and private and international schools with tuition fees
If you have been granted a residence permit to work or follow a higher educational programme in Denmark, your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you are also eligible for residence permits.
However, you must document that you have at your disposal the equivalent of DKK 25,000 per family member. Your family members must be able to support themselves, and you must live together in Denmark at the same address.
Your spouse/partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period that his/her residence permit is valid.
If you are in doubt about the rules, or if you want further information, please contact the Danish Immigration Service. The Danish Immigration Service and the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment have gathered information about obtaining residence and work permits at an official web portal about immigration rules, Newtodenmark.dk.
In the majority of Danish families, both adults are at work during the day.
Workindenmark can help your accompanying partner with the job search. Workindenmark offer focused job-seeking seminars and seminars on how to write an application and CV which appeals to Danish employers.
You can also upload your CV to Workindenmark's CV bank and use the jobbank.
Danish companies with many international employees also offer counselling for accompanying partners and may have their own job banks or networks that you and your partner can use. In connection with your job search, you may be required to have your qualifications officially evaluated.
If you work for a Danish company and have a partner, who is looking for a job, your employer can support this job search by signing the accompanying partner up for Workindenmark's Partner Link Programme. In this programme the accompanying partner can create a profile which will be sent to the relevant companies participating in the programme.
To know more about the Partner Link Programme, contact your local Workindenmark centre.
Children in Denmark receive 10 years of compulsory education starting in August in the year in which they turn six years old. This primary and lower secondary education consists of a one-year pre-school class, nine years of primary and lower secondary education and an optional tenth form.
Most Danish children attend municipal primary and lower secondary school, which is free of charge. But there are also a huge number of private and independent schools where parents pay tuition fees.
Many families who come to Denmark for professional reasons prefer to send their children to a private international school, most of which are situated in or around the large cities. Some of these have waiting lists.
After primary and lower secondary school, children can choose between a number of free, public secondary education programmes that prepare them for higher education.
An overview of the international basic schools in Denmark is available from the website of the Ministry of Children and Education.
All children in Denmark are guaranteed a place in a childcare institution. Almost all Danish families use child daycare.
Options for childcare consist of day nurseries for children 0-3 years old, kindergartens for children 3-6 years old, and pre-school/after school centres for children 6-10 years old. In addition, there is the option of local childcare, in which children are cared for in private homes.
The opening hours of the childcare facilities are in most cases Monday-Thursday 6:30 am to 5 pm, and Fridays until 4 pm.
Childcare is financed partly by the parents, partly by the municipality. Prices differ somewhat depending on the municipality and the type of childcare. Prices for children 0-3 years old are approx. up to DKK 3900 per month including meals, kindergartens often cost less.
Most childcare services are municipal, but there are a great many privately owned facilities as well, and in a few of them the spoken language is English. To register, please contact the respective municipality, and do it as soon as possible. A waiting list is not unusual.
You can sign up for municipal childcare services and deregister your child digitally, by using the self-service above (the green box).
Please do as follows:
The online self-services are in Danish, but you can always get help to fill in forms and online applications at the local citizen service center or at the library. Remember to bring your NemID. Or maybe you know and can get help by a Dane.
In Denmark, some families choose to have an au pair. Au pairs can be granted a residence permit in order to function as au pairs with host families in Denmark, if certain conditions are fulfilled.
You will find extensive information on the rules for hiring and employing au pairs and a link to an application on the official web portal about immigration rules, Newtodenmark.dk.
Danish universities and other institutions of higher education are public and free of charge. They offer a range of opportunities for international students. All programmes are internationally recognised, and more than 500 programmes are taught in English.
To gain admission, you must meet both academic and language requirements. Each institution is responsible for its own admissions. Requirements vary from programme to programme.
A residence permit to study in Denmark can be granted to students who gain admission to higher educational programmes.
Read more about programmes at Studyindenmark.dk, managed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education:
Overview of the Danish Education System by the Ministry of Children and Education:
The Ministry of Children and Education (new window)
New to Denmark - higher educational programmes (new window)
When working in Denmark, families with children are eligible for receiving child benefits. If your child does not live in Denmark, you have to apply for the benefit yourself.
You can apply for the benefit by filling out a form. You get the form by contacting Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.
If you are a foreigner and work in Denmark, you may apply for child benefits if you:
Additionally, during the last 10 years you must have had an address or employment in Denmark for:
If you are a citizen in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Lichtenstein and want to know more about your rights when living or working in Denmark, you have to contact the authorities in your home country.
In addition to the child benefits, you can also receive a special child allowance which is paid in different situations – e.g. if you are a single provider.
If you want to know more about child allowance, you are welcome to contact Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.
Read more about family benefits in EU countries:
If you, before you go on your maternity/paternity leave, have been employed for at least 13 weeks and for at least 120 hours, you are eligible for maternity/paternity benefits.
In order to receive maternity/paternity benefits in Denmark, you must have been employed in Denmark at least 13 weeks prior to your leave.
If you move to Denmark from another EU/EEA country less than 13 weeks before your leave, your employment in that other country counts as part of the 13 weeks – however, this only applies if you have not had any periods of unemployment between employment in the other country and the employment in Denmark.
You must be employed in Denmark when your leave begins in order to receive maternity/paternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark.
If you comply with all these terms, you are eligible for maternity/paternity benefits until your child is 46 weeks
If you or the child’s other parent are not subject to the Danish maternity/paternity rules before your child is 46 weeks, you cannot take your leave and receive maternity/paternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark later on.
No later than 3 months before the expected birth, you have to inform your employer when you plan to take your leave. As a father to be, you have to inform your employer no later than 4 weeks before your expect to take your paternity leave, when you wish to take your 2 weeks of leave.
You have to ask your employer to apply for your maternity/paternity benefits through NemRefusion. Subsequently, you will receive a letter of notification from Udbetaling Danmark asking you to fill out a page of additional information which you have to return.
In many cases you will be able to bring family pets, when you and your family move to Denmark to work.
Dogs, cats and ferrets from other EU Member States may enter Denmark through any border crossing as long as the animal has ID, an EU Pet Passport and rabies vaccination.
For other pets and when bringing pets from countries outside the EU, there are extra requirements. Bringing pets from countries outside the EU, you need to notify the Danish Border Inspection Post prior to import.
Written by lifeindenmark.dk, Newtodenmark.dk, workindenmark.dk, the City of Copenhagen, Consortium for Global Talent, Business Region Aarhus, Studyindenmark.dk, UdbetalingDanmark, the Ministry of Children and Education and Danish Veterinary and Food Administration