Cross-border commuters

Here you find information for cross-border commuters

Read more and self-services

You are a cross-border commuter (also known as a frontier worker) if you live in another EU/EEA country and work in Denmark.

There are several definitions, so please note that the term “cross-border commuter” may mean something different in another context, for example with respect to tax law.

Most cross-border commuters in Denmark are from Sweden, Germany and Poland.

More information on being a cross-border commuter from Sweden is available at the website of the Danish-Swedish information center, Oresunddirekt.

Info for cross-border commuters from Germany is available at a website by the Danish-German border region Sønderjylland–Schleswig and at a joint website, Eures Kompas, by Jobcenter Aabenraa and Agentur für Arbeit in Flensburg.

It is very important that you make sure, that you are allowed to work in Denmark before you start working. 

If you are a citizen of an EU country, an EEA country or Switzerland, you may start working right away. You do not need to apply for a work permit.

If you are a citizen from a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you need to apply for a work permit as a commuter. You are not allowed to start working before you have been granted a permit.

If you work without the required permit, you risk being fined or imprisoned. Your employer also risks being subject to a fine or imprisonment.

Contact the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) to learn more about applying for a work permit as a commuter.

After being employed in Denmark you must contact your local tax centre, the Danish Tax and Customs Administration/SKAT, in the municipality in which your workplace is domiciled in order to get a tax number. Your personal tax number works like a civil registration number, i.e. it is your Danish personal identification number.

When you come to Denmark to work, you will need a civil registration number (CPR number) or a tax number. If you are working here for three months or less, you will get a tax number instead of a civil registration number.

In order for your employer to know how much tax to deduct from your salary, you will need a tax card.

The tax card contains information about your withholding rate, deductions and allowances. Note that the tax card is in electronic form and is also called an e-tax card.

You can request a tax number and a tax card by completing form no. 04.063 from SKAT (available in four languages: English, Polish, German and Danish).

The form can be obtained from your local tax centre or downloaded from SKAT’s website:

You can also contact your local tax centre or one of the International Citizens Services Centres:

Please bring the above mentioned form no. 04.063, ID with photo, such as a passport or ID card, and marriage certificate (if applicable). And your work permit if you are a citizen from outside the EU, Switzerland or the Nordic countries.

You can see your tax card information on the first page of your preliminary income assessment.

Please be aware that you may also be partly liable to pay tax in your home country.

If you work in Denmark but live in another EU/EEA Member State, you may be entitled to a special health card that gives you the right to treatment in Denmark on equal terms with all others. The special health card gives you access to public health-care services such as hospital treatment, medical care, reimbursement of medicinal products and dental treatment, funeral grant and physiotherapy, etc.

The special health card documents that you are entitled to public health-care services without being resident in Denmark or being registered with the national register.

You will have to bring the card as documentary evidence, when you use public health-care services.

The special health insurance card is issued for up to two years at a time.

The special health insurance card is issued free of charge. If you lose or damage the health insurance card, you may obtain a new one against a minor fee.

The special health insurance card is issued by Udbetaling Danmark.

The cross-border commuter’s family members are in principle comprised by Danish health-care insurance in their country of residence if they are not economically active or pensioners.

It is the legislation of their country of residence that decides if they can be recognised as family members.

However, special rules apply to the rights of the cross-border commuter’s family members if the cross-border commuter works in Denmark and lives in another EU Member State and returns to his/her country of residence every day or at least once a week. In this case, your closest family members cannot get a special health insurance card, but they are entitled to needs-based health care in Denmark on the basis of an EU health insurance card.

If you as a cross-border commuter do not return at least once a week, your non-economically active family members are entitled to all public health care in Denmark, i.e. they can also apply for a special health insurance card.

As a starting point, a person who physically exclusively performs his/her job functions in Denmark is comprised by Danish social security rules. This is the case regardless of whether you live in another EU Member State, whether the employer is domiciled in another EU Member State or where tax is paid.

To be comprised by Danish social security rules means that the right to social security services must be assessed according to Danish rules. Danish social security services are for example health insurance, family benefits, sickness and maternity benefits, pension, unemployment benefits, daily sick pay, ATP (Danish labour market supplementary pension) and industrial injury insurance.

Whether a person is comprised by Danish social security rules is in general decided by the relevant Danish authority. You need to contact your municipality of residence.

There are special approval requirements if you are an employee temporarily posted to Denmark or if you normally work in several EU Member States.

If you work in both Denmark and your country of residence, you normally have social security in your country of residence. If you work in two countries, you should contact the relevant authority in your country of residence for a clarification of where you have social security.

If you live in another Nordic country and work in Denmark you can read more about social security on the Nordic Social Insurance Portal by the Nordic Council of Ministers:

When you receive salary from your employer it is useful to have a bank account. To open a bank account, you just need to contact a bank of your own choice.

Remember to bring photo ID (e.g. your passport) and address information.

You can only open a bank account with a Danish bank once you have obtained your tax card. As you are not a registered citizen in Denmark, the bank will want to see your:

  • Passport
  • Tax card
  • Contract of employment and payslip.

As a resident in Denmark you will need to open at least one Danish bank account to obtain an Easy Account (NemKonto). An Easy Account is an account where payments from the public authorities are transferred directly to you. Your basic account can be designated as an Easy Account.

An Easy Account is something everyone in Denmark should have. An Easy Account is a normal bank account into which payments from public institutions (e.g. tax refunds, child subsidies, student loans and unemployment benefits) can be transferred directly.

Opening a bank account is free of charge. It is advisable to take your contract of employment if you have one.

You can easily change your Easy Account if you get a new bank. A normal account can be converted to an Easy Account either by the bank or directly by you - if you have a NemID.

You do not necessarily need a bank account yourself to have an Easy Account. If, for example, you use your spouse’s bank account, you can designate this account as your NemKonto. If you are unable to open an account, you need to contact the public sector institution which owes you money.

As a cross-border commuter from an EU country, you have the right to participate in Danish language tuition targeted towards foreign employees.

If you work in Denmark for a shorter period, the Danish language tuition aimed at the labour market (intro Danish) is an option to quickly acquire basic Danish language skills. You can also choose to participate in a broader Danish language course for adult foreigners. This has the aim of giving you the necessary Danish language skills to manage a job, education and as a citizen in Denmark.

Danish language tuition is offered by the municipality in which your workplace is located. Contact the local Citizen Service.

Cross-border commuters can use a valid driver’s licence from the home country while driving in Denmark.

You can only be covered by the unemployment insurance system in one EEA country (EEA countries = EU member countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) at a time. The main rule is that you have to be covered by the unemployment insurance system of the country in which you work.

If you travel to another EEA country to seek work or if you are unemployed, you must contact your unemployment insurance fund for guidance before you go. If you are incorrectly insured, it may have an impact on any subsequent entitlement to benefits.

If you are posted by your Danish employer in another EEA country you can still be covered by Danish social security legislation if you meet the criteria. You may contact the Danish Pensions Agency for further information as a posted employer.

If you have been employed and insured against unemployment in Denmark and become unemployed in another EEA country you may transfer your periods of employment and unemployment insurance in Denmark. These may be used to satisfy the conditions of the other country concerning entitlement to benefits during unemployment.

Your former periods of employment and/or insurance can be confirmed on a document called “PD U1”. You can find the application for document PD U1 below.

It will reduce the case handling time of your “PD U1” with the unemployment insurance fund, if you choose to have your former employer fill in an application form as well and send it to the unemployment insurance fund. The employer can do it online via or use this application form:

If you have not been a member of a Danish unemployment insurance fund, the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment can confirm your periods of employment in Denmark via the document called 'PD U1':

In order to have a Danish “PD U1” issued, you must have carried out work in Denmark. If you have not carried out work in Denmark but in another EEA country, you must have been covered by Danish social security legislation during your period of employment in order to have a “PD U1” issued.

The Danish Pensions Agency decides whether you are covered by Danish social security legislation during your posting. If you are not a national of another EEA country, you will, in some cases, not be eligible for a “PD U1”.