Practical matters to attend to when arriving

When you come to Denmark, there are practical matters you must attend to

Read more and self-services

As an EU citizen or a citizen from Switzerland you may freely enter Denmark and remain in this country for up to 3 months without an EU residence document (registration certificate). If you are a job seeker, you may reside in Denmark for up to 6 months without a registration certificate. The periods of 3 and 6 months are calculated from the date of entry.

If you expect that your stay in Denmark will last more than 3 months, you have to apply for an EU residence document (registration certificate) before the expiry of the 3 months. Job seekers are required to submit their application within 6 months after entry.

Help regarding the EU residence document?

You can get help at one of the International Citizen Service centres:

Find additional information about residence in Denmark under EU:

If you are a citizen from a country outside Scandinavia, the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must apply for a residence and work permit in your home country through a Danish mission, i.e. a Danish Embassy or a Danish Consulate General.

In the majority of cases, your future employer in Denmark will contribute with information for the application. There are several different options for a residence and work permit in Denmark. Your education, qualifications and the type of job you have been offered are important to how you should apply.

Be aware that after 20 May 2012, all non-EU citizens over the age of 18 applying for residence permits under the terms of the Aliens Act must have their biometric features (facial image and fingerprints) recorded when submitting their application. Biometric features will also be recorded when applying to renew a residence permit and when applying for permanent residence.

You must also be aware that a Danish authorisation can be a condition for your residence and work permit. For example, this applies if you are going to work as a doctor, dentist or a schoolteacher.

Read more about how you can apply for a residence and work permit:

When, where and how to apply for a civil registration number (CPR number)

In Denmark each person has a civil registration number, which is called a CPR number. CPR stands for Central Person Register. The CPR number is essential in relation to any contact with the Danish authorities and especially in connection to tax and social security issues.

If you are coming to Denmark to work for more than 3 months (6 months if you come from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland), you need to apply for a CPR number at the Danish National Register (Folkeregistret).

You can contact your local municipality’s Citizen Service centre or one of the International Citizen Service centres:

To get a CPR number you should bring along:

  • Your work and residence permit (if citizen outside the EU/EEA, the Nordic region or Switzerland)     
  • Assignment/employment contract – Passport or personal ID     
  • Proof of your address in Denmark (e.g., rental contract)
  • If applicable, documentation for changes of name (marriage/divorce certificate, etc.)
  • If applicable, birth certificates for your children
  • If applicable, a marriage certificate.

If your spouse and children accompany you to Denmark they must also register and obtain a CPR number. Once you have informed the municipal authorities of your arrival and have received a CPR number, you are included in the general Danish health insurance scheme. You will be asked to choose a doctor from a list provided by your respective municipality.

If you are coming to work for 3 month or less, you will get a tax number instead of a civil registration number. Your personal tax number works like a civil registration number, i.e. it is your Danish civil registration number.

Start Order a new health insurance card
Always carry your health insurance card with you

When you work and move to Denmark, you are covered by the Danish health insurance system.

Most examinations and treatments are free, when you have a health insurance card.

The health insurance card is documentation that you are entitled to the services offered under the national health insurance scheme. You must therefore always bring your card with you when you go for treatment.

When you are covered by the national health insurance, you can register with a doctor/general practitioner (GP) and receive a (yellow) health insurance card. It is advisable always to carry this card with you as it is required whenever you need to see a doctor, a dentist or go to hospital – or when you want to take out books from the library.

Approximately 2 weeks after you have registered, your national health insurance card will be sent to your Danish address. The card will show your name and address, your CPR number and the name and address of your doctor.

Children are covered by the health insurance scheme together with their mother or father until they reach the age of 15. However, children must have their own health insurance card. Children born in Denmark automatically receive a health insurance card when they are named or christened.

Once children are 15 years old, they are insured independently of their parents and are free to choose their own general practitioner (GP).

The international health insurance rules vary according to where you are travelling to, how long you plan to be away for and the purpose of your trip.

If you travel within Europe for less than a month, you are covered by the tourist health insurance scheme in most cases.

If you travel within Europe for more than 1 month or for purposes other than holidays or studies, you will need a European health insurance card (in Denmark also known as the blue card).

Special rules apply if you travel in the Nordic region, Greenland, the Faroe Islands or in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

If you travel outside Europe, or if the tourist health insurance card or the European health insurance card does not provide sufficient cover, you should think about taking out private travel insurance.

If you spend more than 6 months travelling, you normally lose the right to health insurance cover in Denmark.

Additional information

You can contact your local municipality's Citizen Service if you need help or further information.

Start Order the blue European Health Insurance Card

If you need medical treatment during travels in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein (EEA), or Switzerland you will have to use the blue European health insurance card.

How can you order the blue European health insurance card?

If you are covered by the Danish health insurance, you can order the card for free online. If you, in the case of special circumstances, are not able to order the blue card online, you can contact Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 81.

When you receive salary from your employer it is useful to have a bank account. To open a bank account, you need to contact a bank of your own choice. Remember to bring photo ID (for instance 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 have a NemKonto assigned to be able to receive payments from Danish public authorities – for instance payments such as tax refunds, child subsidies, student loans, unemployment benefits or holiday allowances.

A NemKonto is a normal bank account. You choose yourself which of your accounts – foreign or Danish – you want to be your NemKonto. Payments from public authorities will be transferred directly to this account. 

Find more information on NemKonto, how to establish a NemKonto or to assign a bank account as your NemKonto:

When you come to Denmark to work, you will need a civil registration number (CPR number) or a personal tax number, depending on whether you take up a short or a longer residence in Denmark.

CPR number – if longer period in Denmark

If you are working in Denmark for more than 3 months (6 months if within EU/EEA or Nordic countries), you will need to apply for a CPR number at the Danish National Register (Folkeregistret).

You can always contact your local municipality’s Citizen Service centre or one of the International Citizen Service centres.

Personal tax number – if short period in Denmark

If you are working in Denmark for 3 months or less, you will get a personal tax number instead of a civil registration number. Your personal tax number works like a civil registration number, which means that it is your Danish personal identification number.

There are 2 ways of getting a personal tax number:

1) Danish Tax Agency: You can request a personal tax number by completing form no. 04.063 from the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen):

2) Tax centre or International Citizen Service: You can also contact your local tax centre or one of the International Citizen Service centres to obtain your personal tax number.

  • Remember to bring form no. 04.063, ID with picture, such as passport or ID card, and marriage certificate (if you are married).
  • Citizens from outside the EU, Switzerland or the Nordic countries must also bring a work permit.

If you have previously worked in Denmark, you will already have a civil registration number or a personal tax number.

In order for your employer to know how much tax to deduct from your salary, you need a tax card. A tax card (skattekort) is a digital piece of information telling your employer your tax rate.

The tax card contains information about your withholding rate, deductions and allowances. You can see your tax card information on the first page of your preliminary income assessment (forskudsopgørelse).

Apply for a tax card

You can apply for a tax card by following the same procedure as used for the personal tax number in the section above.

This means that you must complete form no. 04.063 from the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen).

When you have completed the form (04.063) and attached or enclosed the documents required, you will receive a preliminary income assessment (forskudsopgørelse) within 2 weeks.

In your preliminary income assessment, you can see your withholding rate, your monthly tax-free allowances and deductions, and what the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen) expects your income and allowances and deductions to be. The tax card (primary tax card, secondary tax card or tax exemption card) is a part of your preliminary income assessment. Your employer will receive your tax card directly from the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen). You cannot hand in your tax card yourself.

There are a great many things to take care of when you arrive in Denmark as a foreign employee.

You can always get help at one of the International Citizen Service centres (ICS), or you can contact your local municipality.

All the public authorities you typically need to contact are represented at the International Citizen Service centres. The ICS centres make the contact to Danish authorities as easy as possible. In most cases, you will only need to visit an ICS centre in order to take care of your paperwork with regard to residence permit, registration certificate, tax card, civil registration number (CPR), health insurance card etc.

You can also get help at International House Copenhagen.

Most of 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 centre. Or maybe you can get help from a Dane. Remember to bring your MitID.

Last updated: 21 September 2023