Fast-track work permit procedures now in place

3 Feb 15

DENMARK

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? As part of a reform of its foreign recruitment scheme, Denmark has implemented fast-track work permit procedures for employers who qualify.

What does the change mean? The fast-track program allows larger, low-risk employers to start foreign employees immediately without waiting for permit approval. The foreign employees can also work outside Denmark without the permit lapsing.

  • Implementation timeframe: The procedures took effect Jan. 1, and employers may now apply for pre-certification. Fast-track work permit applications will be accepted starting April 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers with at least 20 full-time employees who rely on high-skilled foreign workers.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing will take 30 days, but foreign employees can start working as soon as a work permit application is filed.
  • Business impact: The scheme gives employers many benefits of streamlined procedures, but also subjects them to spot-checks for compliance.
  • Next steps: Employers who wish to take advantage of the fast-track procedures should contact a BAL representative to determine if they meet the certification criteria.

Background: The fast-track scheme, which is one of several reforms that took effect Jan. 1, is intended to make it easier for companies to recruit and employ high-skilled foreign labor.

To qualify for certification in the fast-track program, an employer must meet several criteria. The company must have at least 20 full-time employees, have a clean labor record, meet salary standards, and meet with the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment. The certification process takes 30 days and certification is valid for four years.

If certified, employers may use the fast-track program for foreign workers meeting one of the following criteria:

  1. Foreign employees with a minimum annual salary of 375,000 Danish Krones under the Pay Limit Scheme.
  2. Foreign researchers (not including guest researchers or Ph.D. students).
  3. High-level educational employment (not including trainees).
  4. Short-term employment up to three months (salary and labor terms must meet Danish standards).

The main benefit of the fast-track service is that it provides foreign employees the option of starting work immediately after filing a work permit application. Under this option, the employees would enter Denmark on their own and appear at the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment to give their biometrics and go through a security and identity check. They can obtain a temporary work permit and start work immediately while their application for a combined work-and-residence permit is pending. Employees who do not need to start work right away or who want to wait for an approved permit can apply for the residence permit from their home countries. The approval process takes 30 days.

Generally, fast-track permits are valid for a renewable four-year period and do not lapse if the employee works outside Denmark. Short-stay permits are valid for up to three months within a one-year period.

Companies in the fast-track program are subject to periodic checks to make sure they are still following the conditions of certification. The Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment can revoke certification, and any company whose certification is revoked will be banned from fast-track permits for two years.

BAL Analysis: The program offers greater flexibility to employers who need to bring foreign employees to Denmark urgently and for foreign employees and assignees working in Denmark who must also work abroad without losing their Danish permit.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Denmark. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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