Guidance

Living in Denmark

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Denmark, including guidance on residency, passports and travel, and working.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Denmark. Read about how our Embassy in Copenhagen can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Danish authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read:

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Denmark since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section. You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizen’s rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and the:

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Danish government and your local authority. You should also read the Denmark travel advice .

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national living in Denmark, read coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Denmark.

You should read the Danish government visa guidance. Your residence permit application is part of the visa process. If your application is successful you will be given a residence permit which shows this.

With your residence permit you must register with your local civil registration office (Folkeregistret). The Folkeregistret will give you a Central Person Register (CPR) number. You must register with the local Folkeregistret every time you move to another address.

Visas and residency if you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new residency document (opholdsdokument) by 31 December 2021, your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get your new residence card if you do not have it yet.

SIRI (the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration) will contact you or your employer if they need further information. The New to Denmark website explains how long it will take for your residence application to be processed. If you have not had a response to your opholdsdokument application, phone the SIRI hotline on +45 72 14 20 05. It is available Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm and Friday from 9 am to 12 noon.

Appeal process

If your application is refused SIRI will notify you about the appeal process. Read the Danish government advice on how to appeal a residency decision.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status was 31 December 2021. You can still apply, but SIRI will only consider late applications if you have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline.

Family members

If you have been granted an opholdsdokument, your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Denmark at any time in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. They must travel to Denmark and then submit an opholdsdokument application as your family member.

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Danish authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Denmark.

Check the Denmark travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Denmark using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Denmark with a Danish residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Denmark, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day long period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your opholdsdokument residence document or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residency document, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Denmark, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU.

EU law does not prevent border guards stamping your passport on entry and exit, though the commission recommends against this for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement. Any stamps will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit your host country with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Read further guidance from the European Commission for UK citizens entering or leaving Schengen

Healthcare

Read our guidance on Healthcare in Denmark and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

When you register with your local civil registration office (Folkeregistret) you will receive a national health insurance card (Sygesikringsbevis).This card gives you access to free medical treatment.

You should also read guidance on:

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

If you were registered for public healthcare as a resident before 1 January 2021, you will be able to use your Danish-issued EHIC when you travel outside of Denmark.

For more information, read our guidance on healthcare for UK nationals living in Denmark and the STPS guidance on access to healthcare and Danish EHICs.

Working in Denmark

If you are planning to move to Denmark and work, you may need a visa.

Read the Danish government’s guidance on working in Denmark as a foreign national and how to get a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

Once you have registered your residence in Denmark and have a Central Person Register (CPR) number, you should apply for an income tax card (Skattekort). Your employer will need this card.

Read:

If you work in Denmark, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement if you have a opholdsdokument residence document or have applied for one.

If you live in Denmark and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Denmark.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Denmark officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Denmark

If you plan to study in Denmark you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Denmark to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

Studying in the European Union includes information if you were already living in Denmark before 1 January 2021.

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Denmark so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Once you have registered as a resident in Denmark and have a CPR number, you must apply for an income tax card (Skattekort). Your employer will need this card.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Denmark. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Denmark.

Read guidance on:

Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs charges

If you regularly buy goods online or receive gifts from the UK, you need to be aware that these packages will, in most cases, be liable for Danish VAT (MOMS) and, in some cases, customs charges. Check the Danish guidance on online shopping and the EU factsheet on buying goods online from UK websites.

Declaring your assets

When you move to Denmark, you have a duty to inform the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen) of any assets or savings you have abroad.

You will not be taxed on any savings or assets that you bring with you from abroad when moving to Denmark, but you may be taxed on interest income and any dividends.

National Insurance

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Denmark. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Denmark.

If you plan to move to Denmark and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Denmark. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Denmark.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

You can also check your UK National Insurance record.

Benefits

UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Denmark.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Danish benefits

You may be entitled to Danish benefits. To find out if you are entitled to Danish benefits and how to claim, you can read the EU´s guidance on Danish social security benefits. Your local municipality (Kommune) will be able to help you with any questions about Danish benefits.

Pensions

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Denmark.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension

If you retire in Denmark, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulations.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Read the Danish government’s guidance on housing and moving. If you want to buy property in Denmark, you normally need permission from the Danish Department of Civil Affairs.

Driving in Denmark

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Denmark. If your licence is lost, stolen or expired you will need to apply for a Danish licence and may have to take a driving test.

Read the guidance on what actions you must do to drive legally in Denmark:

If you are resident in Denmark, you must exchange your licence for a Danish one.

This table explains when you need to exchange your licence and whether you need to take a test:

Where your licence was issued When your licence was issued When you moved to Denmark Deadline for exchanging your licence Test requirements
UK or Gibraltar before 1 January 2021 before 1 January 2021 30 June 2021 no test required (in all categories)
UK or Gibraltar before 1 January 2021 on or after 1 January 2021 within 180 days of moving to Denmark no test required (in all categories)
UK or Gibraltar on or after 1 January 2021 at any time within 180 days of moving to Denmark no test required to exchange it for a category B (normal car) licence
Guernsey, Jersey or Isle of Man at any time at any time within 180 days of moving to Denmark no test required to exchange it for a category B (normal car) licence

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Denmark, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Danish disabled parking card through your kommune (municipality). [Copenhagen residents can do so here (https://international.kk.dk/live/healthcare/support-for-people-with-disabilities/parking-card-for-the-disabled).

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Denmark

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the Danish Customs and Tax Administration’s guidance on car registration rules and taxes in Denmark.

Driving outside Denmark with a Danish licence

You can use your Danish licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Danish licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Danish licence, you may need to apply for an IDP (in Danish).

Read the EU guidance on:

Voting

You cannot vote in general elections, referendums or in European Parliament elections in Denmark. You can vote and stand in local elections after you have been a permanent resident for 4 years.

Read the Danish government’s guidance on elections and voting in Denmark.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

If you were living in Denmark before 1 January 2021

If you were registered as resident in Denmark before 31 January 2020 and have resided continuously since then you can vote and stand in local elections and European parliamentary elections.

Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Denmark, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Denmark read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Denmark.

Pets

If you’re moving to Denmark with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in Denmark for the police, ambulance or fire brigade or dial:

  • 114 for police
  • 1813 for health emergencies (Greater Copenhagen)
  • for health emergencies in other areas, check your region on the map (in Danish – Lægevagten)
  • 114 for firefighters
  • 114 for local police

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the Danish Agency of Family Law ‘s guidance on child custody and residence; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you’re the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British Embassy Copenhagen.

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

Tell the Danish and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

Read Life in Denmark’s information about leaving Denmark.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services..

Useful information

Support for British Nationals abroad: a Guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 21 November 2013
Last updated 12 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. updated text and added new links

  2. Important information in the Working in Denmark, and National insurance sections if you work in Denmark, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  3. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

  4. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Denmark, Professional qualifications, Studying in Denmark, Money, tax and banking, Pensions, Benefits, Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, Emergencies, Returning to the UK and Useful information sections.

  5. Working in Denmark section updated with link to new guidance for frontier workers

  6. Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working in Denmark section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services and education section updated with link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  7. Updated information on driving in Denmark including how to exchange your UK licence for a Danish one.

  8. Updated guidance on applying for a Danish licence if your UK licence is lost, stolen or expired

  9. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines.

  10. Driving section updated with additional guidance on driving licence exchange

  11. Visas and residency section updated on how to apply for the new residence document

  12. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on pet travel and moving to Denmark

  13. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling

  14. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers.

  15. Passport and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  16. Visas and Residency section updated with further information on the new residency system and a new link to Danish government guidance on residency.

  17. Updated information added to the Visas and Residency section.

  18. New information on the Withdrawal Agreement and how to get your professional qualifications recognised.

  19. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  20. updated text to keep information on page up to date

  21. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  22. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  23. EU Exit update: Change of information on driving licences in Denmark

  24. EU Exit update: EU Exit information updated - specifically on Passports and travel after the UK leaves the EU, pensions and returning to the UK

  25. EU Exit update: information on EU Exit updated in healthcare, visas and residency, working and driving sections

  26. EU Exit update: new Danish authorities' websites with information on residence and custody in Denmark added to EU Exit section

  27. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  28. EU Exit update: Added in latest information on driving in Denmark

  29. EU Exit update: Updated information on passports. You must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  30. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  31. EU Exit update: New link to the Ministry of Immigration and Integration website added to the EU Exit section.

  32. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  33. EU Exit update: New website link to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs added with information about residency and rights in Denmark.

  34. EU Exit update: added in web link to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs page with information for UK nationals living in Denmark.

  35. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  36. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  37. Added information on UK pension

  38. First published.