Living in Denmark
Introduction to Denmark
Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands constitute the Kingdom of Denmark. Denmark covers an area of 43,000 sq km and consists of the peninsula Jutland and 406 islands. The Islands of Zealand (Sjælland with the capital Copenhagen) and Funen (Fyn with the city of Odense) are the largest.
The population is approximately 5,5 million with 25 per cent living in the metropolitan area of the capital, Copenhagen.
Greenland covers an icefree area of 410,449 sq. km and has a population of 58,000. The principal city is Nuuk.
The Faroe Islands cover an area of 1,399 sq. km and has a population of about 50,000. The principal city is Thorshavn.
Below you will find information on the following topics:
- Residence and Work Permits
- Currency and Exchange
- Cost of Living
- Bringing a Pet
- Emergency Service
- The Political System
- Sources of Information
Comprehensive information on living and working in Denmark is available from the official Danish Government website: http://www.denmark.dk
Residence and Work Permits
U.S. citizens who plan to visit Denmark for purposes other than tourism, or who wish to remain in Denmark for more than three months, must obtain a work and/or residence permit prior to their arrival in Denmark. Applications for these permits must be submitted through a Danish Embassy or Consulate. If you are already in Denmark and wish to obtain information about Danish work/residence permits please contact the Danish Immigration Service (Udlaendingestyrelsen), Rysgade 53, 2100 Copenhagen, Tel: +45 35 36 66 00, via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website, NyIDanmark.dk.
In language, as well as in culture, Denmark is closely related to the other Nordic countries. Danish is a difficult language for foreigners to learn quickly unless they have a particular facility with languages. If you plan to work or study in Denmark, you should bear in mind that basic speaking ability in Danish is usually required.
A number of Danish language courses are available to foreigners holding a residence/work permit and a Danish Social Security number (CPR-number).
The two largest Danish language schools in Copenhagen are
Hejrevej 26, 2400 København NV
TEL: 3888 3233
Adult education study programs are available throughout Denmark during the winter season (usually September through April) and "Danish for Foreigners" is always a part of these programs. More information on Danish language classes for foreigners may be found in the Yellow Pages http://www.degulesider.dk write ‘Sprogundervisning."
Most Danes understand and speak some English. Many, especially in the metropolitan areas speak English fluently.
Currency and Exchange
Dollars may be exchanged for Danish Kroner freely at banks, hotels, and various exchange facilities. The rate of exchange fluctuates from day to day, and is generally less favorable at hotels than at banks.
Personal checks drawn on a U.S. bank cannot be cashed unless you have a checking account in Denmark.
All international credit cards are accepted throughout Denmark. However, many shops require a credit card that uses the "chip and PIN" system. Even shops that use a magnetic card reader will often require a PIN in lieu os a signature. If your card does not use the "chip and PIN" system consult with your bank about obtaining a PIN for your credit card Often debit cards cannot be used for anything other than withdrawing cash from an ATM.
ATMs are placed throughout the country and always outside banks.
Banking Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00AM – 4:00PM
Check for special hours before holidays.
In Denmark telephone numbers consist of eight digits. If you are calling from outside Denmark, the eight digit number must be preceded by the country code 45, often written as +45 followed by the eight digit telephone number.
In Greenland and Faroe Islands, the telephone numbers consist of six digits.
Greenland has country code 299
The Faroe Islands country code 298.
Electric current is 230V, 50Hz, single phase, AC rather than the U.S. standard of 115V, 60Hz, single phase AC. In addition, 380V, 3 phase AC is available and must be used for automatic dryers and electric stoves.
Cost of Living
Due to a strong trade union movement, wages in Denmark are generally higher than in the United States. Negotiated minimum wage is approximately $20/hour.
Income tax in Denmark, however, is high by international standards, and ranges from 45% to a high 56%.
The flat-rate VAT in Denmark is 25%. Major exemptions from VAT are rents, medicine and newspapers.
The cost of living in Denmark is considerably higher than in the United States. Copenhagen is among the five most expensive cities in the world.
Bringing a Pet
See the rules on the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration website.
Fire – Ambulance – Police: Dial: 112, identify yourself, give your address or location and ask for the type of assistance you need.
The Political System
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy; the present monarch is Queen Margrethe II. The Danish Parliament (Folketing) has one chamber with 179 members including two members from Greenland and two members from the Faroe Islands. Both Greenland and the Faroe Islands have home rule with local governments and parliaments responsible for local legislation.
Denmark has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973.
Sources of Information
General information about Denmark and answers to specific questions regarding customs, taxation, Danish immigration regulations, education, and health may be obtained from Denmark.Dk. Tourist information may be obtained from:
The Danish Tourist Board http://www.visitdenmark.com