Two years ago I posted a two-part story on immigrating to Denmark (see here and here), complete with tips, advice, and links to the main websites that can be of help to someone considering a move to this country. One government scheme I mentioned – The Positive List, as it is called – has just been updated. The professions included in this list are those in which Denmark lacks a sufficient number of qualified workers. While the list has changed over the years I have been here (there were a lot more job titles on it in 2012, including some social science degree-related ones, which gave me false hope at the beginning of my job search in Denmark), some of the job titles have remained the same. Steady favourites are various types of engineers, IT specialists, teachers, and medical workers.
Obtaining a work visa under this scheme requires that the person have a job contract or offer in Denmark in one of the professions on the list that specifies the salary and employment conditions. The government will grant the applicant a residence permit of up to a month prior to starting work if the applicant can prove he/she can support him/herself plus accompanying family members; otherwise, the residence permit is issued with a start date of 14 days prior. Unlimited/open-ended job contracts provide a worker with a 4-year work permit under the scheme; those with short-term contracts are given a permit to match the contract’s length plus six months, in order to give the person time to search for another job. A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or professional Bachelor’s degree is necessary to qualify for the scheme, no matter which of the professions you are in, and many of the job areas require further education and/or special Danish authorisation, e.g. for doctors, certification by the Danish Health and Medicines Authority. Of special current interest is the fact that the scheme also applies to asylum seekers.
Please do note that while these are jobs Danish employers are having a hard time filling, it is not necessarily easy to get a job in any of them, especially if you lack Danish language ability. For some of them – for example, doctors and nurses – you are required to be able to speak Danish in order to become certified, and in all of the others Danish ability is an enormous plus. There are are also variations throughout the country in terms of demand; for example, North Jutland, where hospitals are small and there can be less opportunity for professional advancement, is desperate for doctors in a way that Copenhagen is not. FYI – Denmark is not the only country facing shortages in these professional areas. Read this article in the Wall Street Journal about Germany.