International Citizen Service
Kirstine Då, who is project coordinator for International Citizen Service, announced yesterday the upcoming schedule of events organized by Xpat Network North (XNN), for which Aalborg Kommune has recently taken over responsibility. The program includes a variety of activities for expats in the North Jutland region and all are invited to join those that interest them. Below is the program as it stands; I will also include individual events in my ‘recent & upcoming in Aalborg’ series shortly before they take place. Please note that if you are on Facebook but not already a member of FB’s Xpat Network North group, you may send a request through the site to join.
|25 April||16:00-18:00||Go to the movies at the library||Danish film with English subtitles will be shown||Small cinema at Aalborg Main Library||Check XNN’s Facebook page for more info||Free|
|29 April||17:00-19:00||Tax seminar||Hints and tips on taxes in DK, with focus on the forthcoming tax return (selvangivelse); run by Magnus Vagtborg of United Tax Network||AKKC (Aalborg Kultur og Kongrescenter) Europa Plads 4, 9000 Aalborg||Email Kirstine Då by 22 April||Free|
|6 May||16:30-17:30||Guided tour at the library||Learn about all the facilities and services available to you at the main public library||Aalborg Main Library||Check XNN’s Facebook page for more info||Free|
|9 May||17:00-???||Casual social get-together||Meet Kirstine and other expats for a chat and a drink||John Bull Pub||Just show up||Pay for your own drinks and food|
|21 May||16:30-19:45||Family sports event||Parents and children ages 5 and up get together and learn new dance moves with an English-speaking instructor. There will also be a chance to enjoy a soft drink and a sandwich with other families after the dancing session.||Tårnhøjhallen in Aalborg Øst||More information to come||Free|
|4 June||17:00-??||Casual social get-together||Meet Kirstine and other expats for a chat and a drink||Folkets Parlament||Just show up||Pay for your own drinks and food|
|12 June||16:30-19:30||An evening on ‘the weirdness of Danes’||Puzzling and funny aspects of Danish culture and norms will be highlighted and participants will work together on a task||Not yet known||More information to come||Small fee|
Are you a non-EU citizen who would like to immigrate to Denmark? If so, there are many options available to you – especially if you are highly educated and/or work in a profession that currently lacks qualified Danes. As I wrote in my 9 December 2013 post (International Citizen Service in Aalborg: A one-stop shop for foreign residents), Denmark faces a growing shortage of educated and trained workers in several sectors, including medicine, engineering, IT, and miscellaneous academic fields (lawyers, statisticians, actuaries, etc.) People with qualifications in these areas have a jump on others but there are also opportunities to immigrate to Denmark outside these fields. Let’s start with the main work permit schemes…
Immigration to Aalborg is on the rise. According to official statistics by Aalborg Kommune, the number of immigrants, foreign nationals and their children in Aalborg has steadily risen since 2008. People come for myriad reasons: to work; to study at Aalborg University and University College Nordjylland; to marry; to seek asylum; to join family members already living here. While I do not have a breakdown of those who settle in the kommune of Aalborg, over half of Danish residence permits granted in 2012 came from EU/EEA countries (top 5 countries, in order: Poland, Romania, Germany, Lithuania, and Bulgaria). The largest number of people seeking residence here from outside the EU in 2012 originated from the USA, India, China, Ukraine and the Philippines (in that order).
The spring before we moved to Aalborg, we visited the city as a family. A prior online search had pointed us to an office called the International Citizen Service (ICS), where immigrants can register as residents of the Kommune (municipality), ask questions about job searches and taxes, and gather other information useful to living in Aalborg. So even though our moving day was months away, we wrote a list of questions and headed to the ICS armed with our queries on the first day of our visit.
A friendly staff member greeted us when our number was called. Despite the fact that the waiting room was packed, she patiently answered all of our questions – handwriting names and addresses of offices where we could get further information, in some cases – and we left feeling much better informed and reassured that everything was going to go just fine once we lived here. (Inevitably there were hiccups but those are the subject of future posts!) Read the rest of this entry »