For members


READER QUESTION: Do Denmark’s residency rules allow you to take a side job?

A reader asked about what the rules are for taking a second side job if you have a work permit or residency permit in Denmark. Here are the rules.

READER QUESTION: Do Denmark's residency rules allow you to take a side job?
To get a work permit for a sideline job as a chef as a non-EU citizen, your main work permit must also be in the same field. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

READER QUESTION: If I came in pre-Brexit on the grounds of self sufficiency, and I’m on a temporary residency permit, am I allowed to do a bit of self employed work to top my funds up?

For this reader, the rules are quite clear.

“A temporary residence permit granted according to the Withdrawal Agreement (Brexit) also includes the right to work in Denmark – even though the person has resided in Denmark on grounds of sufficient resources or as an economically inactive person,” the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), told The Local via email. 

But for other non-EU citizens, here under one of Denmark’s many job schemes, such as the Fast-track scheme, Pay limit scheme, and the Positive lists, or under the various researcher schemes, the rules are more complicated. 

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

You are generally allowed to get a second job, but you may have to apply for a separate work permit for paid sideline employment, (find information from SIRI here), and also fulfil various conditions. 

If you are a researcher with a permit under the Researcher scheme or the Researcher track under the Fast-track scheme, a Guest researcher, a PhD student, a performing artist or a professional athlete or coach, you are allowed to take up unlimited sideline employment without needing to apply for an additional work permit for sideline employment. 

If, however, you are employed as a researcher under the Pay Limit Scheme, then you have to apply for a special work permit for sideline employment.

People who received their residency permits under the Jobseeker scheme are not eligible for a sideline employment permit. 

For the other job schemes, you need to apply for a separate work permit for paid sideline employment, find information from SIRI here.

“For sideline employment, the salary must be the standard one for the job, and within the same area of ​​work as the main occupation,” SIRI said. 

For example, a musician might want a permit for sideline employment as an instructor at an academy of music, or a doctor might want a permit for sideline employment to teach at a medical school. 

You can be granted a sideline permit for as long as as the duration of your main work permit. 

If you lose your sideline job, you must inform SIRI. If you lose the main job that is the basis for your main work permit, your sideline job permit is automatically invalidated. 

Member comments

  1. How is sideline work treated under the Establishment Card rules? For example, if I have been working part-time, and then receive a full-time job, do I still have to apply for a work permit for a sideline job, for example, as a bartender?

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New pay deal agreed for Danish public sector workers

A new tripartite agreement has been sealed between the government and labour organisations, paving the way for payrises in a number of sectors.

New pay deal agreed for Danish public sector workers

Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen is scheduled to formally present the agreement on Monday after the government agreed terms with trade union and employer organisations.

Representatives from the trade union confederations FH (Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation) and Akademikerne, and from public sector employers including the national organisations for municipalities, KL (Kommunernes Landsforening) and for regional health authorities (Danske Regioner), will join Wammen in presenting the deal.

Nurses, preschool carers, prison officers, and social care staff are among groups who will get pay rises. Some three billion kroner, to be spent on wages until 2030, has been budgeted for the agreement.

READ ALSO: Finance minister hints at payrises in Danish care sectors

The government said that it wants to prioritise people who work full time and with irregular shift patterns for better compensation, thereby giving an incentive for others to take jobs of this profile.

Some 200,000 people within the chosen groups could benefit by up to 2,500 kroner per month before tax.

The exact details of the payrises and their recipients will be ironed out in future collective bargaining agreements, according to broadcaster DR.

Government involvement in setting pay is unusual in Denmark, which normally relies on its “Danish labour model” through which collective bargaining agreements are negotiated between employer organisations and trade unions. Around 70 percent of the workforce in Denmark has trade union membership.


Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has previously said wages could be used as a resource to attract more labour to sectors where there are staff shortages.