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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Denmark: The Green Card and Other Highly-Qualified Migrant Programs

With implementation of the European Blue Card moving at a snail's pace, I thought it would be interesting to look more closely at some other programs around the world  and see what they have to offer.  We've already talked about New Zealand and its Silver Fern program so I thought I'd look a little closer to (my) home.  Here's what I found out about a country I've never visited in all my time in Europe, Denmark.

Denmark is part of the EU but is not participating in the European Blue Card program.  They were also not a part of the original decision to create the European Migration Network but they are represented in it.  Their NCP (National Contact Point) is their Ministry of Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and the Kingdom of Denmark not only includes Denmark proper but also Greenland and the Faroe Islands.  Economy Watch has this to say about their national economy:
Denmark's modern open market economy features high-tech agriculture, fisheries and farming, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporting country of food stuffs and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. The government has been successful in meeting the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European Currency) of the European Economic and Monetary union (EMU), but so far Denmark has decided not to join 15 other European Union (EU) members in the euro. Nonetheless, the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro.
Just because they decided against implementing the EU Blue Card does not mean that they are not interested in attracting skilled people.  Their Work in Denmark site is clearly oriented to convincing people that Denmark is great place to come live and work and cites the following as her advantages:

  • A welfare society with a strong economic growth combined with a high standard of living
  • Multi-lingual:  "Danes typically speak many different foreign languages and welcome the opportunity to put these skills to use. Nearly all Danes speak English, many speak German, and one out of ten Danes speaks French."
  • A world-class business community
  • A land of opportunity for investment and development including continuing education for employees
  • Safety and security:  "Foreign nationals who come to Denmark often cite safety and security as the country's most important characteristics. Children walk to school alone and even well-known leaders in the business community do not have to surround themselves with bodyguards."

They have a number of interesting migrant programs.  They have a Green Card scheme that grants residency while the migrant is looking for work so one does not necessarily have to have a job before entering the country. This is a points system and migrants must have 100 points to qualify.  Points are given for academic degrees, professional experience, adaptability and proficiency in one of the following languages:  Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German.  The FAQ for the Green Card can be found here.

For highly-skilled professionals this site aims to put Danish companies and highly-skilled migrants together.  You can upload your CV and search their job bank.  There is also a list, called the Positive List, that shows those sectors experiencing labor shortages.  All the residency and work permit programs for highly-skilled professionals are listed here.

I spent some time on their site and was quite impressed.  It is not particularly flashy but it is clear, well-organized, easy to understand and gives the impression that the Danes have the situation well in hand. There was even a note on one page that explained that, due to the volume of requests, their usual 30 day response time was not being respected at this time.  That is very good service indeed.  

Hope you find this helpful and I wish you all a very good weekend.

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