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Adjustments to occupational schemes under the Aliens Act – bill submitted for consultation

A draft bill to simplify certain occupational schemes under the Aliens Act – including the requirement for a Danish bank account – has been sent out for consultation. The rules are expected to take effect on 1 July 2024

Written by

Sara Baldus

Ditte Luja Aaskov

The Ministry of Immigration and Integration recently submitted a draft bill for consultation to adjust the rules in certain occupational schemes under the Aliens Act to make it easier for companies in Denmark to recruit employees from outside the EU.

Extension of short-term stays (Fast Track scheme)
The Fast Track scheme comprises, among other things, a short-term track that allows foreign employees to obtain a residence and work permit for a stay of up to 90 working days per year. It is currently not possible to extend a short-term stay, for example if a work assignment or project is delayed. In such case, a new application must be submitted, and in the period between the expiry date of the residence permit and the start date of a new permit, the foreign employee is not allowed to work in Denmark, regardless of whether they are legally staying in Denmark.

The bill therefore proposes to introduce the possibility of extending short-term stays to make the scheme more flexible. The total duration of the stay still cannot exceed 90 working days per year.

Expansion of the job change rule
According to the so-called ”job change rule”, employees with a residence and work permit for a specific job can start the new employment before a new residence and work permit has been granted, provided the new application is submitted before the commencement of the job. The bill proposes that the rule be extended to include foreign employees who wish to change their basis of residence without changing their employment conditions. For example, this would be relevant in situations where a foreign employee has a residence permit based on their qualifications, which is granted for a maximum of 1 year at a time for the first 2 years, but wishes to change to, for example, the Pay Limit scheme, which allows for residence and work permits for up to 4 years at a time.

The amendment means that a foreign employee applying for a residence and work permit under another occupational scheme without it being due to a job change will be able to continue working during the authorities’ processing of the application and will not have to terminate the employment relationship.

Abolishment of bank account requirement
Most occupational schemes currently require that payment of salary to a foreign employee with a residence permit must be made to a Danish bank account. The bank account in Denmark must be opened within 90 days of entry into Denmark.

However, complying with the 90-day deadline has proven difficult, for instance because banks are required to investigate new customers under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The bill therefore includes a proposal to abolish the requirement for a Danish bank account for foreign employees with a residence permit under the Researcher scheme or under the Fast Track scheme’s general pay limit track, researcher track, short-term track and educational track. Such employees will therefore be able to have their salary paid to a foreign bank account, regardless of the duration of their stay in Denmark. For the other occupational schemes (including the Pay Limit scheme outside the Fast Track scheme and the Positive List), it is proposed to extend the deadline for opening a Danish bank account from 90 days to 180 days.

The bill is expected to be tabled this spring and, if adopted, the amendments are expected to come into force on 1 July 2024.

Norrbom Vinding will follow the legislative process and provide updates when new information is available.

The content of the above is not, and should not be a substitute for legal advice.