Relocation to Greater Copenhagen

Once you have decided to move to Greater Copenhagen, it’s time to start preparing. International House Copenhagen is ready to help you sort out all paperwork, find a job for you or your partner, and settle in in Copenhagen.

Getting your residence permit

When moving to Greater Copenhagen, you must apply for a residence permit. And you can start the process even before you leave home. 

All EU citizens are free to move across borders for employment and studying, but still need to apply for a residence permit.

For non-EU citizens several schemes have been designed to make it easier for highly qualified professionals to get a residence and work permit in Denmark. Ask your employer in Denmark about this or visit work for the latest information about immigration to Denmark. 

For students, a copy of the letter of admission from your university is a requirement to obtain a residence permit. As soon as you receive your admission letter, you should start the application process. Your university can help you with more information on applying for a residence permit as a student.  

If you want to know more about residence permits, International House Copenhagen will help you.

Getting your social security number

All residents in Denmark are registered with a social security number. The so-called CPR number is an integral part of Danish society and without it, it is virtually impossible to receive any form of public services such as healthcare and social benefits. You also need your CPR number for salary payments, buying a place to live, paying taxes and much more.

If you want to know more about getting a CPR number, International House Copenhagen will help you.

Ask your employer for an employment contract

In Greater Copenhagen, employers are obliged by law to provide their employees with an employment contract, outlining the terms of employment. As these terms are often regulated by collective agreement, the employment contract will typically include a reference to the applicable collective agreement.

To avoid any doubts or misunderstandings in relation to your working conditions, it is always a good idea to have the employment contract translated into a language you are familiar with.

You can read more on Work in Denmark’ website.

Free healthcare – but remember your health insurance card 

When you live and work in Greater Copenhagen, healthcare and medical treatment is free, including visits to your general practitioner (GP), specialist doctors and hospitals.

In Greater Copenhagen, your GP is the starting point for any medical treatment. You can’t go directly to a medical specialist without a referral from your GP, however dentists, eye doctors, ENT specialists and chiropractors are excluded from this agreement.

Your ticket to Greater Copenhagen’s healthcare system is the yellow health insurance card, which gives all citizens the right to receive free healthcare services. Read more about the yellow health insurance card here.

If your stay in Greater Copenhagen is shorter than 3 months, you will not be covered by the public health insurance scheme. Consequently, you will need to take out another health insurance plan prior to your arrival.

How about unemployment insurance?

Unlike all other forms of social security in Denmark, unemployment insurance is voluntary and you are not automatically insured against unemployment.

An unemployment insurance policy is taken out from an unemployment insurance fund, also known as an A-kasse, which is a private association. Ask your colleagues and employer for their advice on unemployment insurance or check out this guide.

Looking for two jobs instead of one?

As an accompanying spouse, your partner often has to start from scratch, finding new friends and a sense of belonging. International House Copenhagen is here to help with anything from leisure tips and local hosts to career mentors.

If your partner is looking for a job, the Copenhagen Career Program at International House Copenhagen offers language courses, job seeking courses, and information about mentorships and internships.

International House Copenhagen also offers a one-week course in English called ‘First Job Copenhagen’. Here newcomers get general knowledge about tools for job searching, work culture in Greater Copenhagen, LinkedIn and career counselling, all making it smoother to become a part of the local work force in Greater Copenhagen.

Learn more about the free offers at International House Copenhagen.

Finding your new place to live

The standard of housing in Greater Copenhagen is very high, and green parks, harbour baths, forests or beautiful beaches will never be far away.

It is a good idea to start looking for accommodation as soon as you can. No need to stress, it just helps to be prepared. You can either ask your employer for assistance or look at websites with housing listings. When renting accommodation, you will usually have to pay a deposit amounting to 3 months’ rent. Do not pay the deposit in cash, because you will have no trace of the payment.

In the city, most people live in flats. If you want a house and a garden, you should look a little further out. Thanks to Greater Copenhagen’s excellent infrastructure with trains, metro and busses commuting time to the city centre is generally short and comfortable compared to most major European capital cities. Also, most Copenhagen city areas and towns in Greater Copenhagen are connected to the Copenhagen city centre by bicycle superhighways.

Finding your feet and making new friends

A great way to meet new people and friends is by joining some of the many leisure clubs and sports associations in Greater Copenhagen.

Scandinavians deeply value their spare time and many citizens are a member of a sports club for football, swimming, running, badminton, handball or golf. If you have a hobby or practice a sport, you can also join one of Greater Copenhagen’s clubs and associations. You can be sure to find one or more clubs for almost every leisure activity as association activities is part of the DNA of Greater Copenhagen.

You can also join one of the many online expat groups, forums and websites, where you can get advice and learn from the experience of other newcomers to Greater Copenhagen.

And if you are up for discovering more of your new home country, Visit Denmark and Visit Skåne offer plenty of inspiration for things to see and do in Greater Copenhagen. For tips and ideas for things to do in Copenhagen with children, check out