Cultural trainer in Denmark
move to denmark from the usa

Can you move to Denmark from the USA?

Yes, and here are some tips

Many Americans ask if it’s possible to move to Denmark from the USA.

The answer is: yes, it’s possible, but it isn’t easy.

A social welfare state

Denmark is a capitalist economy with a social welfare state. This means that Denmark’s taxes are among the highest in the world, but that services like basic health care and university tuition are tax-financed and free to the user.

In order to maintain the welfare state, every adult in Denmark with the ability to work outside the home and pay taxes needs to do so. There are very few stay-at-home parents in Denmark, even in well-off families.

While taxes pay for generous unemployment benefits when Danes lose their jobs, the government closely monitors the unemployed to make sure they are constantly looking for work.

Immigration and the welfare state

When it comes to immigration, Denmark favors immigrants who will be able to work, pay taxes, and help maintain the welfare state. If you are over retirement age or unable to work for some other reason, it could be difficult to move to Denmark.

You will need to get a visa to stay in Denmark beyond the visa-free tourist period – currently 90 days, unless you are an EU citizen. As a U.S. citizen, you will probably need to have a student visa or work visa.

Can Americans work in Denmark? Yes and no. It’s generally much easier to get a work visa if your job category is on the “positive list”, a constantly updated list of skill sets that are in short supply in Danish society. Most of the job categories are in engineering and IT, but some skilled blue-collar jobs are also on the list, such as carpenters and bricklayers.

Marrying a Dane, or having a child with a Dane, isn’t an automatic guarantee of being able to stay in Denmark.