Can Americans work in Denmark? They can, although they will find it much easier to find a job if they have some type of additional passport from the European Union.
Without an EU passport, Americans will find themselves the legal equivalent of people from China, India, Brazil, and African countries seeking employment in Denmark. They’ll need to have an employer sponsor them for a job, and the employer must prove to the Danish authorities that there is no Danish citizen available to do that job.
The process is a bit easier if your job category is on the positive list, a list of skilled professions experiencing shortages in Denmark. IT professionals are almost always on the list, but skilled tradespeople like carpenters and bricklayers often make the list as well.
The easiest way for most Americans to work in Denmark is to find a Danish company with units in the US, then get employed there and ask for a transfer. Novo Nordisk and Grundfos are two Danish companies with extensive operations in the US, and in general the Danish life science industry is well represented in the US.
Many US universities also have exchange programs for their faculty who would like to teach for a year or two in Denmark.
Some Americans also come to Denmark as university students, build up a network of business contacts, and then job-hunt once they have finished their studies. Student visas are generally much easier to get than business visas, although unlike Danish students, you will have to pay tuition.
Keep in mind that there is often a great deal of culture shock for an American in Denmark. Consider purchasing Kay Xander Mellish’s book “Working with Danes: Tips for Americans” before you arrive.
You can learn more about working in Denmark in our book “How to Work in Denmark: Tips for Finding a Job, Succeeding at Work, and Understanding Your Danish Boss.”