Interested in moving to Denmark from the UK? Whether you’re joining family, heading over for work or simply looking to bask in the Danish way of life – we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’re touching on visas, healthcare and some important pros and cons to consider before you make the move.
Despite no longer being in the European Union, UK citizens are free to visit Denmark for up to three months without a visa. This is thanks to the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. If you’re planning on staying in Denmark for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, you’ll need to get yourself a visa.
Denmark temporary residence permit
Your first step to living and working in Denmark is securing a temporary residence permit. There’s a variety of permits available – it depends on what you’re moving for. This could be work, family or education.
A temporary residence permit allows you to contribute to taxes and grants you access to the social system, such as healthcare and education. The permits are usually valid for around one year and can be renewed.
Denmark permanent residence
After eight years of residency in Denmark, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. This can be shortened to four years in some cases. You can find out more about permanent residence requirements on the Danish Immigration Service website.
If you’ve got an eye on acquiring Danish citizenship, and you have no family ties to Denmark, you’ll need a permanent residence permit to get there.
Healthcare in Denmark
Healthcare in Denmark is excellent and sorting out cover is a stress-free experience. All Danish residents get enrolled into the public health system and are given a state health insurance card (aka the ‘yellow health card’, or Sundhedskort). This must be shown to doctors or hospital staff for your healthcare to be free.
The universal health system provides treatment and services for most common health requirements. This includes:
- Primary and preventative care
- Hospital care
- Specialist care
- Chronic (long-term) care
Some types of care, such as mental health care, are only partially supported by the system. Additionally, you’ll have to contribute up to 50% of the cost of prescription drugs, dental care (if over 18), physiotherapy, and optometry.
Public healthcare in Denmark is available to all residents, regardless of their background. As long as you have your yellow card, you’re good to go. With most bases covered, you won’t necessarily need private insurance. But it is available if you want it.
Expats who go for private cover tend to do so for shorter waiting times and access to private health facilities. There’s no set price for private insurance as it’s dependent on a few factors. Some examples are age, gender, medical records, the provider and the region you’re moving to.
Living in Denmark pros and cons
Weighing up the pros and cons of any country can be tough. And moving to Denmark from the UK is no exception. So, with plenty to consider, here are a few of our crucial pros and cons of living in Denmark.
Green and clean
Denmark is world-famous for its fantastic eco-friendly nature and high-quality sanitation. It has some of the cleanest air of any country in the world and thriving, biodiverse wildlife.
The Danish government has implemented outstanding policies aimed at reducing greenhouses gases and preventing climate change. Sustainability is a priority, with eco-friendly hotels, solar-powered boats and organic food available across the nation.
It’s no secret that Denmark is a happy nation. In the 2021 World Happiness Report, Denmark came second only to reigning champion Finland as the happiest country in the world. This is reflected in the internationally recognised ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’) way of life.
Translated roughly to ‘cosiness’, the hygge lifestyle is all about creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying great things with great people. It’s an instant winner with expats from all over the world.
There’s an official 37.5-hour working week in Denmark. And while the Danes are hard workers, employers heavily emphasise the importance of a separate personal and professional life.
Spending time with your friends and family and engaging in the things you lovew is very much encouraged. Most offices become desolate at 5pm and parents can finish early to collect their children.
High cost of living
Like its Scandanavian counterparts, Denmark is an expensive place to live. It’s more expensive than the UK for everyday expenses such as food, transportation and clothing. It’ll also cost you more for monthly rent and a meal in a restaurant.
Although, while the cost of living in Denmark is high, Danes enjoy an excellent quality of life in return.
Long, dark winters
It doesn’t seem fair for UK citizens to accuse another country of having bad weather, but for many months of the year, Denmark’s very much is. From October until March, the Danish skies are grey and blustery winds make leaving the house an unpleasant experience.
Due to its location, Danish winters are long and dark with only a few hours of light per day. Some expats find it tricky to grow accustomed to the lack of sunlight initially.
Need to learn the language
It might seem obvious but living in Denmark means speaking Danish. Although English is widely spoken and taught in schools from a young age, Danes prefer to use their native language to communicate.
Danish may seem alien to Brits due to its non-Latin-based roots and can take a while to learn. Having said that, if you decide not to give Danish a go, you might find yourself struggling to get a job or move up the career ladder.
Send money to Denmark
Moving to Denmark from the UK is likely to mean moving your money. Whether you’re looking to buy property, move your pension or send money to family, we can help.
At Privalgo, we pride ourselves on our ability to save you money, save you time and support you along the way.
We offer market-leading exchange rates to ensure you’re getting as many kroner for your pounds as possible; our online portal makes transfers quick and easy with total transparency; and our dedicated Currency Specialists will help you reduce the risks.
Book a free chat with a Privalgo Currency Specialist and see how we could help with your move to Denmark.Book a chat with a Currency Specialist