Establishment Card in Denmark

Getting the Establishment card was easy

Lokapriya Nandan Basavanna from India, 27 years old

"The Establishment card is a very special and good thing that Denmark offers to its international full-degree graduates. It's definitely more beneficial than comparable visa permits in other countries. For instance, I have friends from India who have completed a degree/full-degree programmes in some of Denmark's neighbouring countries. They had to go back to India after as little as six to twelve months because they couldn't find a job after graduation," Lokapriya Nandan Basavanna says.

- He received his Establishment card in 2018 after completing his master’s degree at UCPH.

Picture of Lokapriya Nandan Basavanna, who got an Establishment Card in 2018

"It was easy to apply for an Establishment card"

According to Lokapriya Nandan Basavanna, it was easy to apply for the Establishment card. "You just have to attach the required documents to your application. I used the bank statement when I applied, but I have a friend who used their employment contract. He only had a part-time job, but it was enough to prove that he could support himself".

What is the Establishment card?

The Establishment card is a permit you can apply for after you have graduated from a Danish higher education institution – such as UCPH. With the card, you can stay in Denmark for two years after you have completed your degree, which has to be either a bachelor's degree, a professional bachelor's degree, a master's degree or a PhD.

In addition, you must be able to support yourself for one year in order to get the Establishment card, and you must pay a small processing fee. The good news is:

You don't need to be rich to get the card. Read more about the Establishment card and meet a UCPH graduate who has the card.​​​​

The usual processing time is one month. However, the processing time is longer at the moment and expected to be one to four months.​​

Advice to people who want to apply for the Establishment card

As it may take a while to find a job in a foreign country like Denmark, Lokapriya Nandan Basavanna advises other graduates not to give up. He has gathered some advice for international students who dream of working in Denmark after their studies. 

Internships, volunteer work and talent programmes during your studies

"I recommend doing internships in start-up businesses to learn relevant skills. Denmark's start-up scene is flourishing! 

Also, I recommend talent programmes like Young Professionals in Denmark  and The Greater Copenhagen Career Program". The two programmes are well known because they organise career fairs, case competitions and other events that involve networking with industry professionals," Lokapriya says. 

In addition to that, Lokapriya encourages you to spend some of your free time doing volunteer work. "It's a great way to meet people and do something meaningful. I’ve had a great time volunteering myself. Mostly in Foodsharing CPH, an NGO that prevents food waste, but also in CPH Volunteers​ where I helped arrange cultural events".

Learning Danish helps your job search

Learning Danish not only makes it more interesting to stay in Denmark but it also helps young international graduates find a job in Denmark. 

Depending on the municipality you live in, you can enrol at different language schools.

You must pay a deposit when you enrol, but otherwise the lessons are free.

Furthermore, getting a Danish language buddy, reading Danish newspapers and watching Danish TV series also help.

Financial requirements for the Establishment card (2022)

To get an Establishment card,

you must prove that you can support yourself during the first year of your stay. You can do so by attaching either a bank statement or an employment contract to your application. Whether you are in Denmark alone or you have brought your family, the required amount of money you need to apply for the Establishment card differs. 

  • If you are in Denmark alone without any family, the annual amount required is DKK 90,624 (2022)​.
  • If your spouse is accompanying you, the annual amount required is DKK 181,248 (2022).
  • If your spouse and any children are accompanying you, the annual amount required is DKK 269,208 (2022).
  • If any of your children but not your spouse are accompanying you, the annual amount required is DKK 178,584 (2022).
  • If your spouse is applying after you have been granted a permit, the annual amount is DKK 90,624 (2022)​.
  • If any of your children are applying after you have been granted a permit, the annual amount is DKK: 87.960 (2022).
  • If your spouse and any children are applying after you have been granted a permit, the annual amount is DKK 178,584 (2022).

If you apply with a bank statement, you need to have the required amount in your savings account.

If you apply with an employment contract, it must appear from the contract that you receive a monthly salary, which will ensure a minimum after-tax income of DKK 89,376 within the first year. When you apply for an establishment card, you also need to pay a processing fee, which is DKK 1,890 (2022).

Please note that the financial requirements are adjusted annually on 1 January.

Bring your family to Denmark

​A residence and work permit based on an Establishment card will allow you to bring your family to Denmark. A permit can be granted to your spouse, registered or cohabiting partner as well as children under 18 who are still living at home.