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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities

Last update: 25 March 2024
On this page
  1. Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility
  2. Support and guidance available
  3. Legal framework

Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility


SCALEit is a programme for Danish start-ups and SMEs within the area of innovation with a wish to expand their business abroad. The programme is administered by the Danish Trade Council and is coordinated with the seven Danish innovation centres all over the world. The programme is individually designed according to the start-up’s/SME’s specific needs.

The programme can be a preparation workshop in Denmark in which Innovation Centre Denmark assists with the development of a business model and analysis of markets and possibilities of growth. The workshop can be followed by an international field trip to relevant markets where Innovation Centre Denmark facilitates contact with local enterprises. The start-up/SME has the opportunity to pitch their idea to local entrepreneurs, investors, and advisers. The local feedback will give the start-up/SME an indication of whether the idea is ready to scale.

Innovation Fund Denmark (Innovationsfonden)

Innovation Fund Denmark funds the programme International collaboration:

  • The national Grand Solution programme, where foreign partners can be invited to participate
  • Strategic thematic programmes within Horizon 2020, Nordic cooperation, EUREKA, and GlobalStars
  • Eurostars for research-intensive SMEs
  • Bilateral cooperation with countries outside Europe

Erasmus programmes for young entrepreneurs

Denmark participates in the Erasmus programmes for young entrepreneurs. The programme has a European line and a global line. There are three local contacts in Denmark:

  • Aalborg University
  • InterCollege Aps
  • University College of Northern Denmark

Mobility programmes

Denmark participates in a range of general mobility programmes. The programmes support international mobility for students and young people, for instance, via studies abroad, apprenticeships, or voluntary work. The stay may have an entrepreneurial objective, but it is not a requirement.

Denmark funds the following programmes:

  • Work Placements Abroad (Oplæring i Udlandet or OPU ): An international traineeship programme for pupils in vocational education and training (VET)
  • DK-USA: A mobility programme for students, teachers, and leaders of Danish vocational education institutions

For more information about these two programmes and for a full list of mobility programmes see section 6.5

Support and guidance available

Support and guidance on cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship, and vocational training for young people are available through Eures and Grib Verden as described below.


Eures Denmark

Eures is implemented at the portal Jobnet is the public job centres’ website for all job seekers and employers in Denmark. Jobnet enables unemployed persons to search for a job among many thousands of vacant jobs.


Eures Denmark provides information on where to find jobs, how to apply, as well as information about the legislative framework applying to residence and work permits abroad. The primary focus is jobs in Europe, but young people can also find relevant information and links to job opportunities around the world. is a website aimed at young people. The website provides information and inspiration regarding mobility for young people in connection with studies or apprenticeships abroad, for instance, relevant mobility programmes. The website also provides information regarding employment.


Gribverden also provides information on Facebook and Instagram.


The website is administered by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science


Public funding of cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship, and vocational training

Work Placements Abroad (OPU) is funded by the Employers’ Reimbursement Fund (AUB), which is an education contribution that all employers within the vocational education and training (VET) sector are obliged to pay. The Employers’ Reimbursement Fund (AUB) finances expenses in relation to apprenticeships in Denmark and abroad.

DK-USA is financed by public funds.

Furthermore, Danish students staying abroad as part of their studies may be entitled to the state education grant during their stay.

The Danish state educational grant (SU) can be awarded for a study period abroad if the Danish educational institution accepts the study period abroad as part of the current Danish study programme. This means that credits must be awarded for the study period in question. Where a study period abroad of 12 months is only given six months’ credits in the Danish study programme, the state education grant can only be awarded for six months.

A full study programme abroad may be awarded a state educational grant (SU) when the study programme is recognised by Danish authorities and listed on a fast-track list.

Furthermore, higher education students can apply for special educational assistance (support scheme) when going abroad, for instance, full degree or credit mobility or during a traineeship. The support granted during the stay abroad equals the support that the young person would be entitled to in Denmark.

Moreover, students who wish to study abroad can apply for a scholarship for up to two years. The scholarship is intended to partly or wholly cover the tuition fees for certain study programmes in other countries. A range of conditions must be met in order for the student to be eligible for the scholarship, for instance, the student must be entitled to the Danish student grant (SU). A full list of conditions can be found on the website of the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science.

Legal framework

In this section, the legal framework applicable to incoming and outgoing young workers, trainees/apprentices, and young professionals/entrepreneurs is described.

Incoming young people

Social security for incoming young people in employment or traineeships

Social security measures for young people coming to Denmark depend on the country of origin and the length of their stay.

Young people from another EU/EEA country and Switzerland have the right to receive benefits when they move to another part of the EU. The European Commission provides information on social benefits in Denmark - when young people are eligible for benefits, what young people are entitled to and how to go about claiming it.

Students and workers from outside EU/EEA countries must be able to provide for themselves. They are not allowed to receive public benefits (e.g., social security benefits).

Unemployment insurance and occupational injury insurance for incoming young people in employment or traineeships

In Denmark, employers are obligated to take out occupational injury insurance. You are covered by your employer’s insurance in connection with your job. Employer insurance does not cover your leisure time.

Unemployment insurance is, unlike in many other countries, voluntary in Denmark. You can choose to register with an unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse).

Healthcare for incoming young people in employment or traineeships

Entitlement to healthcare under the Danish public health insurance scheme depends on which of the following groups the young person belongs to:

  1. Residents in Denmark
  2. Citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland are covered by public health insurance in Denmark according to the EU coordination regulations
  3. Persons who are temporarily staying in Denmark

The yellow health insurance card proves that the young person is entitled to the services offered under the national health insurance scheme.

  1. As a resident in Denmark (i.e., registered in the civil registration system), a young person is entitled to all public healthcare benefits.
  2. As a citizen of the EU/EEA/Switzerland covered by public health insurance in Denmark according to the EU coordination rules, the young person is entitled to all public healthcare benefits.

The special health insurance card proves that the young person is entitled to the services offered under the national health insurance scheme.

If the young person is covered by public health insurance in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland according to the EU coordination rules, the young person is entitled to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during the stay under the same conditions and at the same cost (free for the most part) as a resident in Denmark. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a certificate that temporarily replaces this card proving the right to healthcare.

Work and residence permit for incoming young people in employment or traineeships

Different rules apply to Nordic citizens, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and third-country citizens.

The legal regulation of work and residence permits for young foreigners in Denmark is complex. Different rules apply depending on which scheme the young person belongs to (e.g., a job in the fast-track scheme, the positive list scheme, a job as a researcher, a pay-limit scheme, etc.) as well as the young person’s country of origin.

Citizens of Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden do not need to apply for a registration certificate because as citizens of a Nordic country, they have the right to reside in Denmark without permission. Nordic citizens are free to reside, study, and work in Denmark.

EU/EEA citizens may freely enter Denmark and remain in Denmark for up to three months without an EU residence document (registration certificate). As a jobseeker, he/she may reside in Denmark for up to six months without a registration certificate. The periods of three and six months are calculated from the date of entry.

If the stay in Denmark will last more than three months, he/she has to apply for an EU residence document (registration certificate) before the three months expire. Jobseekers are required to submit their application within six months after entry.

Citizens from a country outside Scandinavia, the EU/EEA, or Switzerland must apply for a residence and work permit in their home country through a Danish mission (i.e., a Danish embassy or a Danish consulate general).

Read more about work and residence permits on New to Denmark, which is the official portal for foreign nationals who wish to visit, live, or work in Denmark.

Taxation for incoming young people in employment or traineeships

Everyone earning a salary in Denmark is liable to Danish taxation, which obliges taxpayers to declare all income and tax deductions – both from Denmark and abroad – to the Danish tax authorities.

In Denmark, a so-called global income principle applies, according to which income is taxed even if it comes from abroad.

The principle can result in the same income being taxed both in Denmark and abroad.

To prevent taxpayers from paying tax twice on the same income, Denmark has entered into double taxation agreements with a number of countries.

To determine how a given income is to be taxed, it is necessary to read the specific double taxation agreement between Denmark and the country in question.

Read more about the individual double taxation agreements on the website of the Danish Ministry of Taxation. 

For more information on taxation in Denmark, see Your guide to working in Denmark from the Danish Tax Agency and the Danish tax system on Life in Denmark.

Outgoing young people

Social security for outgoing young people in employment or traineeships

The Danish social security system consists of services and benefits that provide economic security such as health insurance, family benefits, pension, unemployment benefits, daily sick pay, ATP (Danish labour market supplementary pension), and industrial injury insurance.

The legal regulation for young Danes going abroad is complex and depends on the country of origin and the length of stay.

As a rule, young Danes working in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, or the Faroe Islands must take out unemployment insurance in the country they work in. Exceptions are posted workers and cross-border workers.

If you are an employee or a self-employed professional working for a Danish company, you can work temporarily in another EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland but remain covered by the social security system in Denmark.

To remain covered by the social security system in Denmark while working in another EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland, you or your employer need to apply for the A1 certificate. The certificate proves that you pay social contributions in Denmark.

Young Danes working in non-EU/EEA countries can keep their Danish unemployment insurance.

Denmark has made bilateral agreements with a range of non-EU/EEA countries regarding social security. Read more about social security when working abroad at

If a young person is not covered by Danish social security, he/she can be covered in the country in which he/she lives or works.

Danish young people may be entitled to Danish unemployment benefits for three months when they are seeking a job in another EU/EEA country, the Faroe Islands, or Switzerland. The young people must meet certain requirements and apply for the PD U2 document, which the unemployment insurance funds issue.

Health insurance for outgoing young people in employment or traineeships

When young Danes study or work in countries outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, they are not covered by Danish public health insurance. They may be entitled to health insurance in the host country or they must take out private health insurance.

Young Danes working or studying in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland are covered by the European health insurance that gives young Danes access to healthcare during a temporary stay under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in that country. When young Danes move their habitual residence to another country, they should register with the S1 form instead of using the EHIC to receive medical care in the new country of habitual residence.

Work and residence permit for outgoing young people in employment or traineeships

Due to the Nordic cooperation, young Danes can travel, live, study and work in any of the Nordic countries without a visa, work, or residence permit.

EU citizens can freely stay in another EU/EEA country for three months without a residence permit. Thereafter, EU citizens must apply for an EU residence document (registration certificate).

When working or residing in countries outside the EU/EEA, different rules apply depending on the country of destination and the length of the stay. Young Danes should always orientate themselves at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Taxation for outgoing young people in employment or traineeships

Young Danes receiving the State Education Grant abroad must pay tax on the grant to the Danish state. Stipends and other private grants are generally tax-free.

If a young Dane works during their stay abroad, the young person must pay tax in the country of residence. In some situations, students must also pay a tax on their salary to the Danish state (double taxation). In case of double taxation, the student will receive a tax reduction in Denmark equal to the tax paid in the country of residence.

If Danish students are paid by their employer during apprenticeships abroad, they must pay tax in the country of residence. Danes employed and posted abroad by a Danish employer pay tax in Denmark.