Whether you are thinking about moving to North Denmark, have just arrived, or have been here for a while, you probably seek information about various aspects of life in the region. It can be difficult to find information when you do not know precisely what you are looking for or where to find it. We understand this at International House North Denmark and have included on the website a variety of information, divided into several categories, to make it easier for you to find the details you seek.
Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions about the content you find on the following pages.
Housing and Accommodation
Finding a place to live in North Denmark can be difficult, depending on the location, the type of the housing, and the price range. The search for affordable housing can be particularly difficult for students in Aalborg. The student population is increasing and the housing industry is working hard to keep up with the changes. This section contains some tips on the search to ease the challenges at least a little.
Denmark’s national public healthcare system offers free healthcare to those who have a CPR number (yellow health insurance card). The system is based on the principle of equal access to health services for all. Paid by taxpayers, the public healthcare system in Denmark provides consultations and treatments by your general practitioner as well as access to medical specialists, emergency care, and care and treatment at public hospitals. For information on health care in the North Denmark region click here, and for general information about the Danish healthcare system click here.
This section contains links to information on services and benefits related to the care of children and adolescents, such as daycare, schooling, child benefit, maternity/paternity leave and visiting nurse service.
In Denmark many citizens commute, as it is a cheaper and more eco-friendly solution. Public transport is very popular, as well as biking. In this section you can find information on the structure of public transport, Danish biking culture and how to bring your car into Denmark, from abroad. You can also find relevant information on how to obtain a driver’s license, such as category explanations, prices and much more.
International Citizen Service
The International Citizen Service (ICS) is located at the State Administration office. The ICS is based in Aalborg, and houses representatives of the State Administration, Aalborg municipality, Workindenmark, and SKAT (the tax authorities).
If you are required to register for your registration certificate through the State Administration, you can also use the services of the ICS during their opening hours: Office hours: Tuesday. 08:00 to 12:00, Thursdays 12:00 to 16:00 – Address: Slotspladsen 1, Opgang A, DK-9000 Aalborg
CPR and Yellow Card
In Denmark an individual’s CPR (‘Centrale Person Register’ or Civil Registration System in English) number is based on your date of birth plus four numbers (for a total of 10 digits). All residents of Denmark need a CPR number in order to access public and banking services, visit their doctor, borrow materials from the library, etc.
NemID and e-Boks
Denmark is one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world and in November 2014, it was the first European nation to make digital correspondence between citizen and the state mandatory. This means that correspondence from your municipality (‘kommune’), the tax authorities (‘SKAT’), health service, Danish government, and other public authorities are now sent to your digital postbox. You are responsible for setting yourself up to receive that mail – and checking it regularly! – or risk missing important notices, bills, and other correspondence. Moreover, you can also choose to receive mail from private companies such as banks, pension firms, utilities, and others through your digital postbox.
Permanent residence in Denmark allows you to live and work in Denmark without having to renew your temporary residency permit as your situation changes. Please not that you will need to have permanent residence before you can apply for Danish citizenship.
Likewise the rules regarding temporary residence vary depending on whether you are a Nordic citizen, EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
The process of applying for and receiving Danish citizenship is long and can be complex. Denmark is unusual in that citizenship is granted to individuals by law in the Danish Parliament. A Naturalization Bill is presented to Parliament each April and October (please note: these months might vary depending on whether and when there is an election in a given year, new laws on citizenship, etc.) with the names of those whose applications have been processed and accepted. Only once the bill has been passed do the applicants on the list receive Danish citizenship.
Since 1 September 2015, it has been possible to hold both Danish citizenship and that of another country. This means that the requirement to renounce your nationality before obtaining Danish citizenship has been abolished.
Foreign Drivers License
If you have a foreign drivers license there are certain obligations and options regarding the use of your license here in Denmark. You can find all the different situations and relevant information on the website of lifeinDenmark and what do to by clicking the Read more button.
If you are leaving Denmark for a period of more than six months, whether you plan to return or not, you must notify the state and de-register your CPR number and address, among other things. If you accumulated benefits while living here, for example, holiday time or a pension, or contributed to housing bills, you may also be eligible for reimbursement after a certain period of time.
Finding work is one of the most important things, whether you are moving to a new country or not. At International House North Denmark we put our efforts into helping international citizens finding and retaining jobs.
Please visit our separate “Job Seeking” section for information on the job search process, job portals, and open positions in Nordjylland.
A-kasse and Unemplyment
Unlike other European countries, Denmark does not have a government safety net for the unemployed (per se; see below). Unemployment insurance is instead provided by private associations called A-kasse (which is short for ‘arbejdsløshedskasse’ or unemployment association).
Joining an A-kasse is a voluntary decision. There are around 30 A-kasses in Denmark, and they range in size from 17,000 to 253,000 members.
All full-time employees in Denmark are entitled to five weeks of paid holiday per year. An explanation of the nationalized holiday system is available here.
If you become ill or injured while you are employed and are thereby unable to work temporarily, you may qualify for disability payments (‘sygedagpenge’). If the condition is permanent, you may qualify for a disability pension (‘førtidspension’). You can read about the general rules for each in this document. (In the document, disability payments are referred to as ‘sickness cash benefits,’ while disability pension is found under ‘invalidity benefits.’) Here is a link to information about disability payments in Danish – please note that the rules for this benefit changed on 1 July 2014; for more about this click here.
Please contact International House for more information about these topics in English.
Special rules and conditions apply to young men and women who wish to work as an Au-pair in Denmark.
All official documents in Denmark run through your social security number (CPR), which is connected to a NemID. These are also used to control your finances within a national bank. The systems used for paying bills, receiving pay, clearing taxes, etc., are all electronic. Therefor it is vital you open up a bank account in Denmark, upon moving here.
There are a variety of banks to choose between and all of them offer free and non-binding consultations before registering with them.
The tax authority in Denmark is called SKAT. If you work in Denmark you are required to pay taxes on your income. Your tax rate depends on your salary and the deductions you can claim.
In general, the SKAT system is automated and online. However, certain procedures, such as registering and paying the tax on a car with foreign license plates, must be done in person.
Making sure you are covered in case of an accident, theft or the like is always important. However the Danish insurance system can be confusing and complex to understand. As there are many different kinds of insurance in Denmark – some required by law, while others are optional – this section will help clear up the ground rules of the insurance system in Denmark.
There are three types of pensions in Denmark: individual, labor market, and state. It is important to understand these three and the rules governing them when you work in Denmark. Please see this EU document (July 2013) on social benefits in Denmark for more information.
Some times when you might need the help of a lawyer in Denmark. Reasons could range from trouble with landlords to employment issues to family-related problems.
There are some free or low cost legal help options that are subsidized by the state or offered for free by volunteers.
Costs of living
Denmark is an expensive country even by European standards. The living expenses could be relatively high, depending on your lifestyle. Especially services (like eating out), utilities and petrol are pricey.
If you click on READ MORE you will find examples on the prices in Aalborg.
North Denmark has around 560,000 inhabitants, the majority of them live in Aalborg, Hjørring, and Frederikshavn. Despite the small size of its population relative to its area, North Denmark has a lot to offer. Whether Skagen – the ‘top of Denmark,’ famous for its fishing industry, tourism, and point at which the Baltic and North Seas meet – or Læsø, a small island off the coast of Frederikshavn famous for its sea salt, you will find a broad variety of cultural attractions, diverse nature, quality educational institutions and much more.
Important information about admission into higher education, the transferal of credits and recognition of prior education can be found here.
Learning Danish can seem a daunting prospect when you first arrive in Denmark. While most Danes speak a high level of English, it is still a good idea to learn Danish, especially if you wish to enter the Danish labor market. Knowing at least some Danish indicates that you are trying to understand the Danish way of life and will help you build relationships with your colleagues. Attending Danish classes at language school can also be a good way to meet other international residents and build your network in a new place.