When you arrive in North Denmark (‘Nordjylland’) you need to register with the authorities in order to obtain government services, receive digital mail, and be able to open a bank account…basically to do a lot of things in Denmark.
Which authority/ies you need to visit depends on various things: your country of origin, whether you also need to register family members, and whether you have completed certain paperwork before you arrive. Locations and opening hours of the various authorities can be found in the last sub-section of the page.
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.
Please note that if you are a non EU/EEA/Swiss citizen you will need to go to a police station that has an immigration office (‘Udlændingeafsnittet‘) in order to apply for a residence permit. For residents of North Denmark except those in Morsø and Thisted municipalities there is only one in the region and it is located in Aalborg (see address and opening hours in the section ‘Authoritiesø locations and opening hours’ below.) Residents of Morsø and Thisted municipalities must visit Holstebro Police Station because these two municipalities are not part of the North Denmark police district (‘Nordjyllands Police District’); rather, they are part of the Mid- and West Denmark police district (‘Midt- og Vestjyllands Police District.’)
If you come from one of the Nordic countries (Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden) you will find information about what you need to do in order to take up residency in Denmark via this link.
The basic rule for Nordic citizens is that you are free to enter, work, study and reside in Denmark without a visa, residency or work permit. However, you will need a CPR-number and yellow health card, which you can apply for directly at the Citizens Service office (‘borgerservice’) office.
When going to the Citizens Service office make sure to bring:
- Proof of address in Denmark, such as a rental contract
- ID, such as passport
If you have family members who are EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, however, they will need to apply for a registration certificate and should visit the State Administration’s (‘Statsforvaltningen’) office in Aalborg. The only State Administration office in North Denmark is located in Aalborg (see address below.)
Family members who are non-EU/EEA citizens will need to apply for a residence permit through STAR (‘Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering’) – you will find the immigration office at Aalborg police station or Holstebro police station (for Thisted and Morsø municipalities.)
EU citizens do need permission to reside in Denmark (after a certain amount of time in the country), but they benefit from the free movement principle, which states that all EU member citizens may:
- Look for a job in another EU country;
- Work there without needing a work permit;
- Reside there for that purpose;
- Stay there even after employment has finished;
- Enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages.
To apply for your registration certificate, you must complete your paperwork before arriving in Denmark or visit the State Administration office after arrival. Following this step, you can apply for your CPR number and yellow health card at the Citizens Service office. Family members who are EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must follow the same procedures, while family members who are non-EU/EEA citizens will need to apply for a residence permit through the immigration office at Aalborg police station (see below) or Holstebro Police station (residents of Morsø or Thisted municipalities – see address below.)
The rules for living, working, and/or studying in Denmark as a non-EU/EEA citizen are more complex than those for the above groups. Please find the information relevant to your situation on this page and read it carefully to clarify your understanding the regulations.
If you qualify to live here, whether through work, studies, or family reunification, and are a citizen of a non-Nordic or non-EU/EEA country, you will either complete your residency paper work through a Danish embassy abroad prior to arriving or start the process here.
If you have your residence permit letter already in hand, you can go straight to the Citizens Service office to apply for your CPR number and yellow health card. If you do not, you must visit the immigration office at either Aalborg police station or Holstebro police station (only for residents of Morsø or Thisted municipalities) first and then go to the Citizen Service office. Once you have received your residence permit, you may then apply for your CPR number and a health security certificate at the Citizens Service office.
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.
For more information regarding permanent residence and the requirements click here.
European law dictates that as an EU citizen you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence in another EU country if you have lived there legally for at least 5 consecutive years. For more information regarding this click here.
You can then apply for a permanent residence document, which confirms your right to live permanently in the country, without any conditions. Once you request this document, your country of residence must issue it as soon as possible and at a price no higher than that which nationals pay for identity cards.
Click here to find the application form for EU citizens who wish to request their permanent residence document.
As a Nordic citizen, you are not required to register for the right to residence in Denmark or any of the other Nordic countries.
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.
Requirements for receiving Danish citizenship
To qualify for Danish citizenship you will need to meet a strict set of requirements.There is little guidance available in English to help you with your application, so you may need to ask a Dane for help with translations.
The basic requirements for citizenship are similar to those for permanent residency, with the addition of a citizenship test:
- You must make a declaration of loyalty and allegiance to Denmark;
- You must hold a valid permanent residence permit (limited exceptions apply);
- You must have lived in Denmark for 9 consecutive years; this may be reduced if you meet certain conditions, such as marriage to a Danish citizen or completion of an education in Denmark;
- You must not have committed a crime or been imprisoned for a serious offense for a certain period of time;
- You must not be in debt to the public;
- You must prove that you can support yourself and have not claimed state benefits for 4.5 years out of the previous 5 in Denmark;
- You must prove your language skills by passing Danish Test 3 (‘Prøve i Dansk 3’) or the equivalent (or have been self-sufficient for 8.5 of the last 9 years);
- You must pass the Danish citizenship test with a score of at least 80%;
- Among other requirements.
There are some exceptions to these requirements, and you should consider carefully whether you fulfill the criteria before applying. A more detailed explanation of all of these can be found on the Ministry of Justice website here. Please note that this information is only available in Danish.
How to apply
The application form can be found by clicking here (this will redirect you to the Ministry of Justice.)
You will need to include the following documentation with your application:
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of your permanent residence permit
- Original or certified copy (signed and stamped by issuing party) of your Danish language exam results
- Original or certified copy (signed and stamped by issuing party) of your Citizenship exam results
- Completed form on self-sufficiency, found and completed at your local Citizens’ Service.
- Documentation on parental responsibility, if you wish to include your children in your application.
Once you have completed the application, you will need to submit it to the police station where you live. You will have to pay a fee of 1000kr when you apply.
The current processing time from when the Ministry of Justice receives your application until you are approved to be included on the Naturalisation Bill is around 14 – 16 months. The Ministry of Justice is working to reduce this waiting time to 7 months. Nevertheless, expect the application process to take a long time.
Be aware that if you are beginning your application now and the law changes, you will be required to meet the latest requirements.
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.
Note that this is only permissible if your other nationality allows for dual citizenship.
The application process for Danish citizenship is described in the above section.
If you have been given Danish citizenship through an Act of Naturalization since December 2012 on the condition that you renounce your previous citizenship, you can apply to have this condition removed. This is done by making a declaration to the State Administration (‘Statsforvaltningen’). The declaration must be made between 01 September 2015 and 31 August 2017.
When you submit the declaration you must pay a fee of 1100 kr. The declaration is not yet available online but will be made available soon.
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.
It is crucial that you apply for your CPR number as soon as possible after your arrival in North Denmark (see details about this above in ‘temporary residence’).
The ID card that states your CPR number also gives you access to health care and contains your postal address, as well as the general practitioner to which you are assigned. Although your photo is not on the card, it functions in many cases as an ID card in Denmark.
If you move from one place to another in Denmark, you must go to the Citizen Service office and apply for a new one. This does not cost any money. It takes approximately two weeks to get the card after applying.
Denmark is one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world and, in November 2014, 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.
The first thing you need in order to access digital post is NemID, which consists of a unique user ID, a password, and a code from a code card you receive once you have registered. (The code card is a small laminated card – the size of a credit card – that you receive in the mail and has a list of 6-digit numerical, one-time codes.)
There are three ways to get NemID: through your bank, at the Citizens Service office, or online. If you have a bank account in Denmark (see below) and money from an employer (salary) or any type of public benefit that is deposited in your account, you already have NemID. (It’s what you need to sign into online banking, too.) Please note that if you are able to access your bank account online using NemID but find that you cannot access your information via public authorities, you will need to attach a public digital signature to your NemID in order to do so. You can do this online here (available only to those with a Danish passport or Danish driver’s license) or visit the Citizens Service office in person.
Please note that to use NemID you will need the latest version of Java on your computer; signing into a webpage via NemID only works with the most recent version, which is updated periodically.
Digital Post / E-boks
Armed with your NemID and public digital signature, you can register to access your digital mailbox either through borger.dk or e-boks.dk. In fact, it is e-Boks.dk that runs the Digital Post system in Denmark but you, as an individual, can access your digital mailbox through either site. (Please note, however, that only e-boks.dk has information and help in English; you can find it by scrolling to the bottom of the homepage and changing the language to English.) Once you have registered, you’re set up to send and receive mail from the government, regional and municipal authorities, the tax authorities (‘SKAT’), as well as correspondence from your bank, internet provider, insurance company, etc. if you so choose.
The Digital Post system is easy to use once you set up your mailbox. It operates like many email services with a simple interface. You can also sign up to receive notifications via email and/or SMS each time you receive mail in your digital mailbox in order to ensure that you do not miss any important correspondence.
The Danish government recognizes that some people will have difficulty accessing and/or using mail electronically. You may qualify for an exemption from the use of digital post if you:
- Do not have access to a computer with adequate Internet connection in your place of residence
- Have a physical or cognitive disability that prevents you from receiving digital mail
- Are registered as having left Denmark (and are thus not covered under the law)
- Are homeless
- Have language difficulties
- Have practical difficulties in obtaining NemID
However, in order to be exempt from registering for Digital Post, you must visit your municipality’s citizen services, and sign a form indicating which of the exemptions applies to you, and show identification. [Please note: even if you qualify for one of the exemptions, notifications about state-paid salaries and state education support (SU) payments will only be made digitally; contact the SU authorities about the latter if you wish to be exempt from receiving SU-related correspondence by Digital Post.]
Many of the exemptions will be temporary; it is expected that language barriers and access to Internet, for example, can be overcome. Therefore, such exemptions will only apply from the date you register for the exemption until 1 November of the second calendar year after registration. Permanent exemptions, such as a disability, dementia, etc., will be recognized as such by the public authorities.
For more information about Digital Post in other languages, visit this webpage and scroll down to ‘Digital Post in other languages.’
In order to open a bank account in Denmark, you should take with you to the bank of your choice:
- Your CPR number
- A form of identification (passport, national identity card, etc.)
- Proof of address in Denmark, and
- Either a work contract or letter showing you have been admitted to an educational institution.
Accompanying spouses who do not have a job and are not enrolled in an educational program can open an account with their employed spouse.
While you will be issued with a cash/debit card when you open your account, most banks will only issue to individuals who can show a steady stream of income or other financial means what is called a ‘Visa/DanKort,’ which functions as a debit card in Denmark and as a credit card abroad. The DanKort is accepted universally in Denmark, in contrast to purely Visa or MasterCard debit cards, which are accepted by the majority of – but not all – merchants. It is difficult to get a DanKort when first moving to Denmark, as you have to prove that the money coming into your account is sufficient to pay your expenses. It can be especially difficult for international students to obtain one.
Denmark is rapidly becoming a cashless society. Not only are cards the most popular way to pay for goods and services, the use of a mobile phone app to make payments is also growing in popularity. There are a couple of apps on the market: the most widely used as of 2015 is MobilePay. While the app was created by Danske Bank, users of any bank in Denmark can download and use it. Another is called Swipp, which all bank users can use. DanKort is also changing their system to make it possible to simply swipe the card over a ‘station,’ thereby debiting the amount of any purchase.
Located at the State Administration office is also a service called International Citizen Service (ICS). The ICS that serves North Denmark is based in Aalborg, and it 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 limited opening hours each week:
Tuesdays from 08:00 to 12:00
Thursdays from 12:00 to 16:00
You can get your CPR number there instead of going to the Aalborg municipality Citizen Service office (only available to residents of Aalborg.) All international citizens are welcome to use the services of the other public organizations (Aalborg municipality, Workindenmark, and SKAT) that are part of the ICS office.
Click here for more information about International Citizens Service.
State Administration (Statsforvaltningen) – North Denmark office
Entrance (‘Opgang’) A
Tel +45 72 56 70 00
Monday: 8:00 to 15:00
Tuesday: 8:00 to 15:00
Wednesday: 8:00 to 15:00
Thursday: 12:00 to 15:00
Friday: 8:00 to 15:00
Monday – Wednesday: 8:00 to 12:00
Thursday: 12:00 to 15:00
Friday: 08:00 to 12:00
Aalborg Citizens Service office (‘Borgerservice’)
Tel +45 99 31 18 00
Monday & Tuesday: 9:30 to 14:30
Thursday: 9:30 to 17:00
Friday: 9:30 to 14:00
Monday to Wednesday: 9:30 to 14:30
Thursday: 9:30 to 17:00
Friday: 9:30 to 14:00
For contact information, opening hours, and websites of the other 10 municipalities in North Denmark, click our page here.
Immigration office (‘Udlændingeafsnittet‘) at Aalborg Police Station (‘Politiet’)
Tel +45 96 30 14 02
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 to 14:00
Friday: 8:00 to 12:00
Monday – Friday: 09:00 to 12:00
Immigration office (‘Udlændingeafsnittet’) at Holstebro Police Station (‘Politiet’)
Tel +45 96 14 14 48
Open for phone and in-person inquiries:
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday kl. 10:00 – 17:00
Friday kl. 10:00 – 14:00