What is the first thing a tourist needs before setting off to a new land? A visa. Unlike old times, when the Earth belonged to everyone, now you have to “ask for a permission” to enter a certain territory. This applies to all countries, although some of them have privileges.
The Schengen Agreement, which was signed in 1985, makes a big part of the European territory one single country, with no internal borders. This means that there is only visa for all Schengen member countries, i.e. the Schengen visa. Once you enter a country, which is a member of the Agreement, you can freely move to another state inside the Schengen area, without applying for a new visa. The member countries of this Agreement include Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Luxemburg, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Iceland.
Obtaining a Danish visa can be either very easy or very difficult, depending on the country of your citizenship. From this point, applicants can be grouped into two categories, Shengen citizens and non-Shengen citizens. If you are in the first group, breath out and pack your things. If you belong to the second category . . . gather your strength and energy, as you have some paperwork to do.
It comes without saying that if you are a citizen of one of the countries mentioned above, you don’t need a visa to visit Denmark and can already start to plan your trip. There is one exception though. This criterion refers to tourists only. If your plans are long-term, say, you have intentions of permanently moving to, working or studying in Denmark, you will need a residence and/or work permit. Unfortunately, those in possession of a Schengen visa cannot work or stay in the country more than 3 months (90 days).
Despite the border simplicity of the Shengen area, you will need your passport or an ID card on your way to Denmark (or the rest of Shengen countries). When driving, there usually won’t be necessities to show your passport or prove your identity. This will happen occasionally (when stopped by a police officer, when refused the entry, etc). However, boundary control is always carried out at the arrival and departure points. It is important to remember that an ID card accepted in your country might not work on the border. Driving license, bank/tax card, and such documents are not enough for proving your identity. The ID card must be issued by legal authorities.
Be attentive: not all EU Member States have signed the Schengen agreement, and not all members of the Schengen zone are members of the European Union. If you travel to one Schengen country to another, but your trip lies through a transit point outside of the Schengen area, you need to about visa requirements for the given point. In some cases, you will need an additional transit visa.
Denmark seems to appreciate its neighbors very much, as all Nordic citizens (Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland) can enter the Danish Kingdom without a visa. Moreover they can live, work, and study in Denmark whenever they wish. Others have to sweat a little more.
There are some differences related to the USA. Although the US is not located in Schengen are, its citizens can travel to Denmark without a visa and enjoy this country up to 3 months. Although Denmark is included in the Schengen area, two of its islands are not. Tourist will have to apply for separate visas for Greenland and Faeroes.
If your country is not included in the Schengen area, you can still enter it without a visa if you’re home country has an agreement with the country you plan to travel to. The list of 42 Non-Schengen countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Romania, South Korea, United States, Vatican, Venezuela, and so on. This was only the partial list. Always check the list before traveling, as changes might have been made.
If you live in Russia, Ukraine, India, or China and want to travel to Denmark as a tourist, find out some information about travel agencies in your country that have visa arrangements with the Danish Immigration Service. Danish visas are usually obtained easier through those travel agencies. Some Russian and Ukrainian hotel chains also have visa arrangements.
If your visa expires while you continue enjoying Denmark, make sure to extend it. Otherwise you might not be given a Schengen visa for 3 years (at the best).
The Danish visa application must be filed approximately 12 weeks before your trip. Of course, this also depends on the Danish embassy in your home country. In some countries delays are more than common.
Crossing a border inside the Schengen is usually a very simple procedure. Boundary control is quite relaxed in all countries, but there can always be exceptions.
In case of Denmark, there are not many boundary controls if you are driving, as there is water all around this country. This is why arriving to Denmark on plane is much more common. Airports always carry a passport checkup, so make sure you have all the necessary documents with you.
If the officials working at the border think you’re a potential threat to the public policy, security, or health of their country, they must have some real good reasons.
You must be provided with those reasons, attention, in written form, which will also include information about appealing the decision (how and when?).
If you have for some reasons been refused an entry, solve the issue as soon as you get back to your country. One entry refusal can cause further refusals not only to that specific country, but other Schengen countries as well.
Long term visas, i.e. temporary residence permits allow foreigners to stay in Denmark longer than 3 months. It also gives permission to live, work, and study in Denmark. Unlike the Danish visa, which is the same for all countries of Schengen area, the residence permit given in Denmark and for Denmark is not valid outside it.
This means that Danish temporary and permanent residence permits act like a Schengen visa outside Denmark. You can to any other country in the Schengen are, provided you possess the requirements for the Schengen visa. These requirements include hotel reservations or lodging certificates, proof for your current financial state, and so on.
If you travel in Europe with your Danish residence card, however, you will have to comply with Schengen visa time restrains, i.e. your visit should not last longer than 90 days. In this regard, those holding a Danish residence permit are lucky, because it is much flexible than in other countries. If you received your permit in your home country, you can travel to any other Schengen country (as long as you follow visa requirements) before entering Denmark.
Countries like Germany give a National Visa (attention, this visa doesn’t grant access to other Schengen countries), so you can travel to Germany and get your residence permit there. Remember that the Danish residence permit will not allow you to work, live, and study in anther Schengen country.
Residence permit can be issued by the Danish Immigration Service in Copenhagen. Make sure to apply for the permit at least 5 months earlier, as the application process usually takes very long.
Everyone except the citizens of Nordic countries, i.e. Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Norway, need a residence permit to stay in Denmark for more than 3 moths.
The temporary residence permit usually lasts for a year, but you can regularly extend it. After four years of temporary residence, you can apply for permanent residence permit, for which you will have to demonstrate your records in active citizenship, some fundamental and supplementary requirements worth certain points. As you collect those points while in Denmark, your chances to get a permanent residence permit increase.
You should contact the Danish Embassy in your home country for more information.
Schengen agreement – 1985.
Schengen area – 25 European countries, (Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Luxemburg, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Iceland).
Schengen area privileges – no visa required, residence/work permit necessary to live, work, or study in Denmark.
Non-Schengen area – short term visa or residence permit required.
Short-term Schengen Visa – duration up to 3 months (90 days).
Citizens with free-visa entry – Swedish, Finish, Norwegian, Icelanders.
Countries with visa arrangements – Russia, Ukraine, India, China
Types of residence permits – temporary and permanent