Preparing to relocate to Denmark and AU

Moving to a new country raises a lot of questions and requires various preparations. Below you can read more about the different areas we recommend that you investigate before your arrival to Denmark.

Housing search

The rental market can be quite competitive. Therefore, we recommend that you acquaint yourself with the rental market and that you start looking for accommodation in due time (minimum 2-3 months) before your arrival to Denmark.

Information about housing options:

Permissions to reside and work in Denmark

Permissions to reside and work in Denmark depend on your nationality. If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you need a work and residence permit to work in Denmark. You need to apply for the work and residence permit before you come to Denmark. 

As a staff member, you will typically fall into one of the following permit categories:

  1. Researcher
  2. PhD student
  3. Guest research / guest PhD student

Accompanying family members are eligible for a Danish residence permit to accompany a researcher, PhD student or guest PhD student, if the person holds a valid residence and work permit.

The following people fall into the category of accompanying family:

  • Spouses 
  • Registered partners or cohabiting partners
  • Children under the age of 18 who are living at home

Read more about permissions to reside and work in Denmark

Documents to bring

Documents to register in Denmark

There are several documents you need to register in Denmark. The documents must be the original or authorized translations into German, English or a Scandinavian language: 

  • Marriage certificate. Please remember to bring your marriage certificate, even if your partner is not accompanying you to Denmark. Also note that marriage certificates from some countries need to be apostille certified. 
  • Birth certificates for accompanying children
  • Documentation of place of birth (if not stated in passport)
  • Divorce certificate/death certificate (widow(er)) 
  • Documentation for changes of name 

Read more about registration upon arrival

Documents to drive in Denmark

If you wish to drive in Denmark and hold a non-EU/EEA driving licence, you need to exchange your current licence for a Danish one within 180 days. To exchange your driving licence, you must bring your current driving licence on which the date of issue of the driving licence must be stated.

If the date of issue of your current driving licence does not appear on the driving licence, you must bring a confirmation from the country in which the licence is issued stating when your first driving licence was issued.

Read more about exchange of driving licence on our on-arrival page

Other recommended documents:

  • Insurance documents (you need to take out private travel insurance to cover you until you register for a CPR number)

Read more about private insurance on our on-arrival page

US citizens only:

  • Social security card (a requirement by FATCA to open a Danish bank account)

Read more about opening a bank account on our money and banking page

Bank account

Danish banks are required to do a lot of safety checks to avoid fraud. This means that opening an account can take up to 3-4 weeks or even more. Therefore, you should make sure that you can support yourself financially for the first month of your stay.

It is straight forward to open a bank account if you have a Danish Civil Registration Number (CPR number). To open a bank account in Denmark, you need a CPR number, which is issued once you have become a resident. Therefore, you cannot open an account as a non-resident. Normally it takes around a week to become a resident and on top of that the 3-4 weeks to open an account. 

Read more about the process to open a bank account

Pension schemes

International academic staff members have 3 different options of pension scheme:

  • Ordinary Pension Contributions Scheme - option for all international staff members employed according to the collective agreement for academics 
  • International Pension Scheme according to Section 53 A of the Pension Taxation Act - option for some academic staff members employed in accordance with the collective agreement for academics
  • Pension Exemption (pension contribution paid out as salary) for a period of maximum 5 years - option for some international researchers employed by the university on a fixed term contract

You need to decide which scheme you wish to be on before starting your work at Aarhus University.

Your pension fund can answer questions about the different schemes.  

Read more about pension on the HR Portal

Tax schemes

As an AU researcher you will have your choice of taxation scheme depending on certain factors and your personal preference. To choose, you need to discuss the terms with your HR supporter.

Read more about the researcher taxation scheme on the HR Portal


Before coming to Denmark, we advise you to make sure that you are covered by private healthcare until you register in Denmark. EU citizens should bring their blue EU health insurance card. 

Everyone residing in Denmark for more than three months has the right to become a resident and receive national health service treatment for free. This means that as soon as you are a registered resident and have a Civil Registration Number (CPR number), you have the same rights to medical treatment as Danish citizens. 

Read more about healthcare on 


We recommend that you take out private travel insurance to cover you until you have registered in Denmark. You cannot take out a Danish private insurance until you have registered with a Danish address and received a Civil Registration Number (CPR number). 

Read more about insurance

Import of goods and pets

Denmark has certain taxation and custom rules for importing goods, and rules and requirements if you wish to bring animal products or a pet with you to Denmark.

Read about the rules on what you can bring into Denmark and the amount of tax and customs to pay: - Travelling outside the EU - Travelling within the EU

Read more about the rules on import of animals and animal products:

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration – Import of food

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration – Travelling with pet animals

Moving your personal belongings

Custom regulations 

If you move to Denmark, your personal belongings may be introduced duty-free. You are not liable to pay VAT if you meet the conditions that apply.

Read more about custom regulations on the website of the The Danish Customs Agency

Moving companies

There are many moving companies that you can choose from, and here are a few suggestions. 

Travelling to Aarhus

Aarhus University has made an overview of different travel options when travelling to Aarhus.  

See the Getting to Aarhus and Aarhus University page

Accompanying family members


If you bring children with you to Denmark, we will be happy to assist you with information and guidance about childcare options, school enrolment, language tuition etc.

Read more under Children

Accompanying partner

The Expat Partner Programme (EPP) can assist your accompanying partner with all aspects of the transition to a new life and career in Denmark from the moment you have been recruited. 

The EPP is for international partners to academic staff at AU from postdoc level and above.

Read more about the Expat Partner Programme

Learning Danish

If you or your accompanying partner wish to learn Danish before coming to Denmark, Aarhus University collaborates with several language schools hat provide pre-arrival Danish courses or online platforms. Below you see the different options. 

Pre-arrival online Danish course with CLAVIS

CLAVIS provides an 8-week online course for new international employees and accompanying partners at Aarhus University. The course gives you the opportunity to kick-start and train your Danish before arrival and get the best possible start in Denmark.

For more information and signing up please contact: 

IT Pedagogical Department Manager, Jeppe Vetterli Sjøgren at

Pre-arrival online Danish

Pre-arrival online course with Sprogcenter Midt

Sprogcenter Midt provides a Pre-Arrival online course for newcomers. The course gives you: 

  • Vocabulary, dialogues and pronunciation for your first conversations in Danish,
  • Indispensable knowledge on how Danish culture and values differentiate from the rest of Europe 
  • Valuable tips to a good life in Denmark from internationals who have experienced being a newcomer themselves.  

Sign up for the Pre-Arrival online course whenever you are ready. When signing up, you gain three months of access to a unique platform where you can practice all you need.

Find more information on the Sprogcenter Midt Pre-Arrival page

Pre-arrival Danish digital learning platform with A2B

Gear up for your new life in Denmark with A2B’s online Pre-Arrival portal.

A2B's Pre-Arrival portal offers video clips and self-correcting assignments to give you a head start on your Danish journey.

  • Start learning Danish with introductions to the Danish language
  • Learn more about life and culture in Denmark
  • Get to know the region you will be living in and other regions in Denmark

Future AU international staff and accompanying spouses can access the online self-study Danish course for free for 1 month.

Get answers to your questions:

  • E-mail:
  • Phone: +45 2488 4815

Further information

For further information about Danish courses at Aarhus University for AU staff and accompanying partners, feel free to contact Anne P. Langer:

Read more about Danish courses at Aarhus University  

Employment at AU Intro Webinar

AU HR twice a year organize a webinar about employment conditions for new staff members at Aarhus University. Watch the recording of the latest webinar below.