Preparing to relocate to Denmark

We understand that moving always takes a lot of preparation, especially when relocating to a new country. We’d like to help, so we’ve made a list of things it’s worth thinking about before you move to Denmark. If you have any questions, you’re always welcome to get in touch.

Finding accommodation

Aarhus is a popular place to live, so we recommend that you get to know the rental market and start looking for accommodation at least two to three months before you arrive in Denmark.

Information about housing options:

Permission to reside and work in Denmark

Whether you need permission to reside and work in Denmark depends 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 this permit before you come to Denmark. 

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

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

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

The following people fall into the category of accompanying family:

  • Spouses 
  • Registered partners or cohabiting partners
  • Children under the age of 18 who live with their parent(s)

Read more about permission to reside and work in Denmark

Documents you will need

When you register in Denmark

When you register with the authorities in Denmark, you will need the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate 

You need to bring your marriage certificate even if your partner is not accompanying you to Denmark. Please also note that marriage certificates from certain countries need to be apostille certified. 

  • Birth certificates for accompanying children
  • Documentation of your place of birth (if not stated in your passport)
  • Divorce certificate/death certificate (if relevant) 
  • Documentation for changes of name (if relevant)

The documents must be originals or authorised translations into German, English or a Scandinavian language.

Read more about registration upon arrival

If you want to drive in Denmark

If you want 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 of arriving in the country. Your current license must display the date of issue. If it does not, you must bring documentation from the country in which the licence was issued stating when this licence was first issued.

Read more about exchanging your driving licence on our on-arrival page

Until you register for your CPR number in Denmark:

You need to take out private travel insurance to cover you until you register for a CPR number in Denmark. Remember to bring these travel insurance documents with you.

Read more about private insurance on our on-arrival page

If you are a US citizen:

US citizens must remember to bring their social security card, as this is required by FATCA to open a bank account in Denmark.

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

Bank account

Before setting up a bank account, Danish banks are required to perform several safety checks to avoid fraud. This means that opening a bank account in Denmark can take up to four weeks – or even longer. For this reason, please make sure you can support yourself financially for the first month of your stay.

Read more about opening a bank account

Pension schemes

International members of academic staff can choose between three different types of pension scheme:

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

You need to decide which pension scheme you’d like to be on before starting work at Aarhus University. We recommend that you read about the Danish pension system before you choose one of the three schemes. 

Read more about pensions on the HR Portal

Tax schemes

Most people who work or live in Denmark are required to pay tax in Denmark and to register with the Danish Tax Agency.

As an AU researcher, you may choose your taxation scheme depending on certain factors and your personal situation and preferences.

Please discuss the different options with your HR supporter before deciding which tax scheme is right for you.

Read more about  taxation when working or conducting research at Aarhus University


Before moving to Denmark, we recommend that you take out private healthcare insurance to cover you 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 free at the point of delivery. To be covered by the national healthcare system, you need to register as a resident and apply for a Civil Registration Number (CPR number). Until then, it’s important to have private healthcare insurance.

Read more about healthcare on 

Importing goods and pets

Denmark has specific 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 duty you’ll have to pay: - Travelling outside the EU - Travelling within the EU

Read more about the rules on importing 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

Customs regulations 

If you move to Denmark, you can bring your personal belongings without paying customs duty. You are not liable to pay VAT if you meet the conditions that apply.

Read more about customs regulations on the website of the Danish Customs Agency

Moving companies

There are several moving companies that can help you relocate. Here are a few of our suggestions: 

Travelling to Aarhus

Aarhus University has put together an overview of the different ways to travel to Aarhus.

See the Getting to Aarhus and Aarhus University page

Accompanying family members


If you're bringing your children with you to Denmark, we'd be happy to advise you on issues such as childcare options, school enrolment and language tuition.

Read more on the Bringing Children to Denmark page

Accompanying partners

The Expat Partner Programme (EPP) can help your partner with the transition to a new life and career in Denmark from the moment you get your job offer. 

The EPP provides support for accompanying partners of AU's international academic staff 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. Read about the different options below. 

Pre-arrival online Danish course with CLAVIS

CLAVIS provides an eight-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 you arrive so that you can get off to the best possible start in Denmark.

For more information and to sign up, please contact Jeppe Vetterli Sjøgren at CLAVIS:, +45 5386 5399.

Pre-arrival online Danish

Pre-arrival online course with Sprogcenter Midt

Sprogcenter Midt offers a pre-arrival online course for people moving to Denmark. The course includes:

  • Conversational Danish, including vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Insights into Danish culture and values
  • Tips on how to set up a good life in Denmark from internationals who have been newcomers themselves

Sign up for the pre-arrival online course at any point before you arrive in Denmark. When you sign up, you get three months' access to the language-learning platform and an unlimited opportunity to practise your Danish.

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 their accompanying partners can access the online self-study Danish course free of charge for one month.

You are welcome to contact A2B with 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 Pletschette Langer at International Staff Office:

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.