Start-up Denmark Visa Scheme

SUPPORT MECHANISM:

An entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, which can contribute to growth and new employment in Denmark, can be granted a residence and work permit in order to operate an independent company in Denmark. A residence and work permit under the Start-up Denmark scheme is granted for a maximum of two years with the possibility of extension for three years at a time. A maximum of 50 permits are available each year.

IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES:

The policy was designed and is implemented in collaboration between the Danish Business Authority (under the Ministry of Business and Growth) and the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (under the Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing).

Timeline:

Start-up Denmark is a visa scheme launched by the Danish Government to allow talented entrepreneurs to relocate and grow high-impact start-ups in Denmark. Rooted in immigration law, the legislative framework behind the scheme went into force on 1 January 2015, where it was opened for applicants. Start-up Denmark will run for an experimental period of 3 years, i.e. until and including 2017, after which it will be evaluated and, possibly, extended and/or refined depending on the results achieved.

Application is a two-step process. First, the startup must submit a business plan for evaluation with an independent expert panel. Then, if the panel approves the proposed plan, the entrepreneur can apply for a residence and work permit. As of April 2016, +300 entrepreneurs have applied, +70 of these have been approved by the panel, and +20 have received a work and residence permit.

MONITORING + EVALUATION METHODS

By the end of 2017 Start-up Denmark’s impact is expected to be measured in terms of the number and quality (indicated by revenue growth and job creation) of approved startups, which have set up a company in Denmark.

RESULTS:

Start-up Denmark remains to be subject to thorough evaluation. However, it is considered satisfactory that +300 international entrepreneurs (as of April 2016) have applied, and that +20 high-quality entrepreneurs have been granted a work and residence under the scheme.

CHALLENGES + LESSONS TO DATE:

As a 3-year experimental scheme launched in 2015, Start-up Denmark has just recently shifted from implementation to operation. Therefore, it is currently not possible to draw clear conclusions with regards to learnings, pitfalls and potentials.

NOTES + ADDITIONAL CONTEXT:

Start-up Denmark is a visa scheme launched by the Danish Government to allow talented entrepreneurs to relocate and grow high-impact start-ups in Denmark. Rooted in immigration law, the legislative framework behind the scheme went into force on 1 January 2015, where it was opened for applicants. Start-up Denmark will run for an experimental period of 3 years, i.e. until and including 2017, after which it will be evaluated and, possibly, extended and/or refined depending on the results achieved.

Application is a two-step process. First, the startup must submit a business plan for evaluation with an independent expert panel. Then, if the panel approves the proposed plan, the entrepreneur can apply for a residence and work permit. As of April 2016, +300 entrepreneurs have applied, +70 of these have been approved by the panel, and +20 have received a work and residence permit.

An entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, which can contribute to growth and new employment in Denmark, can be granted a residence and work permit in order to operate an independent company in Denmark. A residence and work permit under the Start-up Denmark scheme is granted for a maximum of two years with the possibility of extension for three years at a time. A maximum of 50 permits are available each year.

Start-up Denmark aims to attract highly skilled, innovative, and ideally tech-driven entrepreneurs from third countries, i.e. from outside the European Union/the European Economic Area.

Background of policy, in the context of country’s situation, existing policy framework, etc.

Start-up Denmark was implemented to allow talented entrepreneurs to relocate and grow high-impact start-ups in Denmark. It is founded on the anticipation that this relocation of international talent corresponds to a bran gain for the Danish entrepreneurial ecosystem, which will increase the quality of startups and hence cause a more efficient use of available capital. Ultimately, this will boost economic growth and job creation.

Start-up Denmark is run in partnership between the Danish Business Authority and the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration. Besides that, the Authority serves as secretariat for an independent expert panel used for evaluating applicants’ business plans. The members of this panel are experienced and volunteering consultants recruited from publicly funded regional business development centers.

Please refer to www.startupdenmark.info for more details about business plans are evaluated and how to apply. Information about immigration and work and residence permits is available at www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/coming_to_dk/work/Start-up-denmark/Start-up-denmark.htm.

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