Become part of Danish society through voluntary work

Denmark has a long standing tradition for volunteer work. There are thousands and thousands of voluntary organisations all throughout Denmark, and about 40% of all Danes volunteer. If you are new in Denmark and want to learn about the Danish society while expanding your social network, then voluntary work is a great place to start.

Be aware of the rules for voluntary work according to your status

If you do not have Danish citizenship, then you have to be aware of whether or not you are allowed to participate in volunteer work in Denmark. What and how much volunteer work you can engage in depends on which terms you have for staying in Denmark. The  voluntary work you engage in have to be a type of voluntary activity that does not replace work that would normally be paid. If you do not meet the requirements you may receive a fine along with a quarantine from seeking permanent residence permit in Denmark.

Therefore, we always advise you to consult either the caseworker assigned to you, the municipality in which you reside, the Danish Immigration Service or the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI). In this way, you can make sure your voluntary engagement is not in violation of the rules for your residence status in Denmark. It is your own responsibility that you comply with the rules correctly.

NOTE!: Since 10th June 2018 a new bill amending parts of the Danish Aliens Act have been in effect. It has widened the framework for volunteering for people without citizenship residing in Denmark. Earlier these people where not allowed to participate in non-sanctioned volunteer work, and if they did they could be fined as well as be quarantined from applying for permanent residency for 15 years; the volunteer organisations could earlier likewise be fined for employing non-citizens without the proper clearances. The voluntary work must not replace otherwise normally paid work and must be an activity which usually is performed voluntary and without pay. 

Overview: The rights of aliens to participate in volunteer work in Denmark

The Danish Immigration Service (SIRI) has made an overview of the specific rights to participate in voluntary work in Denmark according to the Aliens Act. The overview lists specific types of basis for residence and what the right to partake in voluntary work is. has translated the text in to English from a Danish document published by the The Danish Immigration Service in March 2019 – are not responsible for the validity of the information and the following should only be viewed as guidelines. It is your own responsibility at any time that you comply with the valid, existing rules correctly.

The overview of the rights to volunteer in English and the original overview in Danish.

SIRI has has also published guidelines and a brochure on the generel limitations of a work permit - Find more information here.

Do you want to know more?

You can find more information about which rules you need to adhere to on the official portal for foreigners, who wants to visit, live or work in Denmark.

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