Moving to Denmark from the US
If you’re thinking about moving to Denmark, then you’ll be in for a treat – it’s by far one of the most welcoming countries in the world. There are plenty of reasons to make the move, including a world-class healthcare system, free (and excellent) education options, and a staggeringly beautiful natural environment.
But there’s a lot you’ll need to research before you make your decision, and some factors will depend on whether you're moving to Denmark alone or with family and/or pets.
In any case, we’ve got you covered with our complete guide on moving to Denmark from the US, diving into everything you’ll need to know. And if you’ve already made up your mind, then you can always fill in this form to get started with your move!
For free shipping quotes, simply answer a few short questions via the link above and our expert team will do the rest. We’ll pass on your details to our trusted suppliers and they’ll then get in touch with a few quotes for you to compare.
The beautiful streets of Copenhagen, lined with cute colourful houses.
Cost of shipping to Denmark
Thankfully, shipping to Denmark isn’t that difficult, with many ports more than capable of accepting large freight ships.
To help give you an idea of the cost of shipping to Denmark, we’ve created a handy table with the average rates of shipping from either New York or Los Angeles. The rates below were sourced from CEVA Logistics, and are based on the port-to-port transportation of a 20 ft container of used furniture worth $40,000 (the typical value of the contents of a three-bedroom home).
We sourced the shipping duration from Searates.com, but please bear in mind that these are estimates only, and not a guarantee that your shipment will arrive in the times included below.
|New York to Aarhus||$789||17-31 days|
|Los Angeles to Aarhus||$2,417||30-50 days|
Please note: these container shipping costs exclude typical add-ons such as door-to-door delivery, professional packing/unpacking, and basic insurance cover. Our shipping suppliers normally incorporate these services into their prices, so expect some discrepancy between the rates given here and the quotes you receive. These estimates should be used as an indication only. Data up to date as of December 2021.
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Cost of flying goods to Denmark from the US
If you need to get your belongings to Denmark fast, then flying might be the best option. Though, as is usually the case with added convenience, you should expect to pay more than you would to ship your items via freight.
Take a look at the prices for flying goods from the US to Denmark in the table below.
As with shipping costs, these figures come from CEVA Logistics, and they’re based on 250 kg of household goods (typically valued at around $40,000). We’ve outlined the average cost of flying goods from both New York and Los Angeles to Cophenhagen.
|New York to Copenhagen||$675||9 hours 25 minutes|
|Los Angeles to Copenhagen||$865||11 hours 40 minutes|
|Houston to Copenhagen||$725||10 hours 53 minutes|
Healthcare in Denmark
Denmark’s healthcare is exemplary, with all Danish residents having access to excellent options which are mostly free. These options are available with a state health insurance card, otherwise known as ‘the yellow health card’. It’s completely accessible by expats as well, but we’d still recommend getting health insurance just in case.
This is why we’ve partnered with Cigna Global, to give expats such as yourself access to comprehensive healthcare plans wherever they choose to move. Start building a customized plan today by simply filling in a few details about yourself and where you’re moving to, and you’ll receive a personalized quote shortly after.
To read more about healthcare in Denmark, check out our helpful guide here.
Denmark's coastline is breathtaking – whether it's on a crisp chilly morning or a hot summers day
Cost of living in Denmark
How much it costs to live in Denmark will of course vary depending on where you are, but to make things simpler we’re using Copenhagen as a benchmark.
Please note that this is just a rough overview of what you might expect to pay in Denmark:
|Furnished accommodation in city center (900 sqft) ||DKK13,205 ($1,987.72)|
|Meal for two at a typical restaurant in city center||DKK400 ($59.79)|
|Monthly ticket for public transport||DKK598 ($89.60)|
|One pint of beer||DKK50 ($7.09)|
|One liter of milk||DKK11 ($1.22)|
|12 large eggs||DKK38 ($5.29)|
|A monthly gym subscription||DKK251 ($37.36)|
|One liter of gas||DKK12 ($1.37)|
|One bottle of red wine||DKK81 ($11.76)|
Source: Numbeo (2020)
Transferring money to Denmark from the US
Before you move to Denmark, you’ll need to sort out your finances and convert some of it into Danish Krone (abbreviated to DKK).
It’s a good idea to compare money transfer services first before going to your local bank, because oftentimes the latter’s rates will be substantially higher.
To help you out, we’ve done the legwork and researched the best money exchange services around. Take a look at our expert ratings and find the best money transfer provider here.
Working in Denmark
One thing we’ll say from the get-go about working in Denmark is that work-life balance is very important to the Danes. If you’re used to working well past closing time, then Denmark will be a welcome break!
In fact, Denmark’s dedication to an informal working culture contributes to it being one of the happiest countries in the world. The Danes also cling fondly to their concept of ‘hygge’, which translates roughly to a sense of coziness and togetherness. This is very apparent in their work environments, as everyone bands together to make work feel less like… well, work.
Don’t worry too much about becoming fluent in Danish either, as English is commonly spoken at work. Though if you can pick up a few words here and there, we’re sure it’ll be appreciated!
Getting a work visa for Denmark
Applying for a work visa for Denmark is a relatively easy process, but there are a few things you’ll need to obtain before doing so. These include:
- A written offer for work (cannot be more than 30 days old)
- Educational diplomas and/or qualifications to prove work eligibility
- A copy of a valid passport
- Danish authorization (only needed if required for the job, for example if you enter a regulated field such as medicine or law)
If your future place of work has offered to complete the application process for you, you will need to hand them what is known as power of attorney. You can fill in the power of attorney form here.
Afterwards, you need to pay the visa fee (but again, this might be covered by your employer and you should check with them beforehand). Then, after submitting the relevant documents (see the bullet points above), you must submit the work visa application form.
The form will differ depending on your type of employment, with the most common visa application forms being:
- The AR1 online – this type is filled in by both yourself and your employer. The employer must fill in the first part, wherein they will receive a password they will send to you, which you’ll then use to fill in the second stage of the form.
- The AR6 online – if you’ve given your employer power of attorney, they will fill in this form in its entirety.
The final step is to submit your biometrics, which means having your picture taken and your fingerprints recorded at a Danish diplomatic mission abroad.
Congratulations! All you need to do now is wait for a response. The response time can differ according to whether or not you chose a fast-track visa.
Average salary in Denmark
On average, people working in Denmark can expect to earn around DKK40,600 ($6,144.54) each month. Annually, salaries in Denmark average at around DKK488,000 ($73,866.23).
This will obviously vary between industries, so we’ve included a few average annual salaries across different roles in the table below, using Copenhagen as a benchmark:
|Job||Average salary in Copenhagen|
|Mobile developer||DKK666,522 ($100,871.82)|
|Project manager||DKK521,453 ($78,910.15)|
|Office manager||DKK498,132 ($75,381.02)|
|Administrative assistant||DKK455,463 ($68,950.75)|
Data from Wise (2020)
Income tax in Denmark
Firstly, Denmark's extensive welfare system is primarily funded by income taxes. Sick benefits, health insurance, maternity (and paternity) leave, injury insurance and more are all funded by income tax.
Secondly, in order to qualify for these benefits, you must have a minimum period of residence in the country. But how are foreigners taxed in Denmark?
It depends on your type of residency. If you're working in Denmark for more than six months, you'd qualify for full tax liability. If you still live in your home country but regularly travel to Denmark to work, you'd qualify for limited tax liability.
Basically, if you move to Denmark permanently, you'll be paying more tax on your income. Income tax is quite high in Denmark, with the average Dane paying around 45%. This might seem off-putting at first, but high salaries compensate for it.
Job hunting in Denmark
Finding a job can be a challenging experience, but there are few good websites to help you get started:
Climate in Denmark
Denmark’s climate follows a pattern typical of the region, with cold winters and mild summers. It’s not quite as cold as the other Scandinavian countries though, thanks to the impact of the ocean on its weather patterns.
Because it’s surrounded by the ocean, Denmark has reasonably high humidity levels and a good deal of clouds, rain, and wind. One thing to be aware of is that Denmark is often affected by the Siberian High in the winter, which can cause temperatures to plummet to -20°C (4°F).
Does it snow in Denmark?
Yes, but again, less than you’d expect from a Scandinavian country. Denmark experiences between 20 and 25 days of snowfall, with January and February seeing the most.
Because Denmark is quite flat, snow distribution is pretty even, though Copenhagen does see a bit more snow than other urban areas. There are some ski resorts, but don’t expect anything like the Alps – instead, you’ll usually see either manmade ramps or small hillsides.
The best places to live in Denmark
Denmark has plenty to offer expats, wherever you choose to settle. We’ll make it a little easier to choose with our list of the top spots for expats.
Copenhagen: best for work opportunities
There’s no denying it: Copenhagen is an expensive city to live in. But with those high prices comes high salaries, and that makes working in Copenhagen an attractive prospect for many expats. Especially if you’re a skilled worker.
Copenhagen has tons to offer outside of work opportunities, with many fascinating cultural attractions including the excellent Viking museum and the Tivoli Gardens amusement park (perfect for a family day out).
Aarhus: best for culture
The second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is packed to the brim with art galleries. It’s also significantly more affordable than Copenhagen, but of course that means the average salary is lower.
That won’t matter too much when you're spending time walking about this beautiful city though – be sure to go for a stroll along the canal, which is lined with cafés, restaurants, and attractive architecture.
Aalborg: best for education
Aalborg is Denmark’s university city, with all the buzz and entertainment you’d expect from a large student population. It’s got plenty more to offer though, with some sublime waterfronts and an excellent dining scene.
It’s a great city to live in if you want to explore wider Scandinavia, too. You can easily catch a flight to destinations like Oslo and Gothenburg, plus Copenhagen is only a short journey as well.
7 quick facts about Denmark
- Denmark’s flag is the oldest in the world
- There is no Danish word for ‘please’
- Mountains are nonexistent in this flat country
- Over 50% of the population cycles to work
- LEGO® was invented in Denmark
- There are 444 islands, but only 76 are inhabited
- Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex unions
For more information on Denmark, check out our guide on the 21 things you need to know before moving to Denmark!
That’s it for our overview on moving to Denmark from the US – hopefully you’ve got a clearer picture on what it's like to live in one of the happiest countries in the world!
The next step is to start thinking about moving your stuff over to Denmark, and we can help.
All you need to do to get started is answer a few simple questions on this quick form. We’ll put your answers together and pass them on to our suppliers, who’ll get in touch with quotes for you to compare in no time at all. How easy is that?