Cross-border workers For Members

Cross-border workers: Who is able to live in Sweden and work in Denmark?

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Cross-border workers: Who is able to live in Sweden and work in Denmark?
A Danish and Swedish flag side by side in Skåne, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Working in Denmark is an attractive proposition for many residents of Skåne at the moment due to the strength of the Danish kroner against the Swedish kronor. But who is actually able to live in one country and work in the other?


Prices in Swedish kronor and Danish kroner tend to be more or less the same in each country, so a coffee that sets you back about 30 kroner in Denmark, would, for example tend to be about 30 kronor in Sweden. 

At the time of writing, 100 Danish kroner were worth 139 Swedish kronor. This means someone earning 30,000 Danish kroner in Denmark is earning considerably more in real terms than they would earning the same salary in Swedish kronor.

Indeed, this is a major draw for many in southern Sweden, who hope to be able to access the labour market in both countries.

As a rule someone living in Sweden and earning a salary in Denmark can get around 30 percent extra in take-home pay. 

However, Denmark's work permit rules mean that this option isn't available to everyone, so make sure you understand the rules if you're planning to relocate.

Nordic citizens

Citizens of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland are able to enter, live and work in Denmark freely, meaning that they are able to live in Sweden and work in Denmark with no need for visas, permits or proof of income or studies.

Family members of Nordic citizens living in Denmark are able to work in the country, but this does not extend to family members of Nordic citizens living in Sweden who wish to work on the Danish side of the border.

EU/EEA citizens

EU/EEA citizens do not need a work permit to work in Denmark, meaning that they are also able to live in Sweden and work in Denmark. However, you may need to show some extra paperwork at the Tax Agency when registering your residency in Sweden.


There are a number of different criteria EU/EEA citizens can fulfil in order to be registered in the Swedish population register and receive a personal number. These include studying, working, seeking work, having sufficient means to support yourself and moving to be with a family member who already has uppehållsrätt - the right to reside in Sweden under EU law.

If you are not yet registered as resident in Sweden, but are planning on living in Sweden and working in Denmark, note that having a job in another country does not give you the right to reside in Sweden as a worker under EU law (uppehållsrätt).

But that doesn't mean it's not impossible to work in Denmark and qualify for uppehållsrätt in Sweden. Instead for qualifying as a worker, you may need to prove that you have sufficient means to support yourself in Sweden when you register your residency with the Swedish Tax Agency.

The Tax Agency do not state an exact amount for how much money you must have in order to prove that you can support yourself, but do state on their website that you need to have "enough money so you can live and support yourself in Sweden for at least a year".

You can prove this by showing copies of your bank statements, and may also be able to show a foreign job contract lasting at least a year which would fulfil the Tax Agency's requirements, but check with the agency directly to find out what applies in your situation.


British citizens with uppehållsstatus in Sweden

British citizens with post-Brexit residence status or uppehållsstatus in Sweden are not able to live in Sweden and work in Denmark without applying for a work permit, unless they were already working as a cross-border worker before December 31st, 2021. 

Those who were working as cross-border workers before this date should have applied for a grænsearbejderdokument or 'border worker document' from Danish authorities before the December 31st deadline, which protects their right to work in Denmark and live in Sweden.

Brits who do not hold uppehållstatus or a grænsearbejderdokument are not able to work in Denmark and live in Sweden, unless they fulfil the requirements for a 'third country' Danish work permit and Swedish residence permit, below.

'Third country' citizens

If you're a so-called 'third country' citizen - a non-EU, non Nordic citizen - planning on working in Denmark, you will need a work permit for Denmark, regardless of whether you are planning on living in Denmark or Sweden.

If you already hold a Swedish non-EU residence permit or uppehållstillstånd, this does not automatically give you the right to work in Denmark.

As a rule, non-EU citizens wanting to apply for work permits in Denmark will usually need to have an offer of a full-time job with a yearly salary of at least 448,000 Danish kroner (roughly 625,000 Swedish kronor), or a job listed on Denmark's Positive List, a list of professions suffering from a shortage of qualified professionals in order to qualify.


There are exceptions for some professions, such as researchers, PhD students and farm workers - check for full details.

However, you will also need a residence permit for Sweden, if you wish to work as a cross-border worker. Third country citizens can apply for residence permits in Sweden for work, studies, or to move to Sweden to live with someone who already has the right to live in Sweden.

Swedish residence permits for work or studies cannot be granted on the basis of a job in another country, but if you have a residence permit on family reunification grounds, and also qualify for a work permit in Denmark, then you can work in Denmark and live in Sweden.

If you hold a Swedish work permit, you may lose the right to live in Sweden if you stop working in Sweden and start working in Denmark, as you no longer fulfil the requirements of your Swedish residence permit. Make sure you check with the Swedish Migration Agency before you start working on the other side of the border to make sure you will still be able to live in Sweden legally.

The above information was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. Please be aware that we are not a government authority and cannot issue any guarantees about whether or not you will be able to live in Sweden and work in Denmark as a cross-border worker.

We advise readers to also consult the official information on websites such as - the Danish portal for foreign nationals wishing to work in Denmark - as well as the Swedish Tax Agency and Swedish Migration Agency before planning to work as a cross-border worker, or if you are unsure of what applies in your situation.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Anonymous 2022/03/23 17:56
If you have Permanent Residence in Sweden can you obtain a work permit in Denmark and hold both at the same time, to be able to work in one country and live in the other?

See Also