Denmark And Schengen

Denmark and Schengen: Is Denmark a Schengen country?

This article will tell you everything you need to know about Denmark and Schengen. Is Denmark a Schengen country, and if so, how do you apply for a Schengen visa? Let’s find out…

When traveling or moving abroad, knowing the entry requirements for that country can keep you out of a lot of trouble. The rules for traveling in much of Europe might be confusing if you’re from another continent.

Many European countries are part of the European Union (EU), and Denmark is one of them. Most EU member states are also within the Schengen Area, which allows freedom of movement between countries with no passport checks (in most cases).

Denmark And Schengen

Is Denmark in the Schengen area?

Yes — Denmark is a part of the Schengen Area. It’s also within the Nordic Passport Union, which allow Nordic citizens to travel and live freely between each other’s countries.

Denmark is one of 26 countries in the Schengen Zone. All EU countries apart from Ireland, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania are in the area. The non-Schengen countries all plan to join the region in the future (except for Ireland).

While neither Norway nor Iceland is in the EU, both countries are part of the Schengen Area. Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also not in the EU but are part of the Schengen Area.

While the country of Denmark is in the Schengen Area, some of the territories in the Kingdom of Denmark are not — namely the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Nonetheless, both of these are part of the Nordic Passport Union instead.

A side note on Denmark and the Schengen Zone…

While Denmark is in the Schengen Area, you might still occasionally have to deal with border checks. In 2016, Denmark implemented land border checks for travelers entering the country from Germany.

The move resulted from the refugee crisis in 2015, during which several migrants traveled to the EU’s largest country by population.

At the time of writing in September 2022, the border checks with Germany have been extended multiple times since 2016. The current ruling for these temporary measures is supposed to end in October 2022, but there are no guarantees whether that will be the case.

If you travel by road or rail from Denmark to Sweden, you should also have your passport on you. Occasionally, border police will check your documentation on the train between Copenhagen and Malmö — and these often occur at random times.

Similarly, you’ll often need to show your passport when crossing the Øresund Bridge by car.

Denmark also imposed border controls on other European nations during the COVID-19 pandemic, with people residing in certain countries being restricted from entering. At the time of writing, however, these restrictions have been removed for all vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Why did Denmark join Schengen?

Denmark’s original reason for joining the EU was for the sake of its trading relationship with the UK. While the UK has now left the EU, Scandinavia’s southernmost country probably won’t anytime soon.

Denmark joining the Schengen Area has allowed it to participate further within the European community, and being part of this borderless zone has several benefits for Danes.

Many people commute between Malmö and Copenhagen daily, for example — and thanks to the Schengen Agreement, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens can live in either country and work in the other without too many challenges.

In the south, Denmark’s border with Germany is important for similar reasons. Several people work in one country, and travel to the other, and Germany is Denmark’s most important trading partner.

Being part of the Schengen Zone allows for easy movement of goods and people, allowing processes to be more efficient.

For Danes who work in Denmark, being in the Schengen Area also allows them to travel for leisure without needing to deal with lengthy passport queues in most other European countries.

Denmark And Schengen

When did Denmark join Schengen?

Denmark is a long-standing member of the EU, having originally become a member state in 1972. However, it has not universally adopted everything — for example, the country doesn’t use the Euro.

With regards to currency, it also has an opt-out option — though the Danish Krone is pegged to the Euro.

While the Schengen Zone originally came into effect in 1995, Denmark was not one of the first joiners. However, it did not take long for the country to follow the original members; Denmark joined the Schengen Area in 2001.

Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland all became part of the Schengen Zone in that same year.

Denmark’s membership of the Schengen Area hasn’t always been met with universal thumbs-up, however. In 2011, for example, then-Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen was critical of Europe’s open border policy.

He argued on Danish TV that the country had seen a rise in certain crimes and that “one of the efficient ways to fight this is border control”.

Despite some opposing the Schengen Area, Denmark will probably remain part of the zone for the foreseeable future.

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa is a visa that allows you to stay in the Schengen Area for a selected period of time. You can travel within the area as often as you want, as long as you do not overstay the designated length.

When you obtain a Schengen visa, you can spend up to 90 out of 180 days in the region. You aren’t banned from re-entering in the future, but you will need to re-apply for an updated visa once it runs out.

It’s worth noting that a Schengen visa is NOT a substitute for a residence permit. If you plan to live in Denmark or another Schengen country for longer than 90 days and you aren’t an EU citizen, you will need to apply for a permit that meets your reason for staying.

Can I enter Denmark with a Schengen visa?

Yes. As Denmark is part of the Schengen Area, you can enter the country if you’ve got a valid Schengen visa. When prompted at your point of entry, you should show both the document and your passport.

You can also leave and re-enter Denmark with a Schengen visa, as long as it’s still valid for your return. For example, you could fly from Copenhagen to Lisbon for a weekend — though you should note that your time does not reset.

If you’re looking for work in Denmark, you’ll typically need to apply for a work permit from outside the country. And if you do find a job while you’re here, you’ll still need a work permit before you can officially begin your role.

Denmark And Schengen

Which countries need a Schengen visa to enter Denmark?

EU, Nordic and Swiss citizens do not need a visa to enter Denmark. Some non-EU countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK, also do not need a Schengen visa before traveling to the country.

However, you will need a valid passport to enter Denmark.

If you do not require a Schengen visa, but you’re a non-EU citizen, you can still only stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Moreover, you must still abide by non-EU immigration rules if you want to move to Denmark.

The only exception from an immigration perspective is UK citizens who were living in Denmark before Brexit and who still reside in the country; they are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Citizens of several countries need a visa before entering Denmark for any purpose. India, China, and Russia are three examples. You should double-check your requirements, as some citizens with biometric passports don’t need to apply for a Schengen visa.

The full list of countries is here.

How to apply for a Schengen visa

You can apply for a Schengen visa, you’ll need to determine the type that you need. You can get one for tourism, business, studying, and various other purposes.

Once you’ve done that, gather all the documents you need to prove that you should get a Schengen visa. What you must submit will vary depending on your needs; for travel, itineraries and health insurance are two good starting points.

While you can organize everything yourself, it’s easier to get an agent to help you. Make sure you check their reviews beforehand, though, to confirm that the operator you choose is genuine.

When applying for a Schengen visa, remember that family members coming with you will also need one if they’re not covered by an exemption.

Denmark and Schengen

Traveling to other European countries from Denmark is easy with a Schengen visa.

If you’re from outside the EU, knowing the rules for travel into Europe is sometimes difficult. However, everything is simpler than you think — as long as you prepare in advance. As long as your reasons are genuine, you shouldn’t have too many issues obtaining a Schengen visa.

If you later decide you want to move to Denmark, you’ll need to go through a different visa application process. The rules vary depending on your citizenship, and you can read all about that in our article here.

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