The Schengen Area is a group of 26 countries which have no internal borders thus facilitating the movement of people and goods within the entire area covered. Most European Union countries are members of the Schengen Area while there are four European countries that are Schengen members but not in the EU.
European Union countries not part of Schengen are:
Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania (although the last four named are in the process of joining).
Schengen member states not in the European Union are: Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Lichtenstein.
Citizens of any of the EU or Schengen Area countries enjoy freedom of access to the Schengen Zone while nationals of approximately 60 other countries enjoy special visa liberalisation status and do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area although they will be obliged to possess an ETIAS approved passport in order to visit the European Union or Schengen Area from 2023.
For citizens and passport holders of countries outside the EU and Schengen Area, or not included on the EU visa-exempt list, a Schengen Visa is a mandatory requirement for visiting or passing through any of the Schengen Member states.
Denmark has been a member of the EU since 1973 and signed up to the Schengen Agreement in 2001. Since then it has been necessary for citizens of all countries that are not EU or Schengen members or part of the visa liberalisation scheme (termed world citizens) to possess a valid Schengen Visa to visit the country.
The application process is not simple and includes personal attendance at an interview in a Danish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country.
Different Visa Types
Although the vast majority of world citizens visiting Denmark will only require a basic Schengen Tourist Visa which allows for short-stays this is not the only type of visa available and which one is required will depend on various factors including the duration of the visit, reason for visiting or even just simply passing through in transit to another country.
The different Schengen Visa Types are:
- Transit Visa – This type of visa is used almost exclusively by seafarers who arrive in a Danish port and transfer to another ship leaving the country.
- Airport Transit Visa – This will be required by world citizens who are making a connecting flight at a Danish airport.
- Tourist Visa – The most commonly used type of visa, a Tourist Visa grants admission to Denmark for the purpose of holidays and tourism.
- Visiting Family or Friends Visa – When visiting family members or friends residing in Denmark this is the best option.
- Business Visa – A Business Visa is specifically aimed at business people who have meetings, conferences or other commercial business in the country.
- Official Visit Visa – Only for members of an official foreign delegation visiting on matters of state.
- Medical Visa – This is the correct form of Danish Schengen Visa for world citizens undergoing medical treatment in the country.
- Study Visa – Valid for a continuous stay of up to three months, a Study Visa is required for long-term courses at Danish educational institutes.
- Cultural, Sports and Film Crews – This is a special type of visa for visitors engaged in sports or cultural activities in the country.
Regardless of which type of visa is used, the holder is only allowed to remain within Denmark for a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day time period. World citizens who wish (or need) to stay longer should seek a Danish National Visa for this purpose.
Applying for a Schengen Visa for any of the member states is not a simple task as it involves collecting and collating a lot of information and documentation and obtaining a Schengen Visa for Denmark is a complex process.
- Visa Application Form – Filled out completely and correctly, dated and signed.
- Passport Photos – Two identical and acceptable passport photos.
- Valid Passport – This must: have a minimum of two blank pages for affixing the visa.
- Be no more than ten years old, and be valid for three months after the last date of stay in Denmark or the Schengen Area.
- Previous Schengen Visas – Copies of any previous Danish Schengen Visa held.
- Travel Health Insurance – Documentation demonstrating adequate health insurance to cover any medical treatment or emergency for the duration of stay in Denmark and the Schengen Area.
- Flight Confirmation – Documentary proof of a booked return flight detailing dates of travel and flight numbers.
- Accommodation Details – Documentation detailing accommodation booked for duration of stay.
- Proof of Status – Applicants will be asked to provide proof of civil status which will could entail certificates of marriage or death of a spouse or birth certificates of children if applicable.
- Proof of Sufficient Funds – An applicant must supply proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses for the duration of any stay in Denmark.
All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter outlining the reason for the visit, the duration of the stay and details regarding any onward travel in the Schengen Area.
While the list of requirements outlined above will generally suffice for a standard short-stay visit to Denmark there are a range of other documents which may be required depending on the applicant’s employment status and the type of visa being applied for.
- Copy of employment contract
- Bank statements for the previous six months
- Holiday leave permission of an employer
- Copy of income tax return
- Self-employed Applicants
- Copy of business registration or license
- Company bank statements covering previous six months
- Copy of tax returns
- Proof of course enrolment
- No-objection letter in which the school or university states the applicant will return home after a defined period of time
- Retired Applicants
- Pension statements covering the preceding six months
Applying for a Schengen Visa for a minor to visit Denmark is also an involved process particularly if the minor’s parents are separated or the child will be travelling alone.
Among the documents that may be required are:
- Minor’s birth certificate
- Danish Schengen Visa application form signed by both of the minor’s parents
- Copy of court order if only one parent has custody
- Certified copies of passports or acceptable ID of both parents
- In the case of children travelling unaccompanied it is necessary to provide notarised parental consent to travel signed by both of the parents.
Applications for a Schengen Visa for Denmark must be submitted to the relevant Danish authorities at a personal interview for which the applicant must make an appointment.
Normally the interview is held at the Danish Embassy in the applicant’s country of residence but not all countries have a Danish Embassy so the personal meeting may alternatively take place at:
- A Danish consulate
- A Visa Application Centre outsourced by Danish authorities
- An embassy or consulate of another Schengen Area member country outsourced by Denmark
The visa interview is mandatory and the main purpose is to establish and verify the applicant’s identity, personal details and reasons for the intended visit.
Interviews follow a basic series of steps which include:
- Submitting all the required documentation
- Providing fingerprint samples (required)
- Answering some questions regarding purpose of visit and length of stay
- Paying the required fee
The current price of a Schengen Visa for Denmark is €80 for an adult and €40 for a child aged 6 to 12 years. There is no charge for children under six. It should be noted that a double-entry or multiple-entry Schengen Visa costs the same as a standard single-entry visa so this should be taken into consideration if further trips to Denmark are a possibility in the future. However, first time visitors to Denmark or the Schengen Area cannot apply for a multiple-entry visa as it is necessary to have used single-entry or double-entry visas beforehand.
Schengen Visas are valid for periods of six months, one, two, three, four and five years with the price remaining the same for all as the fee is to cover administrative costs.
Processing of a Schengen Visa application should be completed within 15 days but this is not always the case and delays are quite common. It is best to err on the side of caution and allow a minimum of 30 days or more to allow for possible technical or bureaucratic issues but applications should not be submitted more than three months before the intended date of travel to Denmark.