In the event that a business owner in Greenland cannot find native Greenlandic labour for a position, the employer has the option to apply for foreign labour.
Landsting Act No. 27 of 30 October 1992 on the regulation of the influx of labour in Greenland, ensures that Greenlandic labour has a prior to work in Greenland. Therefore, the employer has the responsibility to apply to the municipality for a permit to employ foreign labour. This applies to positions whose duties:
- Do not require a vocational education
- Requires a vocational education equivalent to an apprenticeship, vocational basic education or Siamasissumik Tunngaviusumik Ilinniartitaaneq,
- Requires a higher education as a social educator and social worker and
- Requires a higher maritime education
When the employer has been given permission from the municipality to employ foreign labour and has found the right candidate, nationals from third countries - countries outside the Nordic region - must apply to the Danish Immigration Service for a residence and work permit in Greenland for the purpose of employment.
These rules also apply for voluntary and unpaid work.
Nordic citizens can work in Greenland without a residence and work permit, but it is still necessary for the employer to have valid municipal permission to employ foreign employees, if the position is covered by Landsting Act No. 27 of 30 October 1992 on the regulation of the influx of labour in Greenland. It is a foreign national’s own responsibility to get a work permit. If a foreigner is working illegally in Greenland, they can be deported by Greenland, and both the foreigner and the employer can face charges under Greenland’s Criminal Act If a foreigner already has a residence permit due to family reunification, they need not apply for a work permit to work in Greenland. Greenland and Denmark are separate travel areas. This means that a residence permit in Denmark does not give a foreigner the right to stay in Greenland. Likewise, a residence permit in Greenland does not give a foreigner the right to stay in Denmark.
It is the Danish Immigration Service who has the final authority in decisions regarding residence and work permits. The Ministry of Industry, Labour, Trade and Energy, as well as the Police are only consultative parties in cases.
You can find more information on residence and work permits for Greenland here.