Moving to Greenland

Hvordan melder jeg tilflytning til Grønland?
Here you can read about the most important things to know and consider if you are moving to Greenland.

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you can travel freely to Greenland to live and work there. You do not need a visa, a work permit or a residence permit.

Furniture and household effects

If you are moving from a Nordic or EU country to Greenland, you can generally take your household effects with you without having to pay tax or tariffs. All goods to Greenland go via Aalborg, so you will need to get your belongings to Denmark first. If you are employed in Greenland, it is usually the employer who pays for your relocation and thus takes care of the logistics.

Please note that your belongings may not contain wine, spirits, cigarettes or easily perishable food. In addition, there are also restrictions on dangerous goods, including some chemicals and gas cartridges. If your belongings include weapons, you must obtain the necessary permits yourself.

VAT refunds

Greenland is one of the very few countries in the world that does not charge VAT. If you bought new goods in Denmark before moving, you can therefore obtain a VAT refund on amounts over DKK 300. The items must be unused and in their original packaging. You must also get the shop to write your Greenlandic address on the invoice, or issue a tax-free form.

You can then have the invoice or form stamped by the customs authorities in Greenland, and have the amount refunded.

Civil registration

As a citizen of a Nordic country, you are only obliged to report moving to Greenland if your stay is longer than six months. However, you have the right to be registered as a resident and obtain a civil registration number if you know that your stay will be for longer than three months, and if you have a place to live or a permanent residence in Greenland.   

If you are going to be in Greenland for longer than six months, you must notify your municipality of residence of this no later than five days after your arrival.

You can notify your move to Sullissivik (Public Service). You will then receive a residence certificate, which serves as ID.  

I am a Danish or Nordic citizen

If you are moving from Denmark and already have a Danish civil registration number, you must submit a change of address notification no later than five days after you have moved to Greenland. If you have NemID, you can notify your relocation online at Sullissivik, which is the overall portal for the public authorities in Greenland. Here you can also obtain a residence certificate when you are registered as a resident.   

If you do not have Danish NemID, you must submit a completed change of address notification to the local Public Service centre at the municipal office or village office in the place to which you have moved. If you are not a Danish citizen, you will be given a personal identity number when you register your address in Greenland.   

It is free to notify your change of address, and the notification may also include those members of your household who are relocating together with you, and who also fulfil the conditions for registration (spouse, cohabiting partner, children, etc.).

I am moving from a non-Nordic country

You must report your relocation to the municipality to which you are moving. If you are not a Nordic citizen, you must have a residence permit in accordance with the Aliens Act, or have proof from the authorities that you are exempt from the requirement to have a residence permit. The Danish Immigration Service can provide guidance on residence and work permits for third-country nationals, as well as on spouse and family reunification and non-time-limited residence.

Housing

There are several different types of housing in Greenland, but most of it is owner-occupied or rented. Co-operative housing is gaining ground, but this is not the most common form. Anyone can buy real estate in Greenland, but you should be aware that you cannot buy the land on which the property is located.

Post forwarding

You should contact the postal service in the country from which you are moving to hear more about the possibilities of having your post forwarded to your new address in Greenland.

Driving licence

If you are moving to Greenland, you must obtain a Greenlandic driving licence within six months. If you have a Danish driving licence, or a driving licence from a Nordic country or another EU country, you can immediately obtain a Greenlandic driving licence at your local police station.

Tax

If you live in Greenland or stay in the country for more than six months, you have full tax liability. This means that you must specify and be taxed on all your sources of income, whether these are in Greenland or abroad.

If you stay for less than six months in Greenland, you will be subject to limited tax liability. This means that you will only pay income tax on work carried out in Greenland. As soon as you have notified your move to Greenland, you must contact the Tax Agency so that you can be issued with a tax card. If you are moving from Denmark, you must also apply for exemption from Danish tax.

Social insurance

The country in which you are covered by social insurance has a bearing on which rules will apply to your pension, unemployment insurance, sickness benefit, family allowance, maternity leave and more.

As a general rule, you are covered by social insurance in the country in which you work. If you are unemployed, you are usually covered by social insurance in the country in which you live. However there are many special cases, so if you are in doubt, you should contact the authorities in the country in which you live, work or study.

Pension

To be eligible for a Greenlandic retirement pension, you must have Danish citizenship or be covered by the Nordic Convention on Social Security (citizens of the Nordic countries and EU/EEA countries). In order to be awarded a Greenlandic retirement pension, you must be 66 years of age.

In Greenland, pension payments are required by law, and there is a statutory minimum percentage of your wages that you must save. In 2021 this is 7%, and will increase by 1% per year until 2024, when you will be required to save at least 10% of your salary.

If you have a Danish pension scheme and get a job in Greenland, it could be an advantage for you to ask your pension company about the so-called §53A scheme. In this way you can avoid being double taxed on the pension you earn when working in Greenland. Contact your pension company for more information about the scheme.

Health services

Once you are registered as resident in Greenland, you will be entitled to the same healthcare services as the nation’s citizens. This includes free healthcare and medicines prescribed by doctors.

Pets

There are a number of restrictions on bringing pets into Greenland. This applies in particular to the import of dogs, which is not allowed in large parts of the country.  

School and childcare

In Greenland, there are ten years of compulsory education. Primary school education is free of charge for everyone living in Greenland. Schools and day-care centres are mainly a municipal responsibility. You should therefore contact the municipality to which you are moving.

Education

In Greenland, education is free from primary school to university. You can be admitted to a Greenlandic upper secondary school if you have completed Danish or Nordic primary school, and you can apply to enter higher education in Greenland if you have completed an upper secondary school leaving examination (GUX) or an equivalent youth education from a Nordic country. Further education in Greenland is divided into short-cycle, medium-cycle and long-cycle study programmes.

If you are Danish or a citizen of a Nordic country, you can study in Greenland on an equal footing with Greenlandic students. You can therefore apply for admission to a Greenlandic educational institution.

Student grants

Special conditions apply to receiving a student grant in Greenland. You must be:

  • A Danish citizen
  • Resident in Greenland
  • Enrolled in an educational programme and actively studying.

Danish and Faroese students satisfy the conditions if they are resident in Greenland and actively studying. If you do not meet the conditions, but can document a special connection with Greenland, you can apply for an exemption.

In most cases, you can take a student grant from your home country instead.

Voting rights

In order to be eligible to vote in elections to the parliaments of Greenland and Denmark, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a Danish citizen
  • Be permanently resident in Greenland for at least six months before the election

You may be eligible to vote in municipal elections even if you do not have Danish citizenship if you have been permanently resident in the Commonwealth of the Realm (Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark) for at least three years prior to the election.

Contact authority
Ask Info Norden

If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.

NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.