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Moving To Denmark [wip]

I am moving to Denmark from Germany. This blog post documents everything I did and had to do for that. I’ll try to order it chronologically, though there might be some jumps in time for clarity.

I will write up some text for every major step. If you’re just interested in the itemized list: look here.

Preparation

For context, I’ve somehow got into the situation of having a danish girlfriend while living in the middle of Germany. While that relationship wasn’t to last, the impression Denmark left on me was. We’re still good friends, which will come in handy for the move. While I cannot give a good checklist on how to, I strongly recommend knowing someone from Denmark to learn about how they operate. A place to start can be the Danish Language Discord Server. They host community-driven classes and share learning material. On the topic of language: I tried to learn Danish. One problem with that is that Danes, especially the younger generations, are exceptional at English, to the point that I essentially lived at my girlfriend’s place for what amounts to around one year, without needing to speak Danish at all.


Planning

I set up a list of things I had to cancel, register and notify institutions of my move. One important thing to note is that, because I hold a passport of an EU member state, I am allowed to stay in Denmark for up to 6 months without having to register for a residency permit (ICS Checklist). Before you plan anything else, I recommend browsing the official german brochure for moving into another European country. While ordering the post-redirection, I came across their great resource for moving: moving checklist.

You should also be aware that the rent, as well as security and up-front payments for renting any property, are a lot higher in Denmark than in Germany.

Denmark

On the Danish side, you will have to contact the closest ICS.

The checklist outlines the main things one has to apply for when wanting to stay over six months:

  1. Residency permit
    • Check with your ICS what you need for this.
  2. CPR Number
    • Requires residency permit but can be ordered on the same day.
    • You will not be health insured unless you have this! (I think).
  3. Tax Card
    • Need this to work and pay taxes (but also need a signed contract to get it).
  4. NemID / NemKonto
    • Requires CPR number or residency permit.
    • Similar to the new German Passport’s online features, but linked to a bank account instead.
    • WIP: I’m still not sure how I’m going to do this. I think I’ll get a Danish bank account and designate that as my NemKonto, but technically assigning my current German bank should also be possible.
  5. A-Konto
    • Arbeitslosenkasse: if you lose your job, this is separate insurance you can choose to pay to get money while looking for a new job. The monthly rates seem to be inexpensive, so it only makes sense to sign up for one.

Also, an honorable mention: if you own a car and plan to drive it in Denmark, you can import it (which will be expensive), but also be aware that if you plan to drive between Germany and Sjælland (the big island with Kopenhagen on it) that there is no free way onto that island. You can take a toll bridge from Sweden you can take a nice ferry from Rostock to Gedser for ~60-120€, take a worse ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby for the same kinda price or take the Storebælt-Bridge between Fyn and Sjælland for ~200DKK (25€) after a Signup with BroBizz. They are currently working on a tunnel, but it will also have fees, which are not announced yet, at the time of writing.

CPR Number

Having had another look at my options, I am considering acquiring a CPR temporarily earlier in one of two ways:

  1. self-sufficient funds (savings + own income)
    • I have seen discussion online that ICS wants you to have access to about ~800€ per month to get a residency permit for a limited amount of time. While I currently have only saved up around 4000€, I am able to show that I have pre-paid rent for three months (as part of the deposit) and have a general income surplus of around 400€ (after rent). Hoping that the ICS can recognize this as self-sufficient for up to 6 months, I would hopefully be able to get the reason for residency permit changed to a work permit by November.
  2. self-sufficient funds (a vouching danish person)
    • This is my backup solution

Priorities

As my move approaches, the order in which I want to get things are changing.

I will rather quickly need to get internet and phone number. I have decided to go with Oister for now, as they service the area I will be in, and I have not heard anything bad about them. They offer a seemingly quite good phone plan for 79DKK/month and a mobile wifi plan for 229DKK/month. I played with the idea of just getting a phone plan and two sim cards for it, thus saving the 229DDK/month, but I like hosting some of my data and port-forward, which is a hassle with phone hotspots. While the wifi plan is quite a downgrade from my current service, as it is only a 4G/LTE router, being able to move with it is very nice as I plan to move as soon as I can afford a bigger flat. The phone plan will be an upgrade for me, as I am currently on a terrible Vodafone DE plan.

However, I would like to have internet and phone already be paid from a danish bank account if possible. This way, I would avoid surprising surcharges due to conversions (which I am currently experiencing sometimes). This would mean I need to get a bank account first, which should be possible as I can prove that I have permanent residence in Denmark. While it seems possible to open a bank account in Denmark without a CPR number, it seems discouraged, especially as I do not have a Danish employer, at least for the first few months. A possible bank is Lån & Spar. I have written them an E-mail with my exact situation, awaiting a response.

Ideally, to fit my needs, this order would be ideal:

  1. Bank account
  2. Internet & phone plan (danish bank)
  3. CPR number
  4. NemID/NemKonto
  5. Tax card

However, I might need to aim for:

  1. Internet & phone plan (german bank)
  2. CPR number
  3. Tax card
  4. Bank account
  5. NemID/NemKonto

Germany

I’m allowing myself some overlap because of the current pandemic and because the flat I ended up finding was too good an offer. So I may have signed the contract a bit too early.

  1. Sell all the stuff you don’t need
    • That was my solution to simplifying the moving process
  2. Cancel all the things
    • Your current rent contract
      • Usually three months in advance
      • Send it as a proper paper letter, asking for the specific end-date you want
      • Ask for a written confirmation of the dates
    • Your health insurance
      • It seems most german health insurance will generally cover things that happen in the EU without extra charges. The expensive travel packages you can add only include free transport back to Germany. Once you have moved to Denmark, you probably won’t need that. Once you have a CPR number, the Danish health insurance covers you, and you won’t need your native one anymore.
      • Also! Danish health insurance doesn’t cover dentistry, so get your teeth fixed before moving.
  3. De-register current residence
    • Just a simple visit to the Einwohnermeldeamt, to tell them you’re no longer going to be living at a german address is necessary. You can do it up to one week before the move and two weeks after the move.
  4. Update running contracts
    • BAföG needs to know where they can reach you. If they have to look it up themselves at the Meldeamt, they will charge you a fee.
    • Post Nachsendeauftrag: get all mail redirected to your new address.

Ending Rent

This should have been an easy E-Mail, but my landlord decided to want an additional month of rent from me, which I argue they have no right to require. The rent contract references the BGB. As I wrote on 1. May, I count three months as follows: May, June, July, and, therefore, end the contract for the 31.7.2021. They, however, moved the goalposts and required a written letter on the 15. May, after ignoring me until then.

I also offered the landlord to buy the washing machine straight off of me because I won’t meet the next tenant. They will try to sell it to the next tenant for me and have the tenant send me the money directly.

Notice of Departure

The Abmeldung bei der Meldebehörde should be handed in one week before or up to two weeks after your move. A reason for doing this early is that the document you get in response is required to cancel internet contracts ahead of term.

Moving

I started setting up a moving plan for my dad and me.

TODO: this hasn’t happened yet

I kept an eye on job postings that fit me. As I was playing with the idea of continuing my academic path as a post-grad, I wrote an RSS feed for SDU vacancies. Later, I found the SDU Jobbank which also includes non-academic jobs.

TODO: this hasn’t happened yet

Protocol

  • 2021-01-xx
    • Start making a list of resources by googling and reading guides
  • 2021-04-09
    • Start (premium) Danish-Duolingo course with maxed out daily goals without missing a day
  • 2021-04-17
    • Drive to Denmark undertaking necessary Covid tests and isolate at a friend’s
    • Start looking for flats on Boligportal, set up a search agent, pay the expensive 2-months membership fee
  • 2021-04-25
  • 2021-04-28
    • Talk to the landlord of a friend about flats and get first-choice on their flat (2800DKK + warm, 24m^2) that’s in renovation
  • 2021-04-29
    • Start writing a blog about moving to Denmark
    • Decide to take flat offered by a landlord to establish a base in Denmark (considering Covid is a thing and entry could become impossible at any time)
  • 2021-04-30
    • Had a call about flat
      • 2800 DKK for flat+el
      • 450 DKK for heating, with a yearly return of unused warm
  • 2021-05-01
  • 2021-05-02
    • Call with family, planning to move in the beginning of June with two cars
  • 2021-05-03
    • Old landlord responds to the request to cancel but disagrees on the date
    • Connect with everyone I know on Linkedin
  • 2021-05-09
    • Planning to move on 3.6.2021, scheduled to be finalized soon
    • Written to Lån & Spar about getting a bank account before getting CPR number
  • 2021-05-10
    • Old landlord trying to pull shit, putting a letter on house’s front door blaming me for misusing trash cans
  • 2021-05-19
    • Conferencing with my master’s thesis supervisor. Agreeing that the thesis can be finished remotely (this should have happened way earlier)
  • 2021-05-20
    • Asking my most wealthy danish friend to sign me as their dependent for getting access to a CPR number before working
    • I start worrying if I had too little time to look around in the flat, what if I hate the toilet.
  • 2021-05-26
    • Ordered post-redirection from old german flat to new german flat with Deutsche Post
    • Canceled power contract for move on 3.6.2021. Due to the minimum term of two weeks, it will officially end on 9.6.2021.
  • 2021-05-27
    • Made an E-Post account to send letters within Germany for internal postage prices.
  • 2021-05-29
    • Made an appointment for the residency permit (and CPR number?) on 24.06.2021.
      • This should have happened much earlier!
    • Found out that the internet and phone subscription from oister.dk required NemID.
      • If I didn’t have the possibility of stealing WIFI, this could have been catastrophic.
    • Found out that NemID requires a CPR number or residency permit.
    • Found out that I cannot log into my “IKK Onlinefiliale,” so I requested a one-time password. I could have realized this much earlier.
  • 2021-05-30
  • 2021-06-03
    • I move to Denmark
  • 2021-06-11
    • I am told to sign up to PBS to pay rent, which requires NemID and a Danish bank account