Associate AIA, LEED Green Associate

Operation Copenhagen

Added on by Douglas Sharpe.

While on my travel adventure, I didn't want to leave Copenhagen and maybe after a recent revelation I might be able to arrange a permanent return. Most of my friends saw the post on Facebook that I was cancelling my trips to Berlin, Munich and Vienna - I even reduced my stay in the Netherlands and didn't even get over to Amsterdam. The reason for the change in my travel itinerary was because I came across an option for how somebody like myself, searching for work in Denmark, can apply for a Green Card which would allow me to live, search for work and eventually work in the country. I will admit that I actually got lucky with how I came across this revelation, which happened when I made a stop at the architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and talked with a very nice woman in the front office. She explained the basics to the Green Card program and strongly recommended that I look into obtaining one, as it could yield better employment results if I take it upon myself to successfully receive this card. She mentioned that their firm has hired people on a contract period based on need, and even if I have to start out as a contracted employee it would be a very important start for my career in this region. If it wasn't for this chance conversation, I may have continued with the assumption that I would need a company to hire me first and they would then sponsor my work visa. I'm glad the option is available for me to take the initiative, and hopefully it will pay dividends in the form of a job with income.

What is this Green Card all about? Info is HERE, but in order to even be considered for one the applicant has to be eligible for it based on a points system that considers your education level, age, language, work experience and adaptability. I have plenty of points, so there shouldn't be any problems with my application except the waiting - could be 1 to 3 months to process - and the Card can be issued for up to 3 years and can be renewed.

After leaving Copenhagen, I was in The Netherlands when I researched the Green Card process and decided to head back on a 5:30am bus out of Rotterdam - I couldn't leave soon enough! Once I was back in Copenhagen, I went to the Immigration Services building and found out everything I needed for the application, and I also revisited nearly all of the architecture firms to let them know I am pursuing this card. Now most of the firms know my story, and they know that I will be following-up with them once I obtain the Card which will allow me to work immediately. The nice thing about the Green Card is that it's flexible and would allow me to pursue full-time or contracted work, such as if a firm wins some competitions and needs a little extra help for the duration of the project. If a contract ends and I find myself looking for more work, I can still pursue jobs at other firms - there are a lot of them in Copenhagen - and hopefully I can make a good enough impression for one of them to hire me full-time with benefits.



I'm now back at my brother's house in the United Kingdom, and I have assembled all of my documentation which spanned three countries - documents from Florida and Michigan were sent to the UK, documents were obtained in Denmark, and everything will be submitted in the UK. I was under the impression that I could submit everything to the Danish embassy in London, but they didn't have an opening and I will have to travel to Manchester. I was lucky to have scheduled an appointment for next week, which I then immediately booked a round-trip train and 2 nights in a hotel so I can take care of all necessary business. (Un)lucky for me, I was able to get a head start on the application while I was in Copenhagen due to a 4.5 hour delayed plane flight. Here I am working on it at the airport... I didn't want to waste any time!

In the mean time while I submit the application and wait for it to process, I'm going to start searching for rentals in Copenhagen, so if anybody out there knows somebody who has rentals or has any advice on where to search, I'm all ears. I am also planning to study and take some of the ARE sections while I'm in the UK, because they have testing centers here and I can dedicate a lot of time to studying while I'm waiting. I am also going to look into learning Danish to at least get some basics before I head out there. My guess is that I will be in the UK for at least another month, and even if I am still waiting for the Green Card I can live in Denmark for up to 3 months on my passport. I'll keep updates coming on the travel blog along with all of the reviews of the places I have been, which I still have a lot to sort through and write about.

Thank you everyone for the support and encouragement!