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The Danish government will introduce rules providing more flexibility for skilled foreign professionals to take on extra work outside of their primary employment, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration has announced.

A secondary job within the same professional area will be permitted by working visas under new rules, the ministry wrote in a press statement.

The issue received attention in the Danish media in the autumn after reports emerged of foreign academics being prosecuted for teaching outside of their primary institutions of employment.

“Until now it has been necessary to apply for a work permit for each employment, but that has proved to be an outdated and inflexible way in which to do things. So the government is now proposing a modernisation of the rules,” the immigration ministry wrote in its press statement.

The new rules will provide for foreign academics to work up to 156 hours per quarter, or 12 hours per week, in a secondary job, the ministry said.

Immigration minister Inger Støjberg presented the proposal to parliament on Friday.

“The various parties naturally have some requests and suggestions.

“I will present a [second] proposal to parliament in the beginning of February, after which I expect this to be a short process for us to get this passed,” Støjberg told news agency Ritzau.

The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF) expressed misgivings over the proposal, defying Støjberg’s optimism.

“People must obey the rules they already know. When you come to Denmark and are given a work permit, there are conditions,” DF’s immigration spokesperson Martin Henriksen told Ritz au.

“We think it is fair to expect people to comply with these conditions,” he added.

In December, newspaper Politiken reported that Colombian professor Jimmy Martinez-Correa had been acquitted of charges of breaking the terms of his working visa.

The High Court found that the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (Styrelsen for International Reutteringog Integration, SIRI) guidelines over the issue were so confusing that the professor could not have known an extra work permit was required.

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