To address labour shortages in Denmark, the government has announced plans to relax Green Card rules. On October 3, the government published a list of 12 countries whose nationals will be able obtain a work permit more easily.

Under the new plans, workers from those countries will now need to earn gross annual salaries of 330,000 kroner ($51,000) to qualify, lowering the previous limit of 418,000 kroner. The government is also extending these provision to a broader category of workers and allowing applicants to start working while their paper work is still being processed.

As reported by Bloomberg, the move represents another sign of a shift in the immigration policy of Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s centre-right government, which has in recent years grabbed international headlines and ended up dissuading skilled workers from moving to Denmark.

“If you want a well-functioning welfare state you need to ensure there’s enough labour available,” Finance Minister Kristian Jensen told Bloomberg in Copenhagen. “That’s why we’re launching this proposal, even though we know political views differ.”

However, the new measures will need the approval of parliament. The ruling coalition cannot be certain of a majority.

The far-right Danish People’s Party, which lends its external support to the minority government, is generally sceptical about policies that encourage immigration from outside the EU, reported Bloomberg.