If you’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen hoping to study abroad in Denmark for over three months, you’ll need to apply for a student residence permit up to six months before you arrive.
Residence permits take around two months to process and a fee of DKK1,900 (€255) is charged. The residence permit is valid for the duration of your program, so you don’t need to worry about reapplying.
If you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss national, you’re free to live and study in Denmark without a visa or residence permit. You’ll just need to request an EU residence document once you enter the country.
Breakdown of the application process
We’ve broken down the process of applying for a residence permit into eight easy-to-follow steps:
- Accept a place at a publicly-accredited Danish institution: You might need to pay an enrollment fee to secure your place, but this will depend on the university.
- Use the online portal to create a new case order ID: You’ll need to enter information including your full name, email address, and passport number.
- Pay the application fee: You won’t be able to progress with your application until your payment has been received.
- Gather documentation: Having the requested documents on-hand will make the application process much easier. We’ve outlined exactly what you’ll need in the section below.
- Submit your application: If you apply through the online portal, your application will be automatically submitted. If you’ve completed a paper form, you’ll need to take this to the nearest diplomatic mission or application center in your home country.
- Record your biometric data: You must have your biometric features (photograph, fingerprints, and signature) recorded at a Danish diplomatic mission, application center, or police station within 14 days of submitting your application. It’s important to schedule an appointment in advance.
- Await a decision: You’ll usually receive a decision within two months.
To be eligible for a Danish study permit, you must submit every piece of the requested documentation. If anything is missing or falsified, your application will probably be rejected.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A formal letter of admission from your university
- A detailed breakdown of your academic program
- A valid passport and passport-style photos
- Completed ST1 form
- Proof of English or Danish language proficiency (this will depend on what language you’ll be studying in)
- Evidence that you have the financial resources to live in Denmark
- Details of your living arrangements
- Receipt of application fee payment
- Proof of travel insurance
Denmark student visa processing time
In general, it takes around 2 months or 60 days for your application to be processed. So, it’s best to save yourself plenty of time to allow for this.
However, processing times can be longer depending on your nationality. For instance, students from countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, and Ghana may have to wait for up 6 months.
Checking these details well before you apply will ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
Can your family come with you to Denmark?
Your loved ones can individually apply for residence permits as accompanying family members, but you’ll need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support them (DKK 6,243 per month). These permits are normally valid for the same amount of time as your student permit.
To qualify for this permit, family members must be able to prove their relation to you with a marriage or birth certificate. They must also reside at the same address as you.
To give you time to settle in Denmark, accompanying family members permits usually entitle entry to the country a month before your studies begin.
Can you work while studying?
The hours you can work as an international student in Denmark will depend on the country you’re from and the time of the year.
If you’re from outside of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you can work up to 20 hours per week between September and May, and 37 hours per week during the months of June, July, and August. These permissions are already granted to you through your residence permit, so you won’t need to apply for a separate work permit.
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can work as much as they like throughout the year to supplement their studies.
What to do if your residence permit application is rejected
Having your application refused can be disheartening, but there are some steps you can take to get your study abroad plans back on track.
You can appeal to the immigration appeals board within eight weeks of receiving your refusal letter. There is no specific appeal format, but your letter or email must include:
- Your full name
- Case number
- Date of the refusal
- Copy of your rejection letter
You’ll be charged a fee for your appeal, but the exact amount will depend on your nationality.
If you’d rather not follow the formal appeal channel but have new information you’d like the authorities to consider, you could ask for your case to be reopened. Failing this, you can submit an entirely new application at any point.