Today’s global challenges demand innovative solutions. Danish higher education combines traditional academic excellence with innovative teaching that will empower you to think, experiment and collaborate your way to new ideas and greater knowledge.
Each year students from around the world come to Denmark to pursue a quality education in a friendly, safe and innovation-driven environment. What they gain are internationally recognized qualifications within a wide range of educational areas, such as engineering, life sciences and social sciences.
We invite you to come and study in Denmark – for a fun and enriching experience that will help you gain an excellent foundation for your future career. As a foreign national, you can be granted a residence permit in order to study in Denmark.
Higher educational programs
You can be granted a residence permit in order to follow a higher educational program in Denmark. If you are a Nordic citizen, you are free to reside, study and work in Denmark. If you are an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss citizen seeking residence in Denmark based on the EU regulations on freedom of movement, you may be subject to special rules.
In order to be granted a residence permit you must document:
- That you have been admitted to a higher educational program which has been approved by a state authority or which is offered by a publicly accredited educational institution
- That you can support yourself with your own means for the duration of your stay in Denmark. If you are to pay a tuition fee, you must document that you have paid the tuition fee for the first semester or year, instead of documenting that you can support yourself. Please note that a foreign student in Denmark may not receive public assistance / benefit payments. If you do so, your residence permit can be revoked
- That you can speak and understand the language of instruction and have a working knowledge of either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German
Your participation in the educational program must have been arranged by a ministry or institution of higher learning or the educational program must be part of a higher educational program which you have already commenced in your country of origin. In other words, you may be granted a residence permit either in order to complete an entire educational program or in order to follow part of a program as a guest student.
The duration of your residence permit depends on whether you are going to complete an entire educational program, or only follow part of a program as a guest student.
If you are to complete an entire program you will be granted a residence permit for the duration of the program.
If, on the other hand, you are only to follow part of a program, the residence permit will be granted for the duration of the part you are to follow.
If you are to follow a preparatory course, your residence permit will be granted for the duration of the course.
It is a condition for the residence permit that you are active and enrolled in the educational program. If this is not the case, the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment can revoke your residence permit. The educational institution is obliged to inform the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment if you are not actively following the educational program.
Green Card scheme for students
If you have been granted a residence permit in order to complete a higher educational program in Denmark, your residence permit will be valid for an additional six months after you complete the program. This is to allow you to look for work in Denmark.
If you complete a higher educational program in Denmark and you have not previously been granted the additional six months’ residence permit, you can have your residence permit extended by six months in order to look for work. This is done by submitting an application for extension.
If you have been granted a residence permit to follow a higher educational program, then your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you, are also eligible for residence permits. However, you must document that you have at your disposal the equivalent of DKK 25,000 per family member, your family members must be able to support themselves, and you must live together in Denmark at the same address. Your spouse/partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period that his/her residence permit is valid.
You are not entitled to family reunification during the job-seeking period after the completion of the educational program. However, if you have already brought your family to Denmark, then they are allowed to stay for the additional six months. The conditions mentioned above still apply during this period.
As a foreign student following a higher educational program or a required preparatory course, you are allowed to work 15 hours a week, as well as full-time during the months of June, July and August. The same applies during the job-seeking period after the completion of your educational program. A work permit sticker will be placed in your passport.
If you are under the age of 18, you are only eligible for a work permit if you have a written offer or contract for a specific position, and if the employer confirms to the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment that workplace environment legislation is upheld.
If you work illegally in Denmark, e.g. by working more than the allowed number of hours, the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment may revoke or refuse to extend your residence permit. This can happen even if you otherwise meet the conditions for your residence permit, e.g. if you are still actively enrolled in your course or study program.
If you work illegally in Denmark, you risk deportation, and you and your employer risk fine or imprisonment.