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Higher educational programmes

You can be granted a residence permit in order to follow a higher educational programme in Denmark.


In order to be granted a residence permit you must document:

  • that you have been admitted to a higher educational programme which has been approved by a state authority or which is offered by a publicly accredited educational institution
  • that you can speak and understand the language of instruction and have a working knowledge of either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German
  • that you can support yourself with your own means for the duration of your stay in Denmark. You must document that you have at your disposal an amount equivalent to Danish student grants (SU) for the period of time your residence permit is to cover, with 12 months being the maximum requirement. The monthly samount is DKK 5,903, making the maximum required amount 12 x 5,903 = DKK 70,839

If you are to pay a tuition fee yourself, you can document that you have paid the tuition fee for the first semester, instead of documenting that you can support yourself. Please note that as a foreign student in Denmark, you may not receive public assistance / benefit payments. If you do so, your residence permit can be revoked.

What is a higher educational programme?

Normally, the term 'higher educational programme' is used when the conditions for admission into the programme require you to have completed upper secondary school or the equivalent.

If the educational programme is included in the coordinated application system for admission, which is administered by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, then the programme will normally be regarded as 'higher' in connection with the application for a residence permit.

Get an overview of the Danish education system from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (new window)

Read more about the Danish higher education system with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (new window)

Admission as a single-subject student or similar, or admission as a student under an Open University programme is normally not regarded as admission to a higher educational programme. The same applies to language classes at a language centre, a municipal language school or similar institution.

Preparatory higher educational programmes

It is possible to get a residence permit for a preparatory course to a higher educational programme. The following conditions apply:

  • The Ministry of Education must have determined that participation in the preparatory course is an admission requirement in order to follow the higher educational programme
  • You must already have been accepted at the educational programme to which the preparatory course is connected
  • The duration of the preparatory course must be no more than one year


The duration of your residence permit depends on whether you are going to complete an entire educational programme, or only follow part of a programme as a guest student.

If you are to complete an entire programme you will be granted a residence permit for the duration of the programme.

If, on the other hand, you are only to follow part of a programme, 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 programme. If this is not the case, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration can revoke your residence permit. The educational institution is obliged to inform the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration if you are not actively following the educational programme.

Job Search scheme for students

If you have been granted a residence permit in order to complete a higher educational programme in Denmark, your residence permit will be valid for an additional six months after you complete the programme. This is to allow you to look for work in Denmark.

If you complete a higher educational programme 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.

Family members

If you have been granted a residence permit to follow a higher educational programme, you can bring certain family members.

Read more about residence permit for accompanying family members


As a foreign student following a higher educational programme or a required preparatory course which has been approved by the Ministry of Education, you are allowed to work 20 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 programme. It will say on your residence card whether or not you are allowed to work.

If you work illegally in Denmark, e.g. by working more than the allowed number of hours, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration 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 programme.

If you work illegally in Denmark, you risk deportation, and you and your employer risk fine or imprisonment.

How to apply

Read more about how to apply for a residence permit as a student

Last update: 9/25/2015
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration