You can be granted a residence permit in order to follow a PhD programme in Denmark.
In order to be granted a residence permit as a PhD you must document:
- that you can speak and understand the language of instruction and have a working knowledge of either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German
- either that you have been admitted to a PhD programme at a Danish university and are paid by the university or a company attached to the PhD programme, and that you can thus support yourself. You can document this by including your employment contract
- or that you have been admitted to a PhD programme at a Danish university without being paid by the university or by a company in Danmark, and that you can support yourself with your own means during your stay. 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 amount (2017 level) is DKK 6,015, making the maximum required amount 12 x 6,015 = DKK 72,180. 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 PhD student in Denmark, you may not receive public assistance / benefit payments. This also applies to any accompanying family members.
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.
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 Labour Market and Recruitment can revoke your residence permit. The educational institution is obliged to inform the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment 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 carry out and complete a PhD 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.
Before this six-month period expires, you can apply for an establishment card.
Read more about establishment card
If you complete a PhD 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.
If you have been granted a residence permit to follow a PhD programme, you can bring certain family members.
Read more about residence permit for accompanying family members
As a PhD, you are allowed to work full-time at the university where you are enrolled, or at the company attached to the education. The full-time work permit only covers work assignments forming part of your PhD programme.
In addition, you are also allowed to work 20 hours a week, as well as full-time during the months of June, July and August. 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 Labour Marked and 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 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