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Residence and work permit

Residence and work permit

Nordic citizens

Citizens of one of the Nordic Countries can work and live in Denmark without a work and residence permit. Read more about staying, living and studying in Denmark at this website.

EU/EEA citizens

As an EU citizen you may freely enter Denmark and remain in this country for up to 3 months without an EU residence document (registration certificate).
If you expect that your stay in Denmark will last more than 3 months, you have to apply for an EU residence document before the expiry of the three months. We recommend that you apply for the EU residence document immediately after your arrival in Denmark. You can read more about, who can get a certificate and registration here, and more about the processing time here.
An EU residence document is your proof that as an EU citizen - or as family member of an EU citizen - you have a right to reside in Denmark.
For you as an EU citizen your residence document will be a registration certificate. The certificate is not issued for a specific duration and will remain valid for as long as the conditions on which it was issued continue to apply.
When you have received your registration certificate, you may contact the Citizen Service of your municipality of residence in order to get a civil registration number (CPR number) and a yellow health card. Thus you need a registration certificate in order to get a civil registration number.
You can read more about the application process and documentation requirements at Life in Denmark's website here.
After 5 years of uninterrupted legal residence in Denmark, you may apply for a certificate of right to permanent residence.


You must apply for a residence and work permit to 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
  • that you have been admitted (the condition of admission is only for full-degree PhD-students) 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 (2022 level) is DKK 6,397, making the maximum required amount 12 x 6,397 = DKK 76,764. 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.

How to apply
The application process always has to be initiated by the International Staff Office at SDU, so please contact us at for more information .

The application fee is DKK 1.890,00 (EUR 254).

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


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 that are a 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 is stated 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 programme.
If you work illegally in Denmark, you risk deportation, and you and your employer risk fine or imprisonment.

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 here.

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.

About bringing your spouse and children

If you have been granted a residence and work permit as a PhD-student, you can bring certain family members. Please note that you must document that you can support your family members.
Read more about residence permit for accompanying family members here.

New job while in Denmark

If you find a new job while you are working, you must apply for a new residence and work permit.
Read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit as an employee here.

Need help?

Contact International Staff Office


Last Updated 10.03.2022