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Student residence permit

As an applicant to a full-time degree programme in Denmark you usually have to apply for a student residence permit if you are a non-EU citizen and do not have a permanent residence permit or the equivalent in Denmark.

The residence permit is issued by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).

Your student residence permit will generally be valid for the prescribed time to complete your degree. In addition it is standard practice to grant students a six-month residence permit after they complete their degree  so they can look for a job.

If you have a student residence permit, you are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. However, in June, July and August, you can work full time. Please note this may be subject to change! Be very careful not to exceed the permitted number of weekly hours of work. SIRI can withdraw your residence permit if you break the rules. Note that SIRI makes regular checks of how much you work and how much you earn..

Before your arrival

Get your residence permit before commencement of studies

If you accept an offer of enrolment, you will receive an invoice for the tuition fee for the first semester (30 ECTS). The deadline for paying the tuition fee for the first semester is 15 June for commencement of studies on 1 September. The deadline for paying the tuition fee for the first semester for commencement of studies on 1 February is 1 December.

Once you have paid the tuition fee, the university will send you an ST1 form via the application portal. Use this form to apply for a student residence permit. The university will have completed the first part of the ST1 form. You have to fill in the second part, and then you must send the completed application to SIRI via the SIRI website.

We recommend that you pay the tuition fee as far in advance of the 15 June deadline as possible, because your application for a residence permit will not be processed by SIRI until you have paid the tuition fee and met all the admission requirements for the degree programme. Furthermore, you will not be enrolled on your degree programme until these requirements have been met. The tuition fee for the first semester must be paid in full in one payment and cannot be paid in instalments.

You also have to pay an application fee and have your biometrics registered to have your application processed.

You can apply for a residence permit if you have been conditionally admitted
You can submit your application for a residence permit before you have completed your qualifying exam/ Bachelor’s degree programme or before you have met the language requirements or other requirements. However, your application will not be processed by SIRI until you have et all of the admission requirements, all the relevant documents have been attached to with your application, and the tuition fee has been paid.

If your admission is still conditional when you submit your application for a residence permit, Aarhus University will inform SIRI when you have met all of the admission requirements for the degree programme to which you have been accepted.

Expected processing time
The processing time for a correctly completed application is up to two months. The average processing time is currently approx. 45 days. Please note that the university will not be able to accelerate processing of your application unless SIRI has exceeded its service target of two months.

You can read more about the procedure for applying for a residence permit from the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI). See www.newtodenmark.dk

You have to document that you can support yourself financially

In order to qualify for a student residence permit in Denmark, you must be able to support yourself. Under some circumstances, this means that you will have to document that you have sufficient cash resources.

  • If you have paid the tuition fee for the first semester, you will not have to provide any other documentation that you can support yourself financially.
  • If you have been offered a free place at Aarhus University without a monthly stipend, you will have to document that you can support yourself financially.
  • If you have received a free place at Aarhus University with a monthly stipend for living expenses, you will not have to document that you can support yourself financially.

Read more about the rules on self-support at www.newtodenmark.dk.

If you already have a residence permit in Denmark

If you have been admitted on the basis of an ongoing Danish degree programme
If you are applying for admission on the basis of an ongoing degree programme in Denmark, you will have to apply for a new residence permit for the Bachelor's or Master's degree programme on which you are enrolled because a student residence permit is only given for a specific degree programme for a specific period.

However, you can wait to apply for a residence permit for your new degree programme until you have completed your current degree programme in Denmark. Immediately after the end of your qualifying exam/Bachelor’s degree programme, you should contact Admissions to assist you in connection with your application for a renewed residence permit. You will usually have legal residence in Denmark, while your application for a new residence permit is being processed.

If you already have another type of residence permit in Denmark
If you already have a residence permit in Denmark that is not a study residence permit, you must check with the issuing authority yourself whether your current residence permit allows you to take a full-time degree programme without having to apply for a study residence permit. The university does not advise on this.

If you change your degree programme or programme direction

If you change your current degree programme to another degree programme at the same or higher level, you also have to apply for a new residence permit.

However, this does not apply if you simply change direction on the same degree programme, as this will not extend your maximum period of study.

Is it taking a long time to process your application?

There may be a number of reasons for delays in the processing of your residence permit beyond SIRI’s two-month service goal.

If parts of your application are missing, SIRI will have to chase these up. The time spent chasing up missing documentation will be added to the processing time. There is a 30-day deadline for replies to SIRI if you are applying from abroad, and 14 days if you are applying from Denmark.

Typical factors that may prolong the processing time

  • Incomplete copy of passport (all pages of the passport must be uploaded, including all blank pages as well as the front and back cover of the passport)
  • Insufficient fee paid (remember to pay the relevant fee in full for the year in which your application is processed. The fee rate usually changes at the end of the year. Also include any bank charges).
  • Lack of specific address for the applicant
  • Missing name on the mailbox at the applicant’s address
  • No registration of address in the CPR register (applicants living in Denmark)
  • Lack of registration with e-Box for communication from the authorities (applicants living in Denmark)
  • Interviews with applicants

Interviews with applicant
In some cases, SIRI will hold an interview with an applicant. This is usually to confirm the language skills of the applicant, the motivation for applying for residence in Denmark, or the information submitted by the applicant. Interviews are usually held at the Danish embassy in the applicant's home country or in Denmark, if the applicant has already travelled to Denmark.

If your application for a residence permit is rejected

In rare cases, an application for a student residence permit may be rejected.

The reasons for rejection will usually be based on very specific, individual circumstances.

Please notify the university, as the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration is not authorised to inform the university that your application for a residence permit has been rejected.

If your application for a residence permit is rejected, your offer of admission will also be withdrawn.

  • Please note that the deadline for reimbursement of your tuition fees is commencement of studies.
  • If you have received a tuition waiver (with or without a monthly scholarship), your tuition waiver (and monthly scholarship) offer will also be withdrawn.

Kindly note that Aarhus University cannot affect the agency’s decision. Any enquiries or complaints regarding the decision should be directed to the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration.

During your studies at AU

Extending your residence permit

You can apply for an extension no earlier than three months before your current residence permit expires. Once you have submitted your application for an extension to SIRI, and received confirmation that your application has been received, you will be permitted to stay in Denmark until SIRI has processed your application, even if your current residence permit expires.

If your passport has expired
If your passport is not valid for the entire period of study, when you apply for a residence permit you will initially only receive a residence permit that is valid for the period of your studies during which your passport is valid. Before your residence permit expires, you will have to renew your passport and apply for an extension to your residence permit.

You should send a copy of your new passport to ba.admission@au.dk (admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes) or ma.admission@au.dk (admission to Master’s degree programmes) and ask the university to start an ST3 form. The university will fill in part 1 and forward the form to you to fill in Part 2.

Your progress toward your degree is delayed
If you are delayed in your studies, remember to apply for an extension of your residence permit before it expires. You should obtain confirmation from your study centre/your studies administration regarding your expected new completion date. The new date for your expected completion must be specific, individual and accurate. Therefore, you should not just state your maximum degree completion time, as this will not say anything about your own individual progress toward your degree and expected date of completion.

You should submit the confirmation from the study centre to ba.admission@au.dk (admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes) or ma.admission@au.dk (admission to Master’s degree programmes) and request Admissions to start an ST3 form. Admissions will fill in part 1 and forward the form to you to fill in Part 2.

Fixed-term residence permit compared with maximum degree completion time
Your residence permit may be extended for a maximum of one year beyond the prescribed degree completion time (+ 6 months for job search). This means that, due to the residence permit, you may be forced to complete your studies earlier than the maximum period of study that the university has assigned for you, if, for example, you have been assigned more than one year of additional study by the board of studies due to exceptional circumstances (e.g. illness).

Residence and work permit for a work placement

Compulsory work placement
If your degree programme includes a compulsory work placement, your ST1 application for a residence permit will contain a simultaneous application for a work permit for the period of your degree programme in which you are on work placement. This means that you do not have to apply for a separate work permit for the work placement.

Optional work placement
If your degree programme includes an optional work placement, you should first apply for a residence permit for the work placement when you have started your degree programme and have a specific agreement on a work placement.

You should contact your study centre so that the university can help you fill out the ST4 form you need to apply for a work permit to cover your work placement.

The ST4 application form is available from the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration website.

Residence permit and leave

You are obligated to inform SIRI if you are on leave. A prerequisite for maintaining your residence permit in Denmark is that you are actively enrolled on a programme, and therefore SIRI will generally suspend your residence permit during the period of leave.

If you lose your study residence permit due to your leave, you will have to leave Denmark and apply from your home country for a new study residence permit in order to be able to return to Denmark and resume your degree programme after the end of your leave.

As a rule, a permit to remain in Denmark is only issued in connection with maternity/paternity leave. If you want to stay in Denmark during your maternity/paternity leave or other types of leave, e.g. serious illness, you have to apply to the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).

Please note that the university is obligated to inform SIRI about your period of leave.

Residence permit for study abroad

Before leaving

  • If you are going to study abroad, you can stay outside Denmark for up to six months.
  • After six months, your residence permit will lapse automatically, and you will have to apply again from your home country, unless you are granted a dispensation from lapse of your permit.
  • If you leave Denmark for more than six months, you must always deregister from the CPR register.
  • If you give up your CPR address in Denmark while you are abroad, your study residence permit will automatically lapse.
  • You can maintain your CPR address for up to six months by, for example, subletting your home for a fixed period. You have to be able to document that you have access to your place of residence when you return. We recommend that you contact Citizens' Services (Borgerservice), as an individual assessment is required in each case.
  • Make sure that you get a confirmation of your study period abroad from your foreign university. The confirmation should include your name, the name of the host university, the duration of your stay and the name of the degree programme.
  • Check whether special rules apply for residence permits and entry visas for the country you are travelling to, including the countries you are travelling through to reach your destination country. The rules may vary from country to country.

You will receive practical information before you leave about your study period abroad from the International Centre.

When you return to Denmark

  • When you return to Denmark, and if your study period abroad has lasted less than six months, your original residence permit will apply.
  • If you have been away from Denmark for more than six months, you will have to apply for a new residence permit from your home country.
  • You should register at the Citizens' Services at DOKK1 as soon as possible after you enter Denmark.
  • Take with you a confirmation for Citizens' Services that you have been active at your host university during the period in question and take also an updated enrolment confirmation from Aarhus University.    

Residence permits and active enrolment requirement

A residence permit is granted for full-time programmes, and you are responsible for ensuring that you are able to complete your programme within the time limit set by the residence permit, and that you also comply with the active enrolment requirement laid down by the university.

The university is obligated to inform SIRI if you are not actively enrolled.

If you leave your programme or take leave of absence, the university will automatically notify SIRI.

Special active enrolment requirements apply for students who receive a free place with/without living costs. The active enrolment requirements are described in the contract between the student and the university.

Please note that SIRI conducts random checks of students' active enrolment.

Note also that your residence permit will lapse automatically if you are outside Denmark for more than six months. This means that you will have to apply for a new residence permit in Denmark from your home country.

You are welcome to contact the university for guidance before you run into any problems with expiry of your study residence permit.

When you have completed your degree

The establishment card scheme

 

The establishment card scheme (etableringskortordningen) is for people from non-EU countries with a completed (professional) Bachelor’s, Master's or PhD degree who need a residence permit to seek relevant paid work in Denmark after graduation.

The current scheme qualifies graduates for two years of residence in Denmark without public benefits after graduation. In addition, a new agreement effective from 1 July 2020 makes it possible to extend this period by one year, provided you are employed in a job that is relevant for your degree programme.

You can now apply for the scheme up to 12 months after your graduation.

Read more about how to apply for an establishment card at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration website.

You are responsible for your own residence permit
The university is not responsible for ensuring that you have a valid residence permit, and that you comply with the relevant rules so that you can keep your residence permit. If you are unsure about the rules that apply to your residence permit, please contact SIRI.