Accompanying family members to students, PhDs and persons having or applying for a residence permit to obtain a Danish authorisation
You are an accompanying family member to a person who is going to study in Denmark in a higher educational programme or for a PhD, or a person who has been granted or is applying for a residence permit in order to obtain an authorisation in Denmark.
Normal processing time
What does it mean to be an accompanying family member?
You can be granted a residence permit as an accompanying family member if you are the
- civil partner
- cohabiting partner, or
- child under the age of 18
of a foreign national from a country outside the EU/EEA who will be or is already residing in Denmark in order to study or obtain a Danish authorisation. We will use the term ‘sponsor’ to refer to the foreign national that you will be accompanying to Denmark.
You are a cohabiting partner, if you have been living together with the sponsor for the last 1½-2 years or more and can document this.
Special rules apply to persons born stateless in Denmark who apply for Danish citizenship.
Your options for becoming a Danish citizen as a stateless person born in Denmark depend on whether you are under 18, between 18 and 21 or over 21.
What are the conditions?
You must be able to document that you are related to the sponsor.
The documentation can be a marriage certificate, birth certificate or similar.
In addition, a number of other conditions must be met:
You must have been living together with the sponsor for the last 1½-2 years or more. This must be documented, for example, by providing lease contracts, insurance policies, joint bank statements or similar documents.
In order to be granted a residence permit as an accompanying spouse, it is a requirement that the marriage or registered partnership can be recognised under Danish law.
A foreign marriage or registered partnership can be recognised in Denmark if it was entered into in accordance with the rules in the country where it took place, and if the circumstances surrounding the marriage or registered partnership do not violate fundamental Danish legal principles.
A foreign marriage or registered partnership cannot be recognised if
- one or both parties were under the age of 18 at the time of the wedding or registration, or
- the marriage or registration was concluded without both parties being physically present
If we decide that the marriage cannot be recognised under Danish law, we will consider whether you and your spouse can be considered as cohabiting partners.
Since 15 June 2012 the Danish Act on the Formation and Dissolution of Marriage has been changed to allow same-sex couples to enter into marriage the same way that opposite-sex couples can enter into marriage.
At the same time the Danish Registered Partnership Act has been repealed. This means that since 15 June 2012 it is no longer possible to enter into a registered partnership in Denmark. The Act, however, continues to regulate registered partnerships entered into before this date.
On 1 February 2017 changes were introduced to the Act on Marriage Formation and Dissolution, the Aliens Act and the Guardianship Act. The changes mean that it is no longer possible to exempt applicants from the requirement that both parties must be 18 years of age in order to enter into marriage in Denmark.
Marriages entered into by minors in a country outside Denmark (except by EU/EØS citizens) are no longer recognised in Denmark. This also applies to marriages entered into before 1 February 2017 and to applications being processed when the law came into effect.
The law does not apply to marriages or registered partnerships recognised by the Danish authorities before the law came into effect.
If the child’s parents have joint custody, and if only the sponsor will be staying with the child in Denmark, the other parent must consent to let the child travel to Denmark. If the parent has full custody, we need to see documentation of this.
When granted a permit as an accompanying family member, you must reside at the same address as the sponsor, who is here to study.
This also applies to children who have turned 18 years old.
The sponsor, who is in Denmark to study or to obtain a Danish authorisation, must be able to support you.
You are not allowed to receive any benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act.
You must document that the sponsor has sufficient funds to support you during your stay in Denmark.
The sponsor has sufficient funds to support you, if he or she has disposable funds corresponding to DKK 6,820 (2024 level) per month you will be residing in Denmark, not, however, exceeding 12 months.
If you are to live with the sponsor in Denmark for a year or more, you must document that the sponsor has DKK 81,840 (2024 level) at his or her disposal.
The documentation can, for example, be a bank statement in the sponsor’s name.
No documentation of the ability to support yourselves is required if the sponsor is a PhD student who is employed by and receives a salary from a university or a company.
If the sponsor holds or applies for a residence permit in order to obtain a Danish authorisation, the sponsor must document that he or she has sufficient funds to support you during your stay in Denmark.
What are my rights if I am granted a permit?
What are you allowed do with a Danish residence permit as an accompanying family member to a student or a person having or applying for a residence permit to obtain a Danish authorisation and what are you not allowed to do?
A residence permit allows you to stay in Denmark for the period of time your permit is valid.
In addition, a permit allows you to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. The permit, however, does not allow you to work in other Schengen countries.
You must not give up your Danish address or stay abroad for longer than 6 successive months. A violation will result in the lapse of your permit. This means that you will lose your right to stay in Denmark.
If you need to stay abroad for a longer period of time, e.g. if you wish to take parental leave in your home country, you can apply for a dispensation to prevent your permit from lapsing.
Holding a permit as an accompanying family member to a student or to a person having or applying for a permit to obtain a Danish authorisation grants you the right to work in Denmark. Therefore, you do not need to apply for a separate work permit if you get a job.
You are also allowed to run your own business.
In addition you can follow an educational programme in an educational institution.
If you are under 18 years of age, special rules apply to how much you are allowed to work. You can read more about these rules on the website of the Danish Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet).
A Danish residence permit does not allow you to work in other Schengen countries.
You and your family must support yourselves during your stay. You are not allowed to receive benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act.
If you or you receive such benefits during your stay, your permit can be revoked – and you will lose the right to stay in Denmark.
If the sponsor is an employed and salaried PhD, both you and your sponsor can lose the right to stay in Denmark, if you receive such benefits.
If an authority, e.g. a municipality, disburses benefits to foreign nationals, SIRI will be notified.
With a residence permit in Denmark, you are entitled to free Danish lessons. However, you must have turned 18 years and have your Danish address registered in the Danish National Register.
If you have a residence permit in Denmark based on work, study, etc. you have to pay a deposit before you can start receiving lessons. Be aware that you can lose your deposit if you do not pass the different modules within a specific timeframe.
Your municipality of residence is obliged to offer you Danish lessons and refer you to a language centre. If you have not been offered Danish lessons within a month after registering your address in Denmark, you can contact your municipality.
You will (typically) be taught together with other foreign nationals who have arrived in Denmark recently.
If you are going to stay and possibly work in Denmark, there are a number of things to acquaint yourself with. Depending on your personal situation, you might need other important information and options.
The portal lifeindenmark.dk provides you with information, links and in many cases also options concerning the most important subjects such as:
- The CPR register
- Health card
- Tax matters
- Holiday entitlements
- School and daycare
- Danish lessons
- Car registration and driver’s license
How long can I stay in Denmark?
If you apply from abroad at the same time as the family member, who is in Denmark to study or to obtain a Danish authorisation (the sponsor), you can be granted a residence permit for 1 month before the sponsor starts studying.
This will give you time to settle in Denmark.
In the application form, the sponsor must declare that he or she can support him- or herself and the accompanying family during this period.
If you are already in Denmark when applying, you can stay in Denmark while your application is being processed.
You will normally be granted a permit valid for the same period as the family member who is in Denmark to study or to obtain a Danish authorisation (the sponsor).
If the sponsor’s permit is extended, and you want to stay in Denmark, you must apply for an extension of your residence permit.
It is very important that you apply for an extension before your permit expires.
If you submit your application for an extension in time, you can stay in Denmark even though your permit expires.
If you are an accompanying child and you are granted your first residence permit before you have turned 18 years old, you can extend your permit even though you have turned 18 in the meantime. However, you must still be living at the same address as the sponsor.
If the sponsor has been granted a permanent residence permit, you can be granted a permit valid for 4 years stay in Denmark.
A residence permit can only be valid until 3 months before the expiry date of your passport.
If your passport has a shorter validity than the otherwise possible period of stay, your residence permit will be shortened. This means that the validity of your residence permit will be shorter than it could be. When you have renewed your passport, you can apply for an extension of your residence permit – however, this can only be done 3 months before your permit expires at the earliest.
What more do I need to know before I apply?
An application for a residence permit as an accompanying family member to a student or to a person, who has or is applying for a permit to obtain a Danish authorisation, is processed by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI). If you are in Denmark when submitting the application, you must be here legally. More about legal submission here.
You must document in what way you are related to the sponsor. Therefore, it is very important that you attach a copy of your marriage certificate, documentation of your cohabitation or your birth certificate to the application.
Before submitting your application, you must create a case order ID for your application and pay a fee to cover SIRI’s case processing expenses. You can do this on the “How to apply” tab to the right. Here you also find the relevant application form, MF1.
Each accompanying family member must submit an individual application. For example, if a spouse and two children are applying for residence permits as accompanying family members, 3 case order IDs must be created, 3 fees must be paid and 3 application forms must be submitted.
You can be represented by a third party. It can be a family member, attorney or relocation agency. If you choose to be represented, you must give the third party representing you power of attorney to handle the application on your behalf.
Please note that, as a rule, SIRI will refuse your application for a residence permit on new grounds, if the application is submitted prematurely in relation to the wished for start date for your stay in Denmark.
If you submit such an application earlier than 6 months before your stay in Denmark will begin, you can expect a refusal to your application. If you have paid SIRI's case processing fee, you will not receive a refund of the fee.
SIRI will contact you or the sponsor in Denmark if we need further information to process your case.
Below you will find a step-by-step guide to submitting an application to the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
It is important that you have carefully read the conditions for being granted a residence permit before you begin step 1. You can do this on the tab “Need to know” on the left.
It is a good idea to gather the necessary documents before you start to complete the application form. You can use the check list below.
If you submit documents not written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, you must also submit certified translations into Danish or English.
You must submit:
If you are a spouse or registered partner, you must also submit:
If you are a cohabiting partner, you must submit:
If you are a child, you must submit
Expect to use
completing the application
You complete the application form yourself.
In this step you have access to the relevant application form MF1.
Make sure that you have completed all the preceeding steps before you begin.
All our application forms contain careful instructions on how to complete the form and what kind of documents you must submit along with the form.
Make sure you have all documents ready in digital form, in order to attach them as you complete the application form.
If you do not have a MitID, you must sign, scan and attach to the application the document 'Sworn declarations and information'.
Please note that it is mandatory to use this application form. Under special circumstances, you can be exempted from the requirement to use an online application form. You can read more here.
Please note that it is mandatory to fill in your passport number in this application form. If you are not in possession of a valid passport, you can contact us for guidance. You can find our contact information here.
When you apply for a residence permit, you must have your biometric features recorded. This means that you must have a facial photo taken and your fingerprints recorded. The facial photo and your fingerprints will be stored on a microchip embedded in the residence card, which will be issued to you if you are granted a permit.
If you do not agree to have your biometric features recorded, your application will be rejected. This means that your application will not be processed.
You must have your biometric features recorded no later than 14 days after you submitted your application.
If you are unable to have your biometric features recorded within the time limit of 14 days, because you are unable to book an appointment at a Danish diplomatic mission, you can inform us of the appointed time you will have your biometrics recorded. This way you can avoid having your application rejected.
You are abroad
If you submit an printable application form, you can have your biometric features recorded at a Danish diplomatic mission or an application centre in the country, where you reside.
In certain countries Denmark does not have a diplomatic mission or application centre. In these instances the list will refer you to one of the Norwegian missions with which Denmark has made an agreement or to the nearest Danish diplomatic mission or application centre in the region.
If you submit your application to a Norwegian diplomatic mission, you must also submit one passport photo. If you are granted a residence permit based on your application, you must within a specific time frame after you entry to Denmark have your biometric features recorded.
We recommend that you visit the local diplomatic mission’s webpage to get more information before you submit the application. The individual diplomatic mission can have additional requirements regarding payment of additional fees, submission of additional passport photos or additional copies of the application.
You are in Danmark
If you are residing legally in Denmark, you are normally able to have your biometric features recorded in Denmark. This is the case, if you:
- hold a valid visa
- is exempt from the visa requirement or
- already hold a valid residence permit.
You can have your biometric features recorded in one of SIRI’s branch offices.
You have submitted your application succesfully if you have:
- created a case order ID
- paid the fee
- submitted the application
- had your biometric features recorded
You can see the normal case processing time to the right on this page. When we make a decision in your case, you will receive an answer.
SIRI will contact you or your employer if we need further information to process your case.