Normal processing time

1 month

Processing fee

DKK 2.315,-

Who can apply for a residence permit?
What are the conditions?
What rights do I have, if I am granted a permit?
How long can I stay in Denmark?
Can my family be granted a residence permit?
What more do I need to know before I apply?

Who can apply for a residence permit?

You can be granted a Danish residence permit as a PhD if

  • you are enrolled as a PhD student at a Danish university and receive a salary from the university or a company affiliated with the PhD programme, or 
  • you are enrolled in a PhD programme without receiving a salary.

If you are enrolled in a PhD programme abroad and wish to do a part of your programme in Denmark, you can be granted a permit as a visiting PhD.

If you are a citizen of a EU/EEA country, you do not need to apply for a residence permit with SIRI but must instead apply for a EU residence document at the Danish State Administration (Statsforvaltningen).

If you are enrolled in a PhD programme on one of the flexible PhD models (3+5 or 4+4), you must choose whether you want to apply for a residence permit to complete your master's degree and, subsequently, apply a second time to complete your PhD programme, or whether you want to apply for a residence permit valid for the full duration of your education (4 or 5 years).

The advantage of applying for a permit valid for the full duration is that you only need to apply and pay the fee once. The disadvantage is that your permit cannot be extended for more than a maximum of two years. In the first case, you can extend your studies for a master's degree with 1 year and your PhD programme with 2 years, thus making it possible for you to extend your permit with up to 3 years in total.

What are the conditions?

It is a requirement that you have been enrolled in a PhD programme in Denmark, if you are doing a full degree.

If you are only going to do part of your programme in Denmark as a visiting PhD student, it is a requirement that you are enrolled in a PhD programme abroad and that you are associated with an educational institution in Denmark. 

As a PhD student, you can be employed by a university or by a company and receive a salary while you are enrolled in the PhD programme.

You can also be a PhD student without employment and salary. 

If you are employed by a university or by a company, your self-support is secured by your salary.

If you are not employed and therefore do not receive a salary, you must have sufficient funds to be able support yourself during your stay in Denmark. 

You have sufficient funds if your disposable amount corresponds to DKK 6,015 (2017 level) for each month you will be a PhD student in Denmark - only for a maximum of 12 months, however.

For example, if you wish to stay in Denmark for 1 year or longer, you must have a disposable amount corresponding to 12 times DKK 6,015 (DKK 72,180 in total).

Documentation of your ability to provide for yourself and any family members accompanying you can be in the form of a bank statement, for example. 

Read more about the requirement for self-support here.

You must be able to speak and understand the language of instruction. You must be able to understand either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German with a reasonable level of proficiency.

What rights do I have, if I am granted a permit?

What are you allowed to do with a Danish residence permit as a PhD student? – and what are you not allowed to do?

A residence permit allows you to stay and study in Denmark for the period your permit is valid.

In addition, a permit allows you to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180 days period. However, the permit does not allow you to work in other Schengen countries.

You must not give up your Danish address or stay abroad for more 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, you can apply for a dispensation to prevent your permit from lapsing.

You can read more about permit lapse and dispensation options here.

You are allowed to work full-time at the university in which you have been enrolled or in the company affiliated to your PhD programme. This only applies to work tasks that are part of your PhD programme and only for the period while you study.

In addition to your residence and work permit as a PhD student, you are also granted a limited work permit allowing you to take up additional employment besides your full-time job as a PhD student

The limited work permit allows you to work:

  • for up to 20 hours per week during the normal period of study from September to May, and
  • full-time through June, July and August.

The limited work permit is also valid during the 6 month job seeking period granted to you after you have completed your education.

It will be regarded as illegal work, if you work more hours than you are allowed to.

If you work illegally you can receive a warning, a fine or your residence permit as a student can be revoked [link].

You must be able to support yourself and your family during your stay. Therefore, there are certain public benefits that you are not allowed to receive. Which benefits depend on your residence permit:

As an employed and salaried PhD, you are not allowed to receive benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act, e.g. social security benefits. This also applies to any family members accompanying you to Denmark.

As an unpaid PhD student, you are not allowed to receive public assistance. For example, you are not allowed to receive maternity or paternity benefits, housing benefits or state study grants, and there might be other benefits that you are not allowed to receive.

 Any family members accompanying you are also not allowed to receive benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act, e.g. social security benefits.

If you or your family member receives benefits in violation of the terms of your residence permit, your permit can be revoked – and you will lose the right to stay in Denmark.

If an authority, e.g. a municipality, disburses benefits to foreign nationals, SIRI will be notified.

You can see a list of benefits that you are not allowed to receive here.

With a residence permit in Denmark, you are entitled to free Danish lessons. However, you must be 18 years old and have your Danish address registered in the Danish National Register.

Your municipality of residence is obliged to offer you Danish lessons and refer you to a language center. 

If you have not been offered Danish lessons within a month after registering your address in Denmark, you can contact your municipality. 

You will be taught together with other foreign nationals who have arrived in Denmark recently.

If you are going to stay 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:

  • NemID
  • The CPR register
  • Health card
  • Tax matters
  • Holiday entitlements 
  • School and daycare
  • Housing
  • Danish lessons
  • Car registration and driver’s license 

How long can I stay in Denmark?

You can stay in Denmark for the standard (nominal) duration of your PhD programme, provided that you participate actively in the programme.

If you do not complete your PhD programme within the nominal period of study, it is important that you apply for an extension of your permit.

If you change your PhD programme, you must apply for a new residence permit based on the new programme.  You are allowed to start your new programme while you wait for us to reach a decision in your case.

If you have completed a PhD programme in Denmark, you can be granted a 6 month residence permit to look for a job in Denmark.

If you are granted a permit to complete a full PhD programme, you will generally be granted the 6 month job seeking permit along with your residence permit. If not, you can apply for the job seeking permit after completing your PhD.

A residence permit for job seeking gives you the same rights to work as you had during your studies: 20 hours per week (15 hours per week if you were granted your permit before 1 January 2015) and full-time through June, July and August.

The job seeking period gives you the opportunity to find a job in Denmark after you have completed your studies. If you are offered a job during the job seeking period, you must apply for a new residence and work permit.

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. 

Read more about the passport requirements.

Can my family be granted a residence permit?

A residence and work permit based on PhD studies in Denmark allows your family to come with you to Denmark.

A permit can be granted to your spouse, registered or cohabiting partner as well as children under the age of 18 living at home.

Read more about accompanying family members here

What more do I need to know before I apply?

An application for a residence permit on the basis of PhD studies 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 be enrolled in a Danish university or in your home university (for visiting PhDs) as a PhD student to be able to apply.

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, PHD1. You can choose between an online form and a paper form. Your place of study must fill in one of two parts of the form.

If you use the paper form, the application process is generally initiated by your educational institution.

If you use the online form, the educational institiution must first complete their part. When the educational institution has completed their part, they will receive a reference number and a password for the second part of the form. The educational institution will pass this information on to you in order for you to be able to open the application and complete your part.

SIRI will contact you or your educational institution 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.

When submitting an application or appeal with a fee, you must first create a case order ID.

Case type:

PhD

Fee:

DKK 2.315,-

Information about the applicant

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Is a fee not warranted in your case?

Are you sure a fee is not required to be payed in your case?

Only certain applicants are exempt from paying a fee. If the immigration authorities decide at a later stage that the applicant/appelant is not exempt from paying a fee, the application/appeal will be rejected.
If you have payed a fee and the following case handling shows that the fee should not have been payed, the whole fee will be refunded.

In certain cases the fee is not warranted (fee exemption). Examples are:

  • The Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey
  • Denmark’s international obligations
  • Citizenship of the EU/EEA

You are still required to create a case order ID, even if you are not required to pay a fee.

If you have payed a fee and it is not warranted, the whole fee will be refunded.

Read more about Fee exemption

The information is incorrect

If no case order ID is shown in the field below, please type your case order ID and click on View payment status.

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Payment options

Betal med Dankort, VISA eller MasterCard

Pay by international bank transfer

Case Order ID:

Pay online using Danish internet bank

Danish internet bank

This page tells you which information is required when paying the fee online using a Danish internet bank.

Pay using Danish internet bank

Please include the following information when paying the fee online using a Danish internet bank.

Order payment form and pay fee at a post office or in a bank

Order payment form

On this page you can order a payment form which you can use to pay the fee at a post office or in a bank. 

The payment form will be sent to the address you give below. 

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, German, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, you must also submit certified translations into Danish or English.

You must submit:

If you are an employed and salaried PhD, you must also submit

If you are a PhD, but do not receive a salary, you must also submit

If you are a guest PhD, you must also submit

Expect to use

30-40 minutes

per person to complete the application

2 persons

You and your educational institution are each required to complete a part of the form.

In this step you and your educational institution have access to the relevant application forms. You can choose between an online form and a print form. It is best to use the online form as it is both safer and more efficient.

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.

Online applications

If you apply online, you must choose the application form PHD1 online.

In the PHD1 online form your educational institution must complete the first of the two parts of the form. When your educational institution has completed their part, a reference number and password will be shown, which the educational institution must pass on to you. You are then able to open the online application and complete your part.

Make sure you have all documents ready in digital form, in order to attach them as you complete the application form.

 

Use the online form PHD1

 

Printable application forms

In the printable application form PHD1 your educational institution must complete part 2 of the form. When your educational institution has completed their part, you must complete your part. Once parts 1 and 2 have been completed, they must be submitted together – read more in the next step.

You must submit the necessary documents with the application.

The printable application form in Word format can be completed on screen before you print. The application form in pdf format must be printed first and then completed by hand.

Download the printable form PHD1 (Word format) 

Download the printable form PHD1 (Pdf format)

You have applied online

If you have applied online, your application has already been submitted. Read more about having your biometrics recorded in the next step.

You are are submitting the application abroad

The application can be submitted to a Danish diplomatic mission or an application centre in the country where you are residing.

See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ list of diplomatic missions or application centres where you can hand in your application

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.

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 submitting the application in Danmark

If you are residing legally in Denmark, you are normally able to submit the application 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.

Read more about the legal residence requirement and submission of your application in Denmark. 

You can submit the applicaton in SIRI’s Citizen Centre in Copenhagen. If you live outside the Greater Copenhagen area, you can also submit the application at a local police station with facilities for recording biometrics.

If you plan to submit you application I SIRI’s Citizen Centre, you must remember to book an appointment.

See a list of local police stations, where you can submit your application.

You can also send the application to SIRI.

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.

Read more about biometrics here.

You have applied online

If you have submitted an online application form, you must have your biometric features recorded no later than 14 days after you submitted your application.

Your biometric features can be recorded at a Danish diplomatic mission abroad, at a Danish local police station with facilities for recording biometrics or in SIRI’s Citizen Centre.

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 by email of the appointed time you will have your biometrics recorded. This way you can avoid having your application rejected.

You are are submitting the application 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.

See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ list of diplomatic missions or application centres where you can have your biometric features recorded.

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 two passport photos. If you are granted a residence permit based on your application, you must within a specific time frame afte 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 submitting the application 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.

Read more about the legal residence requirement and submission of your application in Denmark. 

You can have your biometric features recorded in SIRI’s Citizen Centre in Copenhagen. 

If you plan to have your biometrics recorded in SIRI’s Citizen Centre, you must remember to book an appointment.

If you live outside the Greater Copenhagen area, you can have your biometric features recorded at a local police station with facilities for recording biometrics.

See a list of local police stations, where you can have your biometrics recorded.

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.

Read more about what you can expect while you are waiting for an answer.

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