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What are Denmark's new residence permit rules for foreign students who have graduated?

The Local Denmark
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What are Denmark's new residence permit rules for foreign students who have graduated?
Negotiations are set to continue on whether Austria should adopt a 4-day working week. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

From April 1st, new rules relating to work and residence permits came into effect for international students who have completed their studies in Denmark.

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The Danish parliament last month voted to ease some work permit requirements, in a move designed to make it easier to for companies to hire internationally.

While the bill eases rules on a number of work permit application schemes, it also changes rules for foreign students who have completed their studies in Denmark and want to stay on in the country to look for a professional role.

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The residence permit issued to international students for job seeking after completing a higher education or PhD programme in Denmark has been extended to three years, from the previous six months.

The rule change applies to students who have completed and been awarded a Danish Professional Bachelor’s (vocational), Bachelor’s, Master’s degree or PhD degree.

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) now automatically grants a three-year job seeking period along with study permits, providing the student’s passport has sufficient validity.

Students can therefore apply for the new, longer job seeking period if they were previously granted a six-month period. They can also apply after completing their studies in Denmark, or if their residence permit has a shorter validity due to the expiry date of their passport.

The application portal can be found on SIRI’s website.

Students whose study programmes do not fall into one of the four categories listed above may still be able to get a shorter, six-month job seeking permit. This includes educational programmes not approved by a Danish state authority but that instead have an advisory statement by the Danish Evaluation Institute (EVA).

The application portal can be found on SIRI’s website.

Holders of either job seeking permit can work for 20 hours a week and full time in June, July and August while still enrolled in their studies.

Students who hold the three-year permit can apply for a work permit without limitations if they are offered a job,in which they must work more hours than allowed by the limited work permit.

There are certain conditions attached to the permits: You must not give up your Danish address or stay abroad for longer than 6 successive months, and the permit does not allow you to work in other Schengen countries, although you can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. 

An older scheme, the Establishment Card, allowed the graduated student to stay in Denmark for the period of time the permit is valid, to enable them to apply for jobs and establish themselves on the labour market.

The Establishment Card is abolished as a scheme under the new rules, but existing holders can still apply to have their cards extended under the old rules.

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