You work or have worked in Denmark

You can apply for equal status with Danish citizens if you work or have worked in Denmark for a minimum of 2 years

If you wish to be granted equal status with Danish citizens according to this rule, the fact that you have lived in Denmark for a continuous period of at least two years (24 months) and have had at least 30 hours’ paid work a week must be registered. This condition must be fulfilled immediately before you start the study programme for which you have applied for SU.

This is what we do

To enable us to process your application for equal status according to this rule, you must attach documentation of having had paid work or been self-employed. You must attach the documentation together with the application for equal status for foreign citizens. Documentation of having paid work is a copy of your employment contract(s) for the whole period.

When we investigate whether you fulfil the conditions, we look at what you have been doing during the previous 27 months. This means that if you start you study programme on 1 September 2022, we investigate what you were doing from 1 June 2020 to 31 August 2022. We look at 27 months because of the exception to the effect that you fulfil the requirement concerning 24 months’ employment even if you have had an intervening period of up to 3 months when you did not work (read more about exceptions below). We investigate whether during the 27-month period you:

  • with a valid work permit, have had regular work with standard wages (in the sense of labour law) or have been self-employed
  • as a minimum have worked for two years (24 months) in Denmark
  • have had at least 30 hours’ paid work each week (an average of 30 hours is not sufficient to fulfil the requirement)

Certain periods also count as work:

  • You have the right to take twice five weeks’ holiday during the 24 month period in accordance with the Holidays Act.
  • Periods of maximum one year are equated with paid work if in connection with birth or adoption you have looked after your own child in accordance with the rules of the labour market.


If your paid work did not cover one continuous period or did not take place immediately before you started your study programme, you can nevertheless be granted equal status with Danish citizens if the intervening period/periods were one of the following:

  • a period of maximum three months in all
  • unemployment, where you were registered at job centre
  • a period of maximum six months when you took a labour market study programme, attended a language school or pursued similar educational activities
  • illness, or
  • national service

However, under all circumstances you must have worked for a minimum of two years (24 months) in Denmark.

We use the information in the Danish National Register to assess for how long time you have been having residence in Denmark.

If you think that the information in the national register is inadequate or incorrect, you must approach the national register in the municipality you live in.

Equal status can be discontinued

If you apply for SU for a new study programme and previously have been granted equal status with Danish citizens according to the Danish rules, you do not have to apply for equal status again.

However, please note that you must apply for equal status again if you have lived outside of Denmark for a continuous period of more than two years, as your equal status is no longer valid after this period.

Facts - danish rules

If you have been granted equal status according to Danish rules, you cannot receive SU for a whole study programme abroad.

Worth noting

Paid work placement and other periods of education with pay do not count as paid work. For example, a period of paid work placement as part of an agricultural study programme does not count as paid work.

A stay as an au pair

A stay as an au pair is not paid work because as an au pair you have not received a work permit.