A short guide for your SU application
SU (Statens Uddannelsesstøtte) is a financial support or grant for students here in Denmark. Danes get paid to study and the good news is, if you are an EU citizen or equal to a Danish citizen, you can still apply for SU. Although there are some special requirements you have to meet as an international student.
Basically if you work the required hours to pay enough taxes as a foreigner in Denmark, you are able to apply and receive SU. Or you are married to a Dane or lived in Denmark for over 5 years 🙂
So which rules are to consider?
Almost every day I see students posting in Facebook groups and asking other members, what the minimum hours are or the minimum wages, and if they are eligible to get SU. The website su.dk can be a bit confusing and there are still a lot of students, who don’t know the requirements. That is why I wrote down the rules I know and considered for my own SU application.
- A short check-list:
- You have to be a citizen of an EU Member State, an EEA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway) or Switzerland
- Your work is based in Denmark (and you are paying taxes to the Danish State) and you have an address in Denmark and a CPR number. Students who live in Denmark but work for a company abroad are not able to apply for SU.
- Only paid work matters; unpaid internships and volunteer work is not eligible for SU
- You work minimum 43 hours every month. The thumb rule is 11 to 12 hours every week, because some months are longer than others (which means that monthly salary should be at least around 4300-4500 kr)
- Therefore your wage should be at least 90-100 kr per hour or more. You might get SU granted if your salary is less than the minimum wage, but as far as I know, you should work more than 12 hours per week to get approved.
- You can work as many hours as you want, but you shouldn’t extend the maximum of 11.845 kr before taxes per month (only salary, SU is not included in this sum)
- You can apply up to 6 weeks of vacation, in which SU wont check your hours and you still get paid the grant. Make sure you let them know in time. You should send a statement from your employer or your feriepenge slip 3 to 4 weeks before (contact details are below). The vacation can be applied once every year and a year is counted from 1st May until end of April.
- Owner of a start-up, self-employed students and nannies or Au pairs don’t have the monthly pay slips to prove the monthly hours, but they can still apply for SU. In this case you have to hand in your SKAT report in the end of the tax year and prove that you paid enough taxes. Make sure your salary per month is correct and you paid enough taxes, otherwise you have to give back all the money you received.
- If you are going to study one semester abroad, you can still receive SU when you work the necessary hours remotely for a Danish-based company
- You are not eligible to get SU, if you:
- are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- do not work in Denmark and/or have no CPR number
- work less than 10 to 11 hours per week
- are an exchange student in Denmark and doing your full-time degree in your home country
- work as a volunteer or unpaid intern
SU will normally check the average salary and hours every 3 months and make sure you meet all the requirements, but in some cases, they randomly check every month as well. Personally, I can not tell you clearly, how often they will check the hours.
After you handed in your application, there is not much to do than waiting patiently. The SU office can get back to you in 1 to 3 months, but if you are lucky, you will hear from the earlier. Good news though, if your application gets approved, you will get your SU paid from the date you applied (in my case for example, I got paid 2 months of SU back in the start).
Make sure you have your e-boks (electronical post box) set up, because SU will only contact you there and not in written letters or emails to your private email address.
If you still have questions or are uncertain if your case is able to apply for SU, you can go to the SU counselor at your university or call the SU office:
[Phone hours are weekdays from 10:30-15:00]
You should expect to be on hold for around 20-30 minutes, but they play enjoyable calm music in the background 🙂
You can also contact them on twitter @minSU_dk and you can always write them an electronic mail via eboks (for example when you want to notify your vacation, get a new job or have some change in your working contract). The guide how to write them a mail with your eboks is here.
I strongly recommend you to meet the requirements and get your taxes right, because if something goes wrong , SU will claim all the money back (most likely in the end of the year). So be careful and good luck for your SU application 🙂 I hope this article helped you.
Check my latest article about the importance of having a CPR number in Denmark and how to find a room in Copenhagen 🙂
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