If you want to apply for an SU, you need to have prepared all the documents you need, and you need to make sure that you fulfil all the criteria. Otherwise, your application will be rejected and you have to repeat the process all over again.
What is SU?
SU is a state's educational grant for all full-time students in Denmark. If you are an exchange student, you are no allowed to receive the SU.
Right now, the amount you get in SU is DKK6,166, roughly €830.
Read more about SU here.
Do you have to pay, to apply for SU?
No, it does not cost anything to apply for SU and you receive your response within few week, depending on how busy the SU office is. If you apply for SU with everybody else, that is in the beginning of semester, you might wait longer, compared to applying later on, when most cases are settled.
What do you need to have, before you apply?
Important things first
The least possible day for applying to SU is the last day of the month.
For example, If I would like to receive SU for September, the last possible day for applying would be the 30th of September.
It is possible to receive SU in a retrospective effect, meaning that you can receive the SU for March, even though you apply on 31st of March.
The last day for applying to SU in a year is the 5th of December. And you won’t get your money sooner than in January.
Remember, that once you make the login to minSU, you need to deliver the rest of the documentation within the 3 weeks.
If you won't, then the day you deliver these documents counts as the day of your application. So you won't be able to receive SU in retrospect.
OK, let’s get started with the application.
Step 1 - Apply on su.dk
You need to have your NemID setup for this step.
If you are tired of the white cards, make sure to check out our blog about useful apps to download when living in Denmark.
Once you get logged in follow these steps
- Firstly I would advice to use google translate in your browser to have everything in English
- You will see "søge om SU" which is the link which lets you apply.
- Next you will have many options to discover, but just follow with "Søg SU"
- Fill up the application
After you apply, you will be requested to download, and print an equal status application.
You bring this, together with a work contract and application to your SU office in school, but we'll get to that.
Step 2 - Fill Out the Equal Status
This is the document that you get prompted to download and fill out, after submitting your SU application.
They have both English and Danish versions. You can download the English version of equal Status form here.
Here, you have two main options on how be considered an “equal” and that is under the Danish rules, and under the EU rules.
Danish rules include being married to a Dane, coming to Denmark with your parents, working consciously at least 30 hours a week for 24 months, or being a member of Danish minority in Southern Slesvig (?).
Under the EU rules, you can receive SU when you have resided in Denmark, continuously for 5 years or when you have a status of a worker, or have retained your status of a worker, in Denmark. But this only applies for students coming form EU/EEA countries.
Don't worry, it is not like you need to actively choose which rules you want to use. All the questions are included in the "Equal Status" document. So answer everything truthfully, and you should be OK.
Step 3 - Get Your Work Contract
So what exactly are the rules that will make you are a ‘worker in Denmark’?
Well, no one really knows and if you ask 10 people, each one of them will likely tell you something different.
“Oh yeah, you have to work every week, at least 10 hours.”
“Wait, isn’t it 10-12 hours per week?”
“I thought it’s 43 hours per month?”
The law states, that you should be having a stable job, where you work 10-12 hours every week.
It is not necessary to have a work contract that would state the exact number of hours. SU can check your paychecks and deduct the hours from there.
Once you are approved for SU, all you need to do it to make sure you have all the working hours you need.
And this is also where things get complicated.
The thing is that the law states that you need to have a stable job where you work 10 - 12 hours a week. Although there are many people, including me, that will tell you that they only focused on having 43 hours a month and they were fine.
Once again, SU is handled individually, so there is no clear answer.
Just get all the hours you need, and if possible, try to have some hours every week. It might not help, but then SU is handled individually. If the SU worker sees that your hours are ok and that you only miss something here and there, they might be more benevolent.
If you are unsure about your hours, you can always try using the SU holiday to fill up the gaps. You can apply for SU holiday on su.dk or you can check our blog, where we speak about SU in more general terms.
You might want to google some lawsuits that happened in regards to this topic. There is quite a few of them and it might give you a better overview of the whole system.
Step 4 - Submit your work contract and fill out the form
Once you got to this step, you simply upload all relevant documents online.
After submitting your application, you will be prompted to fill out an online form. Here, you should also upload your work contract.
Back in the day, you used to bring all the documents to the SU office in your school.
That has changed and now we do all of the steps online.
Side note: if you have resided in Denmark for more than 5 years, you can simply write it in the last line of the application and send it without any other parts filled out. It worked out for me.
Step 5 - Waiting
Now you can only wait, and pray to the SU gods that your application will get accepted.
But if you've followed this guide correctly, you have a very good chance of getting your SU from the month you applied, regardless the lenght of the process.
3 Reasons people often get declined in their SU application
Applying for SU does not mean that you automatically be granted SU. Each application is processed individually by a case worker, who might or might not approve documents you've submitted. These are the 3 main reasons, people do not get their application approved.
Not working enough hours per week
One of the basic requirements for receiving SU is to work. And not only to work, but to have a specific amount of hours per week and month. The rules are here unfortunately unclear, and as mentioned before, each application is handled individually.
But if your contract states that you are working less than 10 - 12 hours a week, then there is no chance to get SU. Similarly, with Vikar workers. If you are unable to get the required hours in your previous months, the SU worker cannot really approve your application.
Applying for SU with vikar contract
If you are applying for an equal status with a work contract that does not state the amount of hours you will work (fx. vikar contract), it is still possible to apply for SU, however you need to prove that you will be working for 10-12 hours a week. This is usually done by providing payslips to the SU office, where you can show at least 1 month of steady income.
In some cases, it is required that you bring such payslips for last 3 months, prior to applying for an SU.
You will likely be able to submit your application, but SU will reply with: 'You need to declare that you have worked for 10-12 in past xy months'. If you can do it, perfect! You will get approved.
If not, you need to go back to work and make sure to hit the right number of hours every week.
Making mistake in the SU application
To be honest, I haven't met anybody who had this issue, but you indeed need to fill a couple of documents. And you need to fill them right. In this case, I would advise filling these documents with your friends or classmates. Thus you can check after each other and point out possible mistakes.
Another good this to remember is that you should submit your forms the latest 3 weeks after registering on minSU. If you do it later, then the day you delivered all the documents count as the day you applied. Thus you can start receiving SU only from that day.
FAQ about SU
Is it possible to get SU without working?
Yes, if you have been living in Denmark for more than 5 years without interruption (without losing your residence permit) and you are an EU citizen, you are able to apply for SU without work. That way, you will receive the SU even without work contract.