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Just arrived in Denmark To Study? 4 Essentials You Need

Updated: Jan 25

When you come to study in Denmark, you have to apply for a temporary residence permit. The universities usually assist their international students with the application at the beginning of the school year, so for that you will be pretty much covered.

To become part of the Danish system, you will need certain things, alongside the residence permit, that allow your access to official services, such as banking, health care, insurance etc., just like the Danish citizens.

In this article we will tell you what you need, in order to become a fully-fledged student resident in Denmark.

1. Getting the CPR number

No, CPR doesn’t stand for cardiopulmonary resuscitation...not in Denmark at least.

The CPR, personal registration number or Det Centrale Personregister, is a unique number assigned to all residents in Denmark, serving as a link between the residents and the Danish government.

The CPR number consists of 10 digits, the first 6 being your birthday info, while the last 4 digits are unique to all residents. The very last digit indicates whether you are male or female. An odd number is attributed to males and an even number to females.

Once you have your CPR number issued, you can start setting up a bank account, receiving salary, paying taxes, or borrowing books from the library.

In case you want to start working and open a bank account before you get a CPR number (as it takes a few weeks to receive it), you have the option to set up a personal tax number. You can do this online, by yourself. To read more about this specific case, visit our article How to start working in Denmark before your university starts.

Along with your CPR number, you will also receive a yellow health card (Sundhedskort), which serves as ID and health insurance. The card includes information about your general practitioner, as well as your own details (name, CPR number, address).

With the yellow card, you have FREE access to most consultations and treatments. Thus, it is very important to bring your card along with you whenever you visit a doctor.

A CPR number is vital if you want to have access to citizens' services (banking, health care, paying taxes, handling insurance etc.).

To receive a CPR number you need to meet several requirements:

  1. You plan to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months

  2. You have an EU residence document (for EU + Nordic countries and Switzerland)

  3. You have a residence permit (for non-EU citizens and citizens outside of the Nordic region and Switzerland)

  4. You have an address in Denmark

2. Creating your bank account and MitID

Once you get your CPR number, you can proceed to the nearest bank and set up your bank account. If you don’t already have a MitID at this point, the bank will request it for you.

MitID acts as a digital signature and is a login on the Internet, allowing you to securely access private and public self-service solutions.

This means that aside from your online banking, you can log in to SKAT (the Danish tax authority) to handle your taxes, to to handle your holiday pay, to approve online payments and much more. The login information is common for all such platforms.

The MitID can be used either in the paper form or as an app on your phone. The idea is that once you log in, you need to introduce a code from your code card (if MitID is in paper form), or approve the login on the app on your phone.

If you don’t want to request your MitID in your bank, there are other ways to get it. However, you can only request it if you have a CPR number.

You can also get your MitID by:

  1. Ordering it online (though it’s only possible for those who have Danish passport or Danish driver’s license)

  2. Going to the citizen service center (where you need to bring a valid photo ID)

3. Setting up your NemKonto

NemKonto translates to easy account, which is exactly how it functions.

NemKonto serves as a central bank account, where you can receive payments from the government and other public authorities.

Payments such as tax refunds, SU grant, student loans, unemployment benefits, pensions and housing support will be transferred to your NemKonto.

All residents in Denmark are required to have one.

In order to open your NemKonto you need to have at least one bank account at a Danish bank. If you happen to change your bank, then you also have to change your NemKonto.

Assigning NemKonto to your bank account is free of charge.

There are multiple ways to convert your account as a NemKonto:

  1. As a private person, you can do it by yourself on

  2. You can call your bank and inform them which account you want to use as your NemKonto

  3. You can use your foreign bank account as your NemKonto, which is, however, a bit more complicated

4. Getting your tax card ready

Considering you have all the things from above, you can look for a student job and start working. This also means you have to set up your tax card, unless you want your boss to withhold 55% of your hardly earned income.

You can get your tax card either by contacting SKAT and asking them to set it up for you, or by applying for a tax card yourself on SKAT’s self service page. In some cases, it can also happen that your employer sets up your tax card directly. However, if you are not entirely sure what you’re doing , it’s better to just call SKAT.

Based on your estimation of how much you expect to earn in a year, they will assign you into a certain tax group.

For most people, the tax is around 38% of their salary.

This tax is applied after you subtract 8% from your gross income, which is the labor market contribution.

We are not going to go into details, as the taxation in Denmark is pretty complicated and very much depends on your earnings and deductions. Although, if you want to learn more about Danish taxation, we have written a couple of articles about it, accompanied by some informative videos. Give them a read!

Moreover, every year in November your preliminary income assessment comes out. This shows how much the tax authorities expect you to earn in the following year. Because your taxation is based on this, you should definitely check it and correct it, if you know there are major changes in your income amount. Otherwise, you might end up paying too much or too little tax.

In March, your tax assessment notice comes out. This includes information on your earnings for the past year. This, as well, should be checked carefully and corrected if anything is wrong or missing.

Once you get the final tax assessment, one of three things can happen.

1. If you paid too much tax, then you are entitled to a tax return; the amount of overpaid tax will be refunded in your NemKonto.

2. If you paid too little tax, then you will have to pay the rest of the amount to the tax authorities.

3. If all your taxes were correct, then you don’t pay or receive any money.

How does SKAT know how much you earn? Well, your employer directly reports this to the tax authorities.

Anyway, looking over SKAT’s website or contacting them directly can help you get a better overview of taxation in your specific case.

Now that you have explored these 4 essentials , you are ready to become a proper resident in Denmark. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

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