New Laws

5 April 2018

DENMARK: New Rules for attending Danish language courses 

All newcomers to Denmark can learn Danish for free if they are at least 18 years old, have a Danish CPR number and residence in Denmark, and have lived in Denmark for less than 3.5 years.

However, from 1 January 2018, the new rules for Danish lessons were set into affect and foreign nationals should take them into account when planning to learn Danish.

From now on, the basis of a foreign nationals’ residence determines which rules apply to their situation. The rules distinguish between those who are self-supporting and those in an integration programme.


To qualify as self-supporting, a foreign national should either be in Denmark for work or study, as an accompanying spouse, via EU unification rules, or as an au pair.

If a foreign national qualifies within this realm, he/she is entitled to free Danish lessons for up to 42 months (3.5 years) taken within a 5-year schooling period. Additionally, a refundable deposit of DKK 1,250 must be payed before the courses can begin.

If a foreign national is in Denmark as an au pair, the rule of deposit does not apply.

As part of the new rules, self-supporters are now assigned vouchers, which represents the allotted time for free Danish courses. It is important that those qualifying as self-supporters inform themselves about the five-year schooling rules so that the validity of the voucher is not forgotten.

The Integration Programme

To qualify for an integration programme, a foreign national is either in Denmark as a refugee, via family reunification to a Danish citizen (not following the EU rules), or under the Danish Aliens Act with an integration contract.

Should this be the case, a foreign national is entitled to free Danish courses for up to 5 years and is not required to pay a deposit to participate.

There is no voucher scheme in the integration programme.

For more detailed information, and links to the voucher scheme and five-year schooling rules, please click here.

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