I am a British citizen with Danish residency (obtained before brexit), I have been living in Denmark. My partner is Danish and I live with them.

I am considering studying a degree, and it feels like my only option, if I want to study in the next 1-2 years, is to study in the UK because I can get a student loan. It is much more expensive to study a degree in Denmark as a non-EU citizen. I haven't been here long enough to obtain permanent residency which would help with cost.

I don't know if I will do it, I just want to know my options before considering it and deciding.

I know the residency rules are that I must be in Denmark at least 6 months of the year, and if you stay out of Denmark for longer than that, you must let Danish immigration know and it depends on the situation how they respond.

The degree would be 3 years. I worked out that, per year, it would be around 6.5-7 months. So likely up to 7 months out of each 12. Do you think I would have a chance to retain my residency, if I went back (to Denmark) for the other 5-6 months of the year? I would already be coming back often as my partner is Danish. After the degree finished, I would move fully back to Denmark.

Can anyone advise me about this? I don't know if there's legal issues of doing it, like maybe it's not allowed to reside two places in one year? If it meant I would lose my residency, I likely won't do it.

I want to contact the immigration people about it, but I am not sure how to go about asking them this, in case they misunderstand and think I am not taking the residency seriously. As said, I don't want to lose it. Any advice?

  • Frame challenge - how far away are you from obtaining permanent residency, perhaps based on provision of the EU withdrawal agreement (5 years) or meeting all 4 supplementary requirements (4 years)?
    – B.Liu
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 12:26
  • How the start date is made may be country specific, but the time spent before 2020-12-31 counts towards the 5 years to recieve permanent residence. In Germany, the date when you first registered your residence is what counts. If this was before 2020-12-31, that time is considered legal residence and will be added to the time you have had a residence permit after 2020. Since this rule is based on the Withdrawal Agreement, you should look into this Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 6:51
  • 2
    Periods of residence before the withdrawal definitely do count towards permanent residence and that's not up to each country (to the extent that there are differences, the country would be in breach of the withdrawal agreement). The agreement spells this out in great details in article 16.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 7:46
  • 2
    Higher education is free of charge for EU citizens. Surely the preservation of rights under the withdrawal agreement means that it is also free of charge for those with residence under the withdrawal agreement before they obtain the right of permanent residence.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 7:48
  • 1
    @B.Liu in a comment on the other question raindrops indicates that there may be other reasons for preferring to study in the UK, so the question would still be meaningful even in light of the possibility of tuition-free study in Denmark.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 11:20


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