This is going to be a nightmare, that is just our policy: So you are applying for a Danish student visa

A few weeks ago I managed to complete the arduous process that was applying for a Danish student visa. In my case it was made more difficult because a) my host university did not send the required forms b) Denmark changed the locations that we were able to apply at and I did not learn about this until the week I had intended to apply for my visa in my home city.

I am going to post a list of tips and advice for anyone applying for a Danish student visa — this list will likely be most relevant for Canadians.

  1. Plan ahead and expect adversity. Fortunately I planned far enough ahead that there were no serious problems caused by applying for my visa a month later than I’d hoped to. They do not hang onto your passport so at least you don’t have to worry about not getting it back before you leave, however, it is not a bad thing to have your visa accepted before entering Denmark.
  2. Make sure that your school sends the documents you need early on. They will send you or your international office an admissions package that should contain a ST1 form — they will have filled out the second part. Without this form you cannot apply for your student visa. If your package is being sent to your home university’s international office check early to see if it has come in. There is a fine line between being persistent and annoying but if you reach the point where you think you should have received something yet you haven’t look into it.It took me two weeks to get a scanned copy of my ST1 form sent to me by the international office, and luckily scanned copies are permitted — I was told that people not receiving their forms has been an issue in the past. My institution did not send me an acceptance package and this was a big part of the delays in applying.
  3. It is very hard to acquire A4 paper in Canada. The embassy checklist said that all forms must be submitted on A4 paper. I realized this the day before leaving for Toronto and got to hand make the A4 paper by cutting down legal paper. You may want to plan ahead and order some online or from a local stationary store.
  4. There were some noticeable contradictions between the embassy checklist that I was told to use by the consulate and the list in the ST1 form. Where there are differences I would recommend air on the side of whichever one is more thorough. For example the embassy checklist said to only copy relevant pages of your passport, whereas the ST1 list said to photocopy the entire passport. I would recommend photocopying the entire passport because it is better safe than sorry.
  5. You will probably have to fly to either Toronto or Ottawa to apply for your visa because your biometric information must be taken.I did not learn of this change until the last minute, however, if you are lucky you can plan ahead and hopefully get a somewhat affordable flight.
  6. Your bank statement must say your name on it. Normal bank statements and printouts of online banking typically do not have your name on it for privacy reasons. I was told to request a personal statement, as this includes the name of the account holder.
  7. Ensure that you have enough money in your account before applying. As the ST1 form says letters from parents guaranteeing financial support are not accepted. A boy tried to submit one while I was at the consulate and it did not go well for him.
  8. Danish visas are a little on the pricy side and there are several separate fees. Ensure that you bring cash to the consulate to pay these fees. Information online may not be up to date on prices.

If you are applying for a visa I wish you the best of luck. If all goes well it should be relatively painless. If not then be patient.

If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I will see if I can help.

(Note: This post was written on July 12, 2012 and may become out of date. Make sure to double check with official websites.)