University Post
University of Copenhagen
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Students beware: Extra work shift could get you deported

Non-EU students wary of taking on extra work after 'super-student' from Cameroon was thrown out of the country

Saying ‘yes’ to your employer might end up being a ‘no’ to your residence permit. At least if you are from outside the EU and studyng in Denmark.

Denmark recently expelled one of Aarhus University’s top students, after he worked 90 minutes more than his 15 hour a week allowance. Marius Youbi was forced to return home to Cameroon, as this article in The Guardian recently reported.

Let this story be a warning to all non-EU students: Be meticulous when planning a work week, as the slightest scheduling error could have consequences. The 15 hour allowance is not a guideline, it’s a law.

Discrepancy among internationals

Nurallah is an international student from Bangladesh who works at a restaurant while completing his Masters at the Faculty of Law in the University of Copenhagen.

“If I exceed my working hours there is no possibility for an extension of my visa, and I am always careful about this,” he explains to the University Post.

What complicates matters is that the law has recently changed. The date students applied for their residence and ‘limited work’ permit affects how many hours they can work.

• If the permit was received before 1 January 2015 students are allowed to work 15 hours a week and 37 hours a week June-August.
• If the permit was received after 1 January 2015 students are allowed to work 20 hours a week and 37 hours a week June-August.

Confusing and discriminatory

Non-EU students studying and working in Denmark right now could work 15 hours and 90 minutes a week and be completely within the law, their co-workers might not. This discrepancy is confusing for students and many popular sites do not tell the whole story. New to Denmark provides information on the 20 hour allowance without providing the dates in which it applies.

Nurallah who received his work and study permit before January 2015 finds the current law unfair.

“It is very confusing and I find it discriminatory. Everyone is a student here and some are allowed to work 15 hours and some can work more,” says Nurallah.

Students should consult their personal residence and work permits before scheduling their work week.

Here is more information about residence permits on the University of Copenhagen site, and on the ‘new to Denmark’ site.

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