You are considered a new graduate by the unemployment system, when you have recieved your last grade and thereby finished your studies. Within 14 days of recieving your last grade, you have to apply for a membership of Akademikernes A-kasse as a ‘new graduate’.
The importance of the 14-day deadline
The 14-day deadline is important in regards to your right to receive unemployment benefit as a new graduate. If you do not meet the 14-day deadline, but you have work after you have completed your studies, it is possible to combine work and education and receive unemployment benefits that way. We are ready to guide you about this option.
If you do not meet the 14-day deadline, and you do not have a job after jo finish your studies, you need to be a member for one year or more. You also have to fulfill the income criteria of a minimum of DKK 254,328 (2023) within a 3-year unemployment period, while being a member of an unemployment insurance fund. You can only include a maximum of DKK 21,194 (2023) per month to meet the income criteria.
You will also have to apply for unemployment benefits
When you fullfill the 14-day deadline, you can get unemployment benefit as a new graduate 1 month + one day after you have recieved your last grade. The month with no unemployment benefits is known as a quarantine. If you have been a member as a student for at least one year before completing your education, please read about the other rules for you.
It is not enough to apply for a membership to get unemployment benefits as a new graduate. You also have to
- Register as unemployed at jobnet.dk 1 month + 1 day after recieving your last grade
- Apply for benefits by filling out in the form 'Ledighedserklæring' (declaration of unemployment).
Requirements for applying for a membership
In order to become a member of an unemployment insurance fund as a new graduate, you have to meet the following requirements:
- You have had residency in Denmark no later than from the day prior to starting your education in Denmark
- The education had a duration of a minimum 18 months or is scheduled for 3 semesters of 6 months each
- You are a resident in Denmark by the time you complete your education or no later than 2 weeks after the completion of your education.
Have you also studied in another country?
Special requirements apply if you:
- Have transferred credits from a foreign education to shorten a bachelor or master's degree in Denmark, or
- Have transferred credits so you do not have to participate in all of the exams or courses at the university, where you are studying in Denmark
Your citizenship influences your right to receive benefits
You do not need a Danish citizenship to become a member of Akademikernes A-kasse. However, the status of your residence and work permit after graduation will have an impact on whether you can receive benefits or not. The Immigration Service will typically be able to help you determine your specific status.
EU citizens can apply for benefits
With an EU residency and work permit for 6 month after you finish your education, you can apply for unemployment benefits in Denmark if you are unemployed after you have finished your education.
You are new graduate when you have recieved your last grade
There are several ways you can finish your studies:
- An oral exam where you defend your thesis or bachelor project
- A thesis or bachelor project where you have recieved your last grade or when your supervisor and examiner have signed a pre-approval (forhåndsgodkendelse).
It is a requirement that all grades have been awarded and all student activities have stopped. Student activities include participating in tutorials, exams or defending a thesis etc.
If you have a student job
You can continue with your part-time student job, when you are unemployed. In this case, you can apply for supplementary unemployment benefits. You do this by stating that you will continue working at a part-time job, when you fill out the unemployment benefit application (Ledighedserklæring).
If, on the other hand, you are considering quitting your student job, it is important that you resign and do so before you finish your studies. You will get a quarantine of 3 weeks, if you quit the job after completing your education. This means that you cannot get unemployment benefits for 3 weeks. Therefore, please contact us well in advance, if you are considering quitting your student job.
Become a member as a bachelor and secure your benefits
You can be a member as a new graduate, based on a completed bachelor's degree. This ensures that you earn the right to receive unemployment benefits - without the qualifying month - if you discontinue your master's studies before graduation. This way, you can secure your rights to unemployment benefits and it will be valid for 1 year.
Language requirement for graduates
All graduates - regardless of citizenship - must possess a level of Danish equal to Dansk 2 in order to receive unemployment benefits. You have met the language requirement if you have completed a degree taught in Danish. See also this list of how to meet the language requirement.
If this is not the case, you can also meet the requirements by having at least 600 hours of employment before applying for unemployment benefits.
The 600 hours have to be distributed over 12 months within the last 24 months before you register as unemployed. It does not have to be in 12 consecutive months.
You can include paid hours that are outside your membership period, but the hours must be reported to SKAT. You can use working hours from another EEA country, but at least 150 of the paid hours must come from subsequent work in Denmark. The requirement of 600 hours (tilknytningskravet) must be met again in the event of a new right to unemployment benefit as a graduate.