A free membership of Akademikernes A-kasse will provide you with personal guidance and help applying for relevant jobs while you study.
If you become a member at least 1 year before your graduation, you will earn the right to receive unemployment benefits starting the day after you graduate.
You can be a member for free for up to 5 years. After that, you will have to pay for you membership.
If you wish to apply for a student membership, you need to tick off the box ”I am a student” on the first page of the application form.
Requirements of a free student membership
As a student, you can get a free membership if:
- You are attending a Danish academic study within our academic area
- Your course of study qualifies for a state education grant (SU)
- You are under the age of 30
(Your membership is free until you turn 30. When this happens, you will automatically switch to a paid membership)
- Your total annual income does not exceed DKK 285,669 (2023). See the section further down
- The duration of your academic degree needs to be at least 18 months
You must not receive any other kind of public support (pension, rehabilitation, social security etc.)
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.
Students over 30
The free student membership usually ends when you reach 30. However, you can still get a free student membership if you:
- Contribute to the voluntary early retirement scheme (efterløn) and have done so since you reached 30
- Have worked for at least one year prior to starting your education, and
- Have at least one year left of your studies
If this is the case, we recommend that you contact us regarding the possibility of getting a free student membership.
If you are a student over 30 and do not qualify for a free student membership, we recommend that you register as a part-time member while you have at least one year left of your studies. A part-time membership will cost you less than a full-time membership. See our fees (in Danish).
As a part-time member, you will avoid the exclusion period required by the unemployment benefit system, which otherwise means one month with no income, if you are unemployed immediately after graduating.
Language requirements for graduates
All graduates 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.
There is a limit to how much you can earn
If you earn too much, you will have to pay for your membership. In 2023, the limit is DKK 285,669.
The rules regarding income are calculated as an average of your income before taxes, over a 12-month period. Please note that all taxable income counts. Income from interest, loan or something similar does not count.
The 12-month period is not settled by calendar year but over a 12-month period, starting from the day your membership is accepted.
If, for instance, you enrolled on the 22 October, your first year of income is from October 22nd until October 21st the following year. Any income you earned before you became a member does not count.
If you finish or quit your education in the middle of the period, we do not take into account the earnings you make after the date where you finished or quit your education.
If you quit your studies before you graduate
If you quit your studies before you graduate, you have to start paying for your membership. However, you do not have to pay the membership fee to Akademikernes A-kasse retroactively for the time you have been a free member.
With less than 1 year left of your studies
If you want to apply for a membership with less than 1 year left of your studies, the best approach is to sign up within 14 days after you have completed your education. You will then earn the right to receive unemployment benefits 1 month after you have finished your education.
In this case, you must apply for admission as "Newly graduated" when you join via our application process.
Read more about joining Akademikernes A-kasse as a new graduate.