Graduates in Denmark coming from non-EEA countries

Graduates of a Danish educational institution, which comes from a country outside the EEA area, will only being eligible for getting unemployment benefits as graduates if they have a residence- and workpermit, which gives right to work FULL-time (37 hours/week).
Furthermore the international graduate must be able (like all others seeking unemployment benefits) to take over working with 1 day's notice.

As an international (non-EEA) student here in Denmark your study-permit also gives you right (working-permit) to work 20 hours per week.
Together with the study-permit you get additional 6 monts jobseek-permit, which allows you to stay up to 6 months in Denmark after completion of study to seach for job.
In this 6 months period you also are allowed to work only 20 hours per week. This will not give you right to Unemployment benefits ("Dagpenge").

It is also a condition for the study-permit that the student is self-supporting throughout the stay in Denmark. Therefore, if you only have a normal study-visa you will not be able to get Unemployment benefits.

However, as a foreign national who has completed a Master or Danish PhD degree you can apply for a residence permit with the aim of establishing yourself in Denmark (an establishment card). If you have received a residence permit under the establishment card scheme, you can legally stay in Denmark and can accept offers of employment with one day's notice. Therefore, it will be relevant for establishment cardholders to apply for membership of an a-kasse. However a graduate with a residence permit under the establishment Card scheme cannot receive unemployment benefits after the graduate rule during the establishment stay, without it is contrary to the conditions of the residence permit.

If you legally can work in Denmark after graduation, the following scenarios will apply regarding Unemployment benefits after graduation:

Getting unemployment benefits from day 1 after study

Remember to be member of an A-kasse at least one year before finish study. It is free as long as you study.

Getting unemployment benefits from 1 month after study

If you have less than one year left - and have not been member of an A-kasse at least one year, then you can still get benefits as a graduate but the you will get one month waiting period before can start receive benefits. And you must apply for membership at least 14 days/2 weeks after ending study.
Nomally you can apply for membership as an graduate up to 6 months before ending study. Tell the A-kasse (when you send application online) that you want to apply for member with graduate status. See our guide for graduates here.


This page was last modified on 2020-09-21.

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