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Transferring unemployment benefits

In general, to receive unemployment benefits you need to stay in the country which pays your benefits. However, under certain conditions you can go to another EU country to look for work and continue to receive your unemployment benefits from the country where you became unemployed.

Denmark has together with UK - as the only EU countries - a special restriction for Nationals of non-EU/EEA countries on the right to transfer Unemployment benefits.
This means that third country nationals can not export/transfer Danish unemployment benefits while seeking employment in another EEA Country and third country nationals can not get unemployment benefits from another EEA Country while they seek work in Denmark.

You can carry on receiving your unemployment benefit for up to 3 months from your A-kasse in Denmark - while searching for job in another EU/EEA country.

You can only do this if you are:

  • wholly unemployed (not partially or intermittently) and
  • entitled to receive unemployment benefits in Denmark (the country where you became unemployed).

Before leaving, you must:

  • have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the employment services in the country where you became unemployed for at least 4 weeks (exceptions can be made*). In Denmark this employment services is called "Jobcenter". And you must register as unemployed at Jobcenter's online portal called Jobnet.dk.
  • apply to your national employment services (in Denmark: your A-kasse) for a U2 form ( formerly E 303) - an authorisation to export your unemployment benefits.

If you are on holiday, this period may not be counted to meet the requirement. That's because you are not available to the labor market in your holiday.

*Exception from the 4-week requirement

In some cases the A-kasse can give exception for the 4-weeks reguirement (you must ask your A-kasse when this is possible).

In few other cases the A-kasse will entirely disregard from the 4-week requirement:

  • If your follow your spouse or partner, who will go to another EEA-country to start a work that lasts longer than 5 weeks or starting an education that lasts at least 18 months.
  • If you are going for a job interview.
  • You've got work part-time or short-term in another EEA country or Switzerland, and the work does not mean that you are insured against unemployment in the other country.
  • If you are looking for work in the country in which you are a citizen. In that case you must have been registered with the job center one week as wholly unemployed.
    If you are newly graduated with the 1 month quarantine period, you can travel to your homecountry in EEA in the quarantine period, and still meet the 4 weeks requirement. Remember to report vacation to Jobcenter no later than 14 days before the holiday starts.
  • You do not need to meet the 4-week requirement if you are entitled to unemployment benefits and go to the Faroe Islands.

On arrival in the new country, you'll need to:

  • register as a jobseeker with the national employment services within 7 days from the date on which you ceased to be available to the employment services in the country you left
  • submit your U2 form (formerly E 303 ) when you register
  • agree to any checks made on unemployment benefit claimants in your new country, as if you were receiving unemployment benefits there.

You are advised to find out about your rights and duties as a jobseeker in your new country. They may be very different from the country where you became unemployed.

The same amount as before will then be paid directly into your bank account in Denmark.
Benefits ("Dagpenge") abroad are paid in the same way as if you were unemployed in Denmark. Therefore, you must continue to fill out a unemployment benefit card on your A-kasse's website every month.

If you do not find a new job abroad

If you do not find work, you must be back in Denmark, so you can sign up for your Jobcenter as unemployed before the end of the three-month period. This means that you must sign up for the JobCenter in Denmark no later than the last day of the certificate period. If you do not comply with this, you can not receive unemployment benefits in Denmark before you have worked for at least 296 hours within a period of 12 weeks.

If you want to keep your entitlement to unemployment benefits, be sure to return to Denmark before or on the day your entitlement expires.

If you get work abroad

As a rule, when working in another EU/EEA country, you must cancel the memberhip with your danish A-kasse, as you are thus covered by the unemployment system in the country where you will work.
However be aware not to cancel membership before you are fully aware that you have been included/signed up with the Unemployment Insurance in your new country.
If you move within EU/EEA it is possible to transfer earned rights (working periods, and insurance periods) from Denmark to the new country. You can read more about this in this article.

New period with EEA unemployment benefits

If you have previously used a certificate PD U2, you must have work before you can get a new certificate. Are you full-time insured, you must work at least 296 hours within 12 weeks / 3 months. The work may well be done abroad if you have been insured against unemployed in the other EEA country during the working period.

Equal treatment

When looking for work abroad, you have the same rights as nationals of your host country with regard to:

  • access to work
  • support from employment services
  • financial support to help you find work

Your new country might wait until you have established a genuine link with the local employment market before granting some types of financial support to help you find work — such as low-interest loans for unemployed people starting a business. Being in the country and looking for work for a reasonable amount of time may count as a genuine link.


This page was last modified on February 23, 2018.

Source: The European Union and "Det Faglige Hus".