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A-Kasse For International Students - Rules and How To Apply (With A Video)

Updated: Feb 19

Almost every person in Denmark heard about it. A-kasse. But what is it? Why would I become a member? And are there any options to choose from? Continue reading to find out all the basic information you need, in order to understand A-kasse.

1. What is A-kasse in Denmark?

In Danish, it stands for arbejdsløshedskasse or unemployment insurance fund. Thanks to this, people in Denmark can receive support during the time they are unemployed.

But please, be more responsible with your money. Read our tips on how to manage your budget as a student.

The support is primarily financial and goes up to 2 years (but not for new graduates). During this period you receive financial benefits, so you can search for a job, without worrying too much about your bills.

Due to the recent changes in A-kasse for new graduates, this period of time went down to 1 year for new graduates. Also, the financial benefits (after 1. May 2023) are adjusted.

How much are unemployment benefits in Denmark in 2024?

Starting May 1, 2023, there are some notable shifts in unemployment benefits that you should be aware of. Let's walk through them together:

  1. Children and Benefits: For graduates without dependents, your unemployment allowance will be adjusted after the initial 3 months. It's something to keep an eye on.

  2. Age-Related Rates: There's a differentiation in benefits based on age now. If you're below 30, your rate will differ from those aged 30 and above.

  3. Benefit Duration: The duration to claim unemployment support has been adjusted from 2 years down to 1. It's essential to be informed and plan accordingly.

  4. Language Requirement: To qualify for benefits, proficiency in Danish up to the Dansk 2 level is now required. Time to brush up if needed!

Diving into the Details: Your monthly unemployment benefits will be influenced by:

  • Parenthood: Those with children will continue to receive an unchanged monthly benefit of DKK 16,177 (given full-time coverage).

  • Age Bracket: After the first 3 months, if you're above 30, the monthly rate will be DKK 12,253. For those under 30, it's DKK 9,700. But here's a silver lining: during the first 3 months, everyone will receive DKK 14,106, regardless of age.


Monthly pay out

(No dependent children) in the first 3 months

14,106 DKK.

(No dependent children), under 30 years, month 4-12

9,700 DKK.

(No dependent children), over 30 years, month 4-12

12,253 DKK.

(Have dependent children), all 12 months

14,106 DKK.

Just to grind your gears a bit, dagpenge used to be around 13.000DKK for 2 years, irrespective of age. Danish government is trying their best to raise a tough generation!

A-kasse also helps you with the job searching process, by offering you CV consultations and other workshops. Some even offer free or discounted online courses in order to help you hone your skills, all these in order to increase your employment chances.

Apply to a-kasse right now, so that you won't miss on 14.106DKK once you graduate!

All you need to do in return is to search for a full-time job and attend meetings and seminars with the A-kasse and your local Jobcenter.

All your job related activities should be recorded on Jobcenter’s online platform, Jobnet. You log in to it with your MitId. (Read our blog about essential apps to have in Denmark)

There are three main activities to carry out when unemployed:

  1. Apply for minimum 2 full-time positions a week. At least one of them should be a solicited application (=to a position posted on the job portals).

  2. Record all the positions you are applying for in your job log on Jobnet. Every month you have to upload (on Jobnet) 2 of your applications (CV+cover letter) from that certain month.

  3. Book meetings with the Jobcenter/A-kasse according to the deadlines provided on Jobnet. Sometimes they are the ones scheduling meetings with you. Naturally, it is compulsory to attend these meetings, and not doing it might affect your right to unemployment benefits.


‍2. Which a-kasse is best for students in Denmark?

For students in Denmark, choosing the right A-kasse (unemployment insurance fund) is crucial, not only for potential unemployment benefits after graduation but also for the support and resources provided during the study period. With various options available, it can be challenging to make an informed choice.

Let's look at the best-known A-kasses to help you decide:

  • Ase A-kasse DK: Ase has built a strong reputation for providing comprehensive support to its members. For students, they offer tailored advice and seminars to help navigate the transition from education to employment. They also have a robust online platform with resources and tools specifically designed for students. If you're looking for an A-kasse that blends traditional support with digital tools, Ase might be a good fit.

ase akasse logo

  • Min A-kasse DK: Min A-kasse offers a more personalized approach. They pride themselves on their close member relationships, ensuring each student receives individual attention. This can be especially beneficial for students who prefer a more hands-on guidance approach. They also have a competitive monthly rate, making them an affordable choice for students on a budget.

min a-kasse logo

  • AKA A-kasse DK: AKA is one of Denmark's leading A-kasses, and for good reason. Catering extensively to academics, AKA offers a wealth of resources tailored specifically to higher-educated individuals, making it a top choice for many students. Here's what students can expect when joining AKA

akademikernes a-kasse logo

3. How to Apply for a-kasse in Denmark?

Applying to A-kasse is a straightforward process, but it’s crucial to get it right to ensure that you’re covered in case of unemployment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the application process:

  • Choose the Right A-kasse: Based on your profession or studies, select the A-kasse that best suits your needs. Some are general, while others cater to specific fields.

  • Sign Up Online: Visit the website of the A-kasse you’ve chosen and fill in the application form. You’ll typically need your CPR number and possibly your MitID for this step.

  • Submit Required Documents: You may need to provide documentation of your educational background, work experience, and residence in Denmark. This could include diplomas, CVs, and proof of address.

  • Confirmation: Once your application has been submitted, wait for confirmation from the A-kasse. They may contact you for additional information or to clarify your situation.

  • Stay Proactive: After you’ve successfully joined an A-kasse, remember to update your information regularly, especially if your employment situation changes.

Apply to A-kasse right now, so that you won’t miss out on 14,106 DKK once you graduate!

All you need to do in return is to search for a full-time job and attend meetings and seminars with the A-kasse and your local Jobcenter.

4. What are the rules to receive unemployment benefits in Denmark?

Receive Unemployment Benefits In Denmark
Follow our guide so you will avoid any struggles.

To be able to receive dagpenge (unemployment benefits) in the first place, you need to live up to any one of these requirements:

  1. For new graduates: You need to be a member of any A-kasse at least for a year before being immediately eligible for the benefits. The membership for students is free, so you should really sign up as soon as possible during your studies. If you happen to graduate soon without having signed up for an A-kasse, it i still possible to receive benefits, however you will have to go through a 'quarantine period' (3 weeks without pay). Also, you need to become a member at the latest the day of your graduation.

  2. You must have stayed in Denmark or any other EU/EEA country for at least 5 years in the last 12 years, and you need to send documents proving this.

  3. You must have earned/have had an income of at least 254.328 DKK before taxes (in 2023) during the last 3 years (in total). In students’ case, the time you spend studying “equals” to the money you would have to earn.

  4. You must be actively searching for a job and attend any job interviews you are invited to. This starts after you start receiving your benefits.

  5. You must be able to accept job offers within one day’s notice.

In addition, it’s important to mention that you have to be present in Denmark while carrying out your job searching activities. If you want to take holidays, you must report this to your Jobcenter, as these will be deducted from your dagpenge amount in that respective month.

You need to notify the jobcenter at least 2 weeks ahead of time. You can still do it from day to day, but you need to call them instead of using the web interface to Jobnet. The amount of unpaid holiday you can take is essentialy infinite. You can take 2 months or 5 months without pay. Once you get back, you continue where you left off.

Get paid for taking a vacation?

Sounds like a dream but yeah, it really works like that...

Another thing worth knowing about is feriedagpenge. As with all employed people in Denmark, you accumulate holidays throughout the month.

Every month that you are on dagpenge (unemployed) you receive around 2.15 holiday days.

When summed up together, you get around 25 holiday days in a year. You can take this holiday after being unemployed for a year. You can request a vacation from Jobcenter, you don't need to actively look for a job and you get to travel. You will then be paid from this holiday fund that you built for yourself!

Yes, looking for work is work and you deserve a vacation from that. At least, according to Denmark 😏.

4. A-kasse options

A-kasses are companies which offer insurance against unemployment, while administrating Danish legislation. However, they are not all the same. In total, there are 24 options of A-kasse to choose from.

At the core, they are all similar, but they differ in membership fees for their members, locations of their offices and most importantly in the focus on specific professions. Because of this, you can find A-kasses which are open to all, but also others which focus mainly on the business, engineering, social or other specific subjects.

When looking for the right A-kasse, people usually focus on:

  1. Membership fees

  2. Specializations

  3. Internal rules and member satisfaction

  4. Other membership benefits (courses, workshops, etc…)

However, all this depends on individual preferences. I would advise focusing mainly on specialization and member satisfaction. All the membership fees are usually between 450-500 DKK per month.

Many a-kasse, however, offer free membership for students. For example, FTFa and Ase A-kasse both offer free membership.

5. What to do when you graduate?

Usually, your A-kasse’s website mentions the steps you should take once you graduate, but we will mention some points, to give you a general idea.

Basically the first thing to do is contacting your A-kasse as soon as you graduate. Take care, because there is a deadline to do so. For example, you might have to contact them up to 2 weeks after you have received your very last grade. You must also change your status from student to graduate, which can usually be done by completing a form on their website.

Since you are not a student anymore, your right to free membership expires, which means that you will start paying a membership fee.

Of course, the A-kasse will let you know whether you should send them any additional documents.

In the meantime, you should register as unemployed on Jobnet ASAP, as you will only get benefits from the day you are registered. You will also have to send your A-kasse an unemployment statement form, right after you register on Jobnet.

As for what’s happening after this, you will have to go through some meetings and workshops both with your A-kasse and Jobcenter, while also applying for jobs in the meantime.

The approximate amount of unemployment benefits you would get per month, before taxes, is 14.106 DKK (in 2023).

Just like that, you become a proper job-seeker and hopefully an employee at some point.

Well, these are all the basics you need to know. We hope that you will find this blog useful and that you will have an easier time finding a job. Make sure to take a look at our video which sums all this information and if you wish to know more about life in Denmark, feel free to look around our website.

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