Elaboration on A-Kasse for the ''job seeking'' period for Non-EU residents

I am a non-EU resident in Denmark. I have PhD in engineering and I have been working full-time and paying tax for 5 years ever since I moved to Denmark. I hold a work and residence permit based on fast-track scheme. If I lose my job then I should apply for a 6-month job seeking permit. In this regard, I understand that you have described for unemployment benefits as below:
''… in this "job-search" period your permit does normally not allow you to work. This requires a new work-permit. However if you have applied for a new work-permit before the current one has expired, then you are allowed to work in Denmark in the waiting-period, in where your case is processed. If this is the case, then you also can get Unemployment benefits (assuming that you meet the general requirements)…''
Could you please elaborate on this (perhaps with an example)?

Thank you!
in A-kasse application by
edited by

1 Answer



it is correct that we on this page https://www.a-kasser.dk/benefits/ tells that is should be possible to get Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge") if you are encompassed by the "Job change rule".

The "Job change rule" is described in english here: https://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-GB/Words%20and%20Concepts%20Front%20Page/SIRI/Job%20change%20rule.

The job change rule makes it possible for you to start your new job before you have received a new residence and work permit, i.e. you can begin your new job once you have submitted the application for a residence and work permit based on the new job.

If SIRI has given you a job seeking permit because you have lost your job under the Fast-track scheme, the Pay Limit scheme or the Positive list, through no fault of your own, then you will also be encompassed by the "Job change rule". You may therefore begin to work once you have submitted the application for a residence and work permit.

Eligible to receive dagpenge during the job seeking permit?

If you can start in a new job with one days notice (which you can according to the above mentioned, if you are encompassed by the "Job change rule"), then you are considered available for the danish labour market. And therefore you meet one of the requirements for being eligible for dagpenge.

For being eligible for dagpenge, you must off course meet all the requirements, which you can see here: https://www.a-kasser.dk/benefits/.

However, this question / requirement is subject to uncertainty, as the point of start is that a jobseeking permit does NOT allow you to work. And you cannot see any public site/sourses where it states that you should be eligible for dagpenge during a job-seeking period. 

However, we have write the above mentioned paragraph on our site, because it is our opinion that you meet all requirements for being eligible for dagpenge if you are encompassed by the "Job change rule".

Today we have send a question to star.dk to get this confirmed, however answers from Star.dk can take up to 6 months, so we can not help you further in you case, but will update our website as soon as we know more.

Until then, I will recommend that you try to apply for dagpenge in you a-kasse, and if they refuse to accept your application, then you could try to use some of the things/arguments we have pointed out in this answer.

I would look foreward to hear the answer from your A-kasse.

Best regards,

Anders Weber, www.a-kasser.dk

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Hi Anders,
Thank you very much for the answer.
Could you please keep me updated about the case? I am looking forward to hearing from you about your response from star.dk.
yes I have got answer from Star.dk. According to them there is no rule saying that you can NOT get unemployment benefits ("dagpenge"). It will be an individuel assessment by the A-kasse in each case whether the member meets the requirements or not.
The full answer from star.dk is here in danish (I hope you maybe can use it in your case):

"Vi kan generelt udtale følgende:
Ret til dagpenge forudsætter bl.a., at et medlem af en a-kassen står fuldt til
rådighed for arbejdsmarkedet.
Det indebærer bl.a., at medlemmet skal have lovligt ophold og arbejdstilladelse
i Danmark.
Der må endvidere ikke være faktiske eller retlige hindringer for, at medlemmet
med dags varsel kan overtage og varetage fuldtidsarbejde på normale
løn- og ansættelsesvilkår.
Medlemmet skal desuden stå til rådighed for et tilstrækkeligt stort arbejdsmarked.
Det vil sige, at der skal være et tilstrækkeligt udbud af arbejde, som
medlemmet kan og må overtage.
Såfremt disse betingelser er opfyldt, kan medlemmet få dagpenge, såfremt
alle andre betingelser for at få dagpenge også er opfyldt.

Det må afgøres ud fra et konkret skøn, hvorvidt jobskifteordningen i tilknytning
til hver af de nævnte ordninger (fast-track ordningen, positivlisten mm.)
opfylder de nævnte krav.
Det er et medlems a-kasse, der som første instans skal træffe afgørelse herom.
A-kassens afgørelse kan i givet fald indbringes for Center for Klager om
Arbejdsløshedsforsikring i Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering."

Best regards,
Anders Weber, www.a-kasser.dk
Hi Anders,

Once again thank you for your answer. As you recommended I applied for an a-kasse (XXXX A-kasse). The registration was very easy and I almost automatically became a member. However, once I sent an email to make sure that I will be eligible for receiving unemployment fund during the 6-months job seeking period they replied with a negative answer! As you suggested I provided them a copy of our conversation here as a reference and also a copy of my residence permit. In the end, I received an email from them stating that ''you don't have the right to benefits'' with no further explanation!

Now I am very confused and frustrated about this situation. I am really wondering if there is no clear criteria or rules specifying whether someone with my conditions is eligible for A-kasse or not. I am also wondering if there are hundreds or thousands of other people with the same condition who are paying membership fees without knowing that they are apparently not eligible for receiving benefits (if they have not asked specifically by email!).

Could you please provide any recommendations? I would appreciate your consideration.

Best regards,
A non-eu human
as I also mentioned in my previous answer, this is an individuel assessment by the A-kasse in each case. But you have the right to get an explanation by the A-kasse. They must tell you what rule they use when denying benefits.
Best regards,
Hi Anders,

Thank you for your message. For the record, the explanation provided from my A-kasse was that they say it is because I have a permit (type J) which is for one specific job, then I am not available for the job marked even though I can search for job.

I understand that your recommendations here are based on your own interpretations and that the individual assessment by the member's A-kasse fund makes the decision at the end. Due to the large ambiguity on the subject, in the following text I will point out a few important remarks. I hope you find it helpful and relevant. 

According to STAR.dk response mentioned above, 
- The member must have a legal residence and work permit in Denmark: I have a legal resident and work permit type (J) based on the Fast-Track scheme.
- There must be no factual or legal barriers to the member being able to take over and perform full-time work under normal pay and employment conditions at day's notice: I am comprised by the Jobchange rule which has been clearly stated by SIRI. I should be considered as available-for-the-market if I can take over a new job with 1 day notice. 
- The member must be available for a sufficiently large labor market. That is, there must be a sufficient supply of work that the member can and must take over: We are lacking many engineers in Denmark in my expertise (in which I have PhD) according to the periodical statistics. Therefore there IS a sufficiently large labor market in this case.
- If these conditions are met, the member can receive unemployment benefit if all other conditions for obtaining unemployment benefit are also met: I meet all other requirements according to A-kasse.dk.

However, the XXXX A-Kasse yet considers me not eligible due to my J type residence permit and that they think I will not be available for the market during the job-seeking period. I believe, this can mainly be due to the ambiguity of the rules in this regard. Moreover, the fact that the decision is left to be made by the A-kasse fund itself based on an ''individual assessment'' makes the process even more complicated and provides the possibility of different interpretation and even subjective decisions. In short, there seems to be a gap in the system that confuses both residents/applicants and insurance fund suppliers.

Nevertheless, I will have to cancel my membership in XXXX A-Kasse. However, unfortunately after several months yet the discussion remains inconclusive. After all, the question remains unanswered whether Non-EU residents with Fast-track permit are defined as available for the market (during the job-seeking period) or not.

I hope at least I can help by conveying my feedback about this experience through the following 2 points:

1. I am eligible for having life insurance, car insurance, health insurance, and I happily pay for all of them in addition to my pension plan. However, I am wondering why when it comes to the unemployment insurance it must be called ''benefits''. The answer I receive from my A-Kasse is: ''you don't have the right to benefits''. I never asked for any benefits! I simply needed an insurance.

2. I believe it must be possible to solve this ambiguity once for ever by clearly specifying whether Non-EU residents with Fast-track or J type permit are considered available for the market during the 6-month job seeking period or not. The requirements for becoming a member in A-kasse are already very simple and clear. In my opinion, there is no need for keeping it complicated and subjective by leaving it for a special ''individual assessment''. There are only a few types of residence permits on SIRI and it could easily be possible to provide for example a table specifying which types of residence permits are eligible for A-kasse unemployment benefits.
After all I believe that everybody appreciates well-defined regulations which could significantly influence the quality of life of thousands of residents in Denmark.

Once again, I am grateful for your support on this subject and I hope you will find these points considerable and constructive.

Best regards
A non-eu human
I am in the same situation (in DK about 6 years now) and have the same question as you do. I remembered a few years back a friend/colleague of mine, who was on a part time work permit for a few month after handing in her PhD thesis. Therefore she could not have dagepenge. Since I do not have a permanent residence yet,  I thought I am not able to receive dagepenge too in case I am under the job seeking period. Therefore I am quiting my Akasse this month, even though I have paid Akasse during the past two years. But then I heard different voice, so before my Akasse expires, I want to figure this out. I have called Akasse, borgerservice, and jobcenter. No one can answer clearly about the question and kicking the ball to another. It is a drawback in this law. Appreciate the effort you made here. Hope everything is fine with you.
So far the best solution is do not lose the job and apply for a permanent residence as soon as you can.