My status regarding A-kasse and receiving benefits

Dear A-Kasser,

I'm a PhD student at Aarhus University, and my contract is ending on the 31st of December 2017. I'd like to know if I'm eligible to received unemployment benefits, and also if I should be also member of a-kasser (I'm already a member of IDA since I started my phd).

If I need to be a member of a-kasser, could you please send me information to proceed?

Thanks in advance for your attention.

Best, Oscar M.
in A-kasse for graduates by

1 Answer


Hi Oscar,

you dont write in your inquiry whether you are a EU/EEA citizen or not, and what type of residence permit you hold. Thats important in relation to Unemployment benefits.

To be eligible for Unemployment benefits your residence permit must give you the right to stay beyond your job PhD-contract.

For EU/EEA citizens:

If you are an EU/EEA citizen there is no problem - you can stay in Denmark and in relation to Unemployment benefits you will be treated like a danish citizen.

As an EU/EEA PhD-student you have two options to become a member of and receive benefits from an a-kasse.

  1. You can become member of an a-kasse like other salaried persons. You must pay the normal member fee, and you must fulfill the requirements. But one of the requirements is that you must have been member for at least 1 year before you apply for benefits. In your case this will not be possible. At the moment you are only member of an Union (IDA). Memberhip of an Trade Union does not give you any right to receive Unemployment benefits. To being eligible for benefits you must be member of an A-kasse.

  2. Your option would be to sign up with an a-kasse as a graduate and take advantage of the special favourable requirements for being eligible for benefits. You will receive a little less in benefits than with the option 1, but the requirements are easier to meet. You can see our guide for graduates here:

For non EU/EEA citizens:

As a non EU/EEA PhD student you are not allowed to receive unemployment benefits during the job search period of your residence and work permit.

However, as a foreign national who has completed a 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.

How to become member of an A-kasse? If it, according to the above, is relevant for you to become member of an A-kasse, this is easy to do, because everything is online, and the only thing you should do is to fill out a online form on the website of the A-kasse you decide to be member of. You can see our guide on "How to apply" here:

Hope this helps you.

Best regards, Anders,

Dear Anders,

Yes I'm a EU citizen (I'm from Spain). So as far as I understood the only option I have now is to sign as a graduate. I guess there is no option to pay the overdue amount to complete 1 year of salaried person, right?

I will complete my membership during todays. Thanks for your  help.


Oscar M.
Hi Oscar,

no your are right...It is not possible to pay membership fees back in time, so your only option is to use the graduate rule, which is not so bad ...

Good luck with jobsearch.

Best regards,