The residency requirement
What is the residency requirement?
You must fulfill the residency requirement to be entitled to receive unemployment benefits. The residency requirement is a statutory condition, which everyone who becomes unemployed from January 1, 2019 must meet in order to receive unemployment benefits.
In order to be entitled to unemployment benefits, it is a condition according to the residency requirement, that you have been legally resident in Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), the EU, Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland for the 5 years within the past 12 years. By 2020, the requirement is 6 years within 12 years and in 2021, where the residency requirement is finally phased in, the requirement will be 7 years within 12 years.
Am I affected by the residency requirement?
If you were unemployed and received unemployment benefits on January 1, 2019, you will not be affected by the residency requirement right here and now.
You are affected by the residency requirement if:
- you have come to Denmark less than 5 years ago, and if you have not previously stayed in an EU / EEA country (EU countries, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) or Switzerland, you do not meet the residency requirement.
- you have been staying outside Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, EU / EEA and Switzerland for more than 5 years, when the residency requirement is fully phased in in 2021.
If you are affected by the residency requirement, you are not entitled to unemployment benefits. However, you may be entitled to an integration allowance if the conditions for this are fulfilled.
Please note that cohabitants/spouses who have been traveling abroad will also have to meet the residency requirement when returning home and applying for unemployment benefits.
Exceptions to the residency requirement
There are a number of exceptions to the residency requirement. This applies if you:
- have worked on a Danish ship
- have stayed abroad as a representative of a Danish public authority
- have stayed abroad as otherwise employed in public Danish interest
- have stayed abroad as an employee of a Danish company, including branch or subsidiary
- have stayed abroad with a view to vocational qualifying education
- have stayed abroad as a researcher at a foreign university, company or research institution
The exceptions also apply to accompanying spouses, registered partners and cohabitants if you had established a joint residence in Denmark before the departure.
The exceptions also apply to children under the age of 18, who were living with their parents during their stay.
If you have been staying abroad before you reach the age of 18, your stay is equivalent to a stay in Denmark if you have stayed in Denmark for 7 years before you turned 18. Staying in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland can also count towards this 7 year period.
Finally, it is determined that you do not have to meet the residency requirement if you have completed an integration education (IGU).
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