Please note that with the new Act on Foreigners that will take effect January 1st 2017, there will no longer be an exemption as is now in Article 49 of the Act on Foreigners. Those who have been allowed to stay in Iceland without residence permit before the new Act takes effect will keep that right. You can find the Act on Foreigners in Icelandic here.
Primarily, citizens of countries outside of the EEA and EFTA who plan to dwell in Iceland for more than three months, are required to have residence permits.
The following citizens are allowed to stay in Iceland without a residence permit:
Citizens of other Nordic countries:
- Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish citizens
Individuals who were born Icelandic citizens:
- An individual who had an Icelandic citizenship at birth but has lost it or renounced it.
Children of Icelandic Parents:
- An individual who has an Icelandic citizen as a parent, if he/she has lived here and had a valid continuous residence permit for two years. Conditions are:
- The individual must have been in Iceland legally and had a continuous residence permit for at least two years
- The parent must have had an Icelandic citizenship for at least 5 years.
- The age of this individual is unimportant, he/she can be an adult or a child.
- An individual who is an adult, who’s parent is an Icelandic citizen, if he/she has been a resident in Iceland with a continuous residence permit for at least 5 years.
- That is to say, an individual who has stayed in Iceland legally and had a continuous residence permit for at least 5 years
- Has parent who is an Icelandic citizen.
- It does not matter how long the parent has been an Icelandic citizen, only that the parent has Icelandic citizenship.
- An individual who is married to an Icelandic citizen and has lived with his/her spouse in Iceland and had a continuous residence permit for three years after marriage.
- It does not matter how long the Icelandic spouse has been an Icelandic citizen.
- If a spouse is granted Icelandic citizenship, the other partner does not need to apply for a residence permit if both parties have resided in Iceland for three years after marriage.
- An individual who lives in registered cohabitation with an Icelandic citizen and has resided in Iceland and had a continuous residence permit for five years from the time the cohabitation was registered. Both parties must be unwed and the Icelandic citizen must have had Icelandic citizenship for at least five years.