Work

Please note that the information on this website is being updated in accordance with a new Act on Foreigners that will take effect January 1st 2017. You can find the Act on Foreigners in Icelandic here.

Application must be submitted at the Directorate of Immigration along with applicable supporting documents. The Directorate of Labour issues work permits in Iceland. The Directorate of Labour must issue a work permit in order for the Directorate of Immigration to issue a residence permit based on employment. Further information on processing residence and work permits is here.


Application must be submitted before the applicant arrives in Iceland. If the applicant comes to Iceland as a tourist before the application is approved, processing of the application will be halted and a permit will not be issued. If the applicant is in Iceland, but wants to be granted a residence permit, he/she must leave the country.


If a residence permit is granted, the applicant can travel to Iceland. The procedures from the time a permit is granted until a residence permit card is issued are explained here.
If a residence permit is not granted, information on appeal procedure is explained here.


There are three categories of residence and work permits:

Qualified professionals - Article 12 of the Act on Foreigners.

Residence permits may be issued on grounds of specific employment in Iceland which is not a temporary project. According to the Foreign Nationals Right to Work Act, the applicant must be qualified in a field needed by the employer and be at the level of university education or vocational or technical qualifications as approved in Iceland. Further information on the rights associated with this type of permit is here.


Athletes - Article 12 b. of the Act on Foreigners.

Residence permits may be issued for athletes and coaches at sports clubs within the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland. The sports clubs are listed on the webpage of the Association. Further information on the rights associated with this type of permit is here.


Temporary shortage of labourers - Article 12 a. of the Act on Foreigners.

Residence permits may be issued on grounds of temporary shortage of labourers when workers cannot be found within the local workforce or within the EEU or the Faroe Islands. These are temporary permits which may only be renewed once. The Directorate of Labour provides further information on shortage of labourers. Further information on the rights associated with this type of permit is here.


Useful information:

General information on residence permits

Basic requirements for residence permits

Detailed requirements for residence permits

Information on application process and processing time

Processing fee, an application will not be processed until the fee has been paid.

Rights associated with residence permits

FAQ


In order to be granted a work and residence permit, the applicant must fulfill basic and specific requriements.


Documents to be submitted by applicants:

  1. Checklist for basic requirements and checklist for specific requirements. Print both checklists and check them when gathering documents. Please include the completed lists with the application.
  2. Receipt for payment of processing fee (if the fee has been paid by bank transfer). The receipt must state clearly the name and birthdate of the applicant.
  3. Application for a residence permit, form must be original, completed and signed by the applicant.
  4. Passport size photo (35mm x 45mm)
  5. Copy of passport (does not need to be confirmed). The validity of the passport must be at least three months beyond the validity of the residence permit. The copy should be of the main page and the page with the applicant’s signature.
  6. Confirmed original of a foreign criminal record certificate. The criminal record certificate shall not be older than six months. Criminal record certificates shall be submitted from all the states where the applicant has resided for the past five years. Note the requirement of the certification of the criminal record certification, i.e. apostille certification or double authentication, see here.
  7. Housing certificate or rental agreement, unless the applicant owns the property in Iceland.
  8. Medical insurance. Applicants must submit a confirmation of insurance that is valid for at least six months, minimum coverage ISK 2,000,000, from an insurance company that is licensed to operate in Iceland, see here.
  9. Application for applicable work permit:
  1. Employment contract. Wages must meet minimum support requirements. Application for a work permit and the employment contract must be signed by the applicant and the employer and endorsed by the applicable trade union, see here.


Further documentation that may be submitted:

  • Power of attorney, original, witnessed by two adult witnesses. Note. A power of attorney needs not be submitted unless the applicant wants someone other than him/her to receive information about the processing of the application by the Directorate.


It is the applicant‘s responsibility to submit the documents on the checklist. If all the required documents are not submitted with the application, this could result in delays in processing the application or in a denial. The Directorate of Immigration may request additional documents in some cases.


Renewal

A residence and work permit may be renewed if the applicant still fulfills the requirements. Please note that a residence permit based on shortage of labourers may only be renewed once.


An application for a renewal must be submitted at least one month before the current permit expires. If the application is submitted later, it is not considered to be a renewal, but a first permit.


Applicant must apply personally at the Directorate’s office or at the offices of District Commissioners. The applicant will be photographed and he/she must bring his/her passport.


Documents that must be submitted

  1. Checklist for renewals. Print the checklist and check it when gathering documents. Please include the completed list with the application.
  2. Application for a residence permit, form must be original, completed and signed by the applicant.
  3. Copy of passport (does not need to be confirmed). The validity of the passport must be at least three months beyond the validity of the residence permit.  The copy should be of the main page and the page with the applicant’s signature.
  4. Application for applicable work permit:
  1. Employment contract. Wages must meet minimum support requirements. Application for a work permit and the employment contract must be signed by the applicant and the employer and endorsed by the applicable trade union, see here.


Further documentation that may be submitted:

  • Power of attorney, original, witnessed by two adult witnesses. Note. A power of attorney needs not be submitted unless the applicant wants someone other than him/her to receive information about the processing of the application by the Directorate.


It is the applicant‘s responsibility to submit the documents on the checklist. If all the required documents are not submitted with the application, this could result in delays in processing the application or in a denial. The Directorate of Immigration may request additional documents in some cases.