School

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.

Residence permits for students are issued to foreigners over the age of 18 who intend to study in Iceland at a university level or other studies meeting university admission requirements. The applicant must be registered for full time studies.


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. Visas for travelling to Iceland (if applicable) will not be issued until a permit is granted.


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.


Observe:

Fall semester - Application and all supporting documents must be received by the Directorate no later than July 1st, in order to grant the permit before semester starts.

Spring semester - Application and all supporting documents must be received by the Directorate no later than November 1st, in order to grant the permit before semester starts.

The applicant must adhere to the deadlines for submitting applications for each semester, ensuring that all supporting documentation is included. Applications received by the deadline are given priority handling and effort made to grant permits in time for start of the semester. If the application is received late, or if documents are missing/not complete, granting of permit before semester starts cannot be guaranteed.


Residence permits for most students are granted for six months, or one semester at a time. Permits for doctorate students are issued for one year at a time. It is the applicant’s responsibility to apply for a renewal of the permit at least four weeks before it expires.


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 student residence permit, the applicant must fulfill basic and specific requirements.


Documents to be submitted:

  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. 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.
  8. Support must be secure for the residence period, see here.
  9. Confirmation of school admission. See further explanation here.
  10. Housing certificate. Students must submit a housing certificate within two weeks of arriving in Iceland.


Further documentation that may be submitted:

  • Application for a work permit and employment contract, if the applicant intends to work. Application for a work permit and the employment contract must be signed by the applicant and the employer.
  • Power of attorney, original, witnessed by two adult witnesses. Note. A power of attorney needs not be submitted unless the applicant wants someone else 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

Residence permit for a student may be renewed if the requirements are still fulfilled and proof of satisfactory study progress is shown. Permits are generally granted for six months, but one year for doctorate students.


Application for 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 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. Support must be secure for the residence period, see here.
  5. Confirmation of study progress. A certificate of progress and registration of full time studies from the applicable school. Further information on full studies and satisfactory progess can be found here.


Further documentation that may be submitted:

  • Application for a work permit and employment contract, if the applicant intends to work. Application for a work permit and the employment contract must be signed by the applicant and the employer.
  • Power of attorney, original, witnessed by two adult witnesses. Note. A power of attorney needs not be submitted unless the applicant wants someone else 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.