Humanitarian permit

Please note that with the new Act on Foreigners that will take effect January 1st 2017, it will no longer be possible to apply for humanitarian permit since such permits are only considered after an assessment and decision that a foreigner doesn't fullfill requirements for international protection. You can find the Act on Foreigners in Icelandic here.

A residence permit may be granted even if requirements of Articles 11 and 12 – 12 e. of the Act on Foreigners are not fulfilled, in duly justified cases, on humanitarian grounds.


Such permits are only granted in exceptional cases and circumstances in every case are assessed. It is always required that the applicant show that he/she fulfills the basic requirements of the law, but the Directorate may make some exemptions on humanitarian grounds. If the applicant is unable to fulfill the basic requirements of Article 11, he/she must submit a written statement and request an exemption.


Applications for residence permits on humanitarian grounds are primarily considered when an application for asylum has been denied and in principle only when the applicant is in Iceland.


Note that if the applicant is residing in Iceland and has held a residence permit, he/she only needs to submit the documents listed for renewal of a residence permit.


Conditions for issuing a residence permit on humanitarian grounds are that the applicant is in need of protection for the following reasons:

  1. Medical condition
  2. Onerous social conditions in his/her home country
  3. Other onerous conditions


This is not an exhaustive list of reasons, see further explanation here.


If a residence permit is not granted, information on appeal procedure is explained here.


Useful information:

General information on 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


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.
  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. Support must be secure for the residence period, see here. Applicants wages may be sufficient support if the applicant is authorized to work, see here.
  10. A written statement of the reasons for humanitarian grounds. The statement must show why the applicant is in need of protection.
  11. Supporting documents for the written statement. Documents supporting the applicant’s claim, e.g. medical certificate.


Documents that may be submitted:

Request for exemption from basic requirements for a residence permit. The request must be in writing along with justification for the request and supporting documents, if applicable.

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.

Application for a work permit and employment contract. Application for a work permit and the employment contract must be signed by the applicant and the employer.


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

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.


If the applicant has had a residence permit in Iceland on other grounds, these documents are sufficient for a first application for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds.


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. A written statement of the reasons for humanitarian grounds. The statement must show why the applicant is in need of protection.
  6. Supporting documents for the written statement. Documents supporting the applicant’s claim, e.g. medical certificate.


Documents that may be submitted:

  • Request for exemption from basic requirements for a residence permit. The request must be in writing along with justification for the request and supporting documents, if applicable.
  • 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.
  • Application for a work permit and employment contract. Application for a work permit and the employment contract must be signed by the applicant and the employer.


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.