A student residence permit may be renewed for up to one year if the applicant is registered in full study, the other conditions for a residence permit are still met and if satisfactory academic performance is proven, as applicable. See the information below regarding satisfactory study performance by students.
Further information on satisfactory study performance and enrollment
This means continuous study at a university level, including study at workplaces, or other studies where similar requirements are made regarding preparatory education and study at the university level. A person attending individual courses is not considered as being enrolled in full study. Apprenticeship and other acknowledged vocational study at the secondary-school level also fall under this category.
A renewal of a student residence permit must be applied for at least four (4) weeks before its expiry. If this is done, the applicant is authorized to remain in Iceland during the processing of his/her application by the Directorate of Immigration. If renewal of the residence permit is not applied for before expiry, the application will be processed as if it were a first permit – not renewal. An application that is received after the expiry of an older permit will be refused if the applicant is not authorized to stay in Iceland during the processing of his/her application. See further Procedure of applications and permit to stay.
The applicant must show up in person when renewing a residence permit, either at the service desk of the Directorate of Immigration or at the offices of district commissioners outside of the capital area. The applicant will be photographed and must provide a signature sample. The applicant should bring his/her passport.
A student residence permit is generally renewed for a period of one year at a time; however, applicants should realize that they may apply for shorter residence permits, for example, in connection with one academic term.
Information is contained below about what is deemed as being satisfactory academic performance, depending on whether this pertains to the first or second renewal, as well as a list of the universities’ requirements in this regard.
Upon first renewal an applicant’s academic performance is considered to be satisfactory if he/she has completed 75% of full study during the academic year (i.e. at least 44 ECTS in total in an academic year). An academic year refers to two consecutive terms effective as of the beginning of study. The results of the last two terms shall be added together. Could be the fall term leading into the spring term or spring term leading into the fall term.
The applicant must have shown satisfactory academic performance in instances where this is required. Each university has its rules regarding what is considered as satisfactory or acceptable academic performance, see the list below.
If enrollment in full study cannot be shown for a period of one year in advance because enrollment has not been declared as open (for example when the study begins in January and ends in December), the Directorate of Immigration will request information by the relevant school about continued enrollment in study when such information becomes available. An applicant is deemed as having enrolled when the tuition or registration fees have been paid, and is enrolled in study cf. a confirmation by the relevant school. If the applicant is not enrolled in continued study after his/her first term the residence permit will be withdrawn.
University of Iceland: if an applicant has completed 67% of full study during the academic year, his/her academic performance is deemed as satisfactory. The residence permit is generally renewed for one year at a time, except when the applicant intends to begin continued study in the second term of the school year. In such an instance the applicant’s residence permit will be renewed for six (6) months and then a new permit shall be applied for when it is clear that the enrollment requirements for continued study are met.
Reykjavík University: no requirement is made regarding satisfactory academic performance upon subsequent renewals.
University of Akureyri: if an applicant has completed 75% of his/her full studies in the school year, the academic performance is deemed as satisfactory.
Bifröst University: no requirement is made regarding satisfactory academic performance upon subsequent renewals.
Icelandic Film School: if an applicant has completed 26 ECTS during a term the academic performance is considered as satisfactory.
The Agricultural University of Iceland: if an applicant has completed 50% of study during the academic year, the academic performance is considered as satisfactory.
The Icelandic Academy of the Arts: no requirement is made regarding academic performance upon subsequent renewals.
Keilir Academy: no requirement is made regarding satisfactory academic performance upon subsequent renewals.
Hólar University College: no requirement is made regarding academic performance upon subsequent renewals.
Kópavogur College: the following criteria apply regarding academic performance upon subsequent renewals:
At the end of the
3rd term the student must have completed at least 55 credits;
4th term the student must have completed at least 75 credits;
5th term the student must have completed at least 95 credits;
6th term the student must have completed at least 115 credits;
7th term the student must have completed at least 135 credits;
8th term the student must have completed at least 155 credits;
9th term the student must have completed at least 175 credits;
10th term the student must have completed at least 200 credits.
Students who show slow progress in their studies are not guaranteed continued enrollment.
The residence permits of masters and doctorate students who are working on their final projects may be renewed even though no credits have been earned during the period of the residence permit. Furthermore, deviating from the requirement on satisfactory academic performance in the instance of general students is permissible in instances of unforeseeable external circumstances, for example accidents or serious illness.