A residence permit for a student is intended for a foreigner, aged 18 or older, to study at a secondary school or university in Iceland. The applicant must be registered as a full time student at a university, vocational school, or other studies meeting university admission requirements.
Application shall be lodged prior to arrival in Iceland, according to the Act on Foreigners No. 96/2002. Arrival in the country is generally not allowed until application has been approved.
First application may be paid for and sent by registered mail to the Directorate, Skógarhlíð 6, 105 Reykjavík, along with a receipt for the payment.
Estimated processing time for applications is 90 days from the date of receiving adequate documentation. If supporting documents are missing or inadequate, the processing time will take longer (further). The Directorate only accepts original forms.
Fall Semester - Application and supporting documents must be received by the Directorate no later than July 1st in order to issue the permit before schools start.
Spring Semester - Application and supporting documents must be received by the Directorate no later than November 1st in order to issue the permit before schools start.
Families of students are generally not eligible for family reunification. Families of doctorate students and students from the U.S.A. are exempted and may apply for residence permits.
Student permits are not basis for a permanent residence permit.
First application - documents needed:
All foreign documentation issued in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages, must be translated by an accredited interpreter.
The Directorate may ask for authentication of foreign documents. Authentication can be either an „apostille“ from the applicant‘s home country, or a double authentication from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the home country and the Embassy of that country in Iceland, or the embassy accredited to Iceland if the country does not have an embassy in Iceland. Further information on apostille can be found on the website http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=text.display&tid=37
If the permit is granted, an applicant who needs a visa shall obtain a D-Visa at the closest embassy issuing such visas on behalf of Iceland. The application must indicate in which embassy the applicant intends to collect the visa. Check here for a list of embassies.
After arriving in Iceland:
Most foreigners need to go for a medical checkup and deliver a Medical Certificate to the Directorate. (See further exemptions and procedures from the Directorate of Health)
Appear at the Directorate’s office, or at the nearest District Commissioner’s office with his passport to be photographed.
The permit is issued and the card sent to the applicant’s address when medical certificate has been submitted and the photograph taken.
The date of issuance marks the official beginning of residency in Iceland.
Renewal - documents needed:
A student permit may be renewed during the study period if conditions for the permit are still met and satisfactory study progress is shown. A permit is usually renewed until the end of the next semester.
If application for renewal is not submitted at least one month before the current permit expires, the applicant has to leave the country while the application is processed and the application is not considered a renewal, but as a first permit.