Icelandic(IS)English (United Kingdom)
Icelandic Directorate of Immigration, Skogarhlid 6, 105 Reykjavik
Opening hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Telephone hours for lawyers and case handlers:
Residence permits and visas:  Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Legal questions, residence permits:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Legal questions, asylum:  Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Icelandic citizenship:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12. p.m.
Please send all general questions by e-mail to



The Directorate may grant permission for engaging a foreigner between the ages of 18-25 as a domestic help/au-pair in an Icelandic household.

The conditions for granting an au-pair residence permit are the following:

  • Fulfilling the basic conditions for a residence permit, i.e. that financial support, medical insurance and housing is secure.
  • The applicant shall not be younger than 18 years and no older than 25 years.
  • A contract between the applicant and the host family must be signed.
  • The host family shall provide free housing and meals to the applicant.
  • The au-pair shall have a separate room in the household.
  • The host family shall pay for the applicant’s travel back to the home country at the end of the contract.
  • The applicant shall be granted adequate time for studying Icelandic and for pursuing his/her personal hobbies/interests.

This type of permit is considered to be a cultural exchange which is neither categorized as a student nor a regular work permit. It is not expected that a foreigner will apply for this category to stay in the home of a family member, as that could hardly be considered to be the purpose of this type of permit.

Application may be paid for and sent by registered mail to the Directorate, Skógarhlíð 6, 105 Reykjavík, along with a receipt for the payment. The application must be approved before the applicant arrives in the country. If the applicant is present in Iceland when the application is submitted, it will not be processed until proof has been shown that he/she has left the country.

Estimated processing time for residence permit applications is 90 days from the date the Directorate has received adequate documentation. If supporting documents are missing or inadequate, the processing time will take longer. For further information, see here.

The au-pair permit is granted for a maximum of one year and is not renewable.

Au-pair permits do not count towards a permanent residence permit.


The following documentation must be submitted:

  1. An original application form for au-pair permit, completed and signed by the applicant.
  2. A written contract/au-pair engagement agreement between the parties. The contract is only available at the Directorate of Immigration.
  3. One passport size photo (35mmx45mm).
  4. A photocopy of the applicant’s passport. The validity of the passport must be at least three months beyond the proposed permit.
  5. Criminal Record Check, original.  The certificate must be issued by the country/countries where the applicant has resided for the past five years. Criminal Record Check must be dated no earlier than 6 months prior to being submitted to the Directorate. Please note that individuals who have resided in the U.S.A. or Canada during the past five years, intending to apply for a residence permit in Iceland, must submit a Criminal Record Check based on fingerprints issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S.A. and/or by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada. Instructions on how to apply for a FBI criminal record check is available on the website and for RCMP criminal record check on the website
  6. Medical Insurance.  Insurance must cover at least 2.000.000, and shall be issued by an insurance company authorized to provide services in Iceland. The insurance must be in effect for 6 months.
  7. Financial support. The host family must submit documents proving financial capability.
  8. Authorization. The applicant may grant an individual in Iceland authorization to enquire about his application.
  9. Housing Certificate. The applicant must prove that he/she has secure housing for the period of time applied for. The certificate must be signed by the homeowner and witnessed by two adults. 

The Directorate requires that all foreign documentation issued in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages, must be translated by an accredited interpreter.

The Directorate reserves the right to ask for authentication of foreign documents, if necessary. 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). This applies to criminal record checks, marriage certificates, birth certificates and any other certificates submitted with an application for a residence permit in Iceland. Further information on apostille can be found on the website

If the application is approved, 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.

Upon fulfilling those requirements the permit is issued and the residence card is sent to the applicant’s address.

The date of issuance marks the official beginning of residency in Iceland.