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


International protection / Applications for asylum

Iceland is a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The procedure for determining refugee status is laid down in the Act on Foreigner’s no. 96/2002. Every year a number of persons apply for asylum in Iceland and the Directorate processes their applications on first instance.

The Directorate is also responsible for the care taking of asylum seekers that are not capable to support themselves. The care taking is provided through the social welfare services in Reykjanesbær in accordance with a contract between them and the Directorate.

Applications for asylum shall be submitted to the police that carry out the preliminary inquiry in association with the Directorate. According to Para 1 Article 46 of the Act on Foreigners a person has to be present within or at the borders of Iceland to be able to apply for asylum in Iceland. Applications received from abroad, for example with e-mail, cannot be processed.

Iceland is one of the Schengen states* and the so called Dublin II regulation* has been implemented in Iceland. That regulation lays down the criteria for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for asylum submitted lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national. All applications for asylum lodged in Iceland are therefore first examined with a view to determine if another Member State is responsible for the examination of the application and to readmit the applicant.

The Decisions of the Directorate can be appealed to the Ministry of the Interior.

Some of the organisations working with the Directorate in cases regarding asylum applications are the Icelandic Red Cross, UNHCR, social welfare services and the police.