Work permits

Nationals of countries outside of the EEA/EFTA need a work permit before moving to Iceland to work. If you are already in Iceland when an application for a work permit for you is received for the first time, you will generally have to leave Iceland. You can get more detailed information from the Directorate of Labour. Work permits from other EEA countries are not valid in Iceland.


An employer who intends to hire a foreigner that is from outside of the EEA/EFTA area, shall apply for and already have received a work permit prior to the foreign national beginning work. Applications for work permits must be submitted, including the necessary documentation, to the Directorate of Immigration who then forwards the application to the Directorate of Labour if the conditions for the issuing of a residence permit for the relevant foreign national are met.


If a foreigner is a national of a state from within the EEA/EFTA area, then it is not necessary to apply for a work permit concerning the foreigner’s work for the employer. If it is necessary to obtain an ID number for the foreign national then you need to contact Registers Iceland. In order to get information regarding which state’s nationals are exempted with respect to a work permit in Iceland click here.


Information about residence permits based on work and temporary residence and work permits on the website of the Directorate of Immigration.


About work permits on the website work.iceland.is 

Documents to be submitted

An application for a residence permit and an application for a work permit as well as the necessary supporting documents shall be submitted to the Directorate of Immigration or at the offices of the district commissioners outside of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Area to confirm that the requirements for a residence permit are met.


Payment receipt

Application for a residence permit. 

Passport photo 

Photocopy of passport

Confirmed original of a foreign criminal record certificate. 

Confirmed copy or original translation by an authorized translator of the criminal record certificate. 

Health Insurance

Application for the appropriate work permit

Employment contract


The residence permit will not be issued, however, until the applicant has come to be photographed at the offices of the Directorate of Immigration or at offices of district commissioners outside of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Area, within one week from his/her arrival in Iceland, reported his place of residence to the Directorate and undergone a medical examination, within two weeks from arrival in Iceland.Please note that the applicant must present a valid passport when photographed for identification.


The Directorate of Immigration will not issue a residence permit if the applicant does not meet the requirements stated above. This could lead to illegal stay and expulsion.


If the applicant meets all requirements of a residence permit, the permit will be granted.

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