Application for first permit

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.

The Directorate of Immigration forwards the application for a work permit to the Directorate of Labour to be processed.

The Directorate of Immigration can only issue a residence permit based on work if the Directorate of Labour grants a work permit.

Documents to be submitted

  1. Payment receipt (if the application has been paid for at a bank). The name of the person for whom payment is being made must be clearly stated. List the name of the applicant, his/her date of birth as a reference.
  2. Application for a residence permit. (Please download and save on computer before filling out). In original format, carefully filled out and signed by the applicant. (It is important that the applicant states his/her place of residence in Iceland. If the address is not stated when the application is made the applicant must notify his/her place of residence within two (2) weeks from the applicant’s date of arrival in Iceland (for example when being photographed).
  3. Passport photo (35 mm x 45 mm).
  4. Photocopy of passport. The period of validity must be at least 90 days beyond the period of validity of the residence permit. This must include photocopies of the passport’s personal information page and the page containing the applicant’s signature.
  5. Confirmed original of a foreign criminal record certificate. The criminal record certification must not be older than six (6) months. A criminal record certificate must be presented from all the countries where the applicant has lived for the last five (5) years. (The criminal record certificate shall be issued by the highest appropriate authority in every country, i.e. the authority authorized to issue such a certificate). Note there is a requirement for apostille confirmation or double authentication.
  6. Confirmed copy or original translation by an authorized translator of the criminal record certificate. Applies only if the foreign certificates are in other languages than English or the Nordic languages. Note there is a requirement of confirmation of translation if the translator is not an authorized translator in Iceland, i.e. apostille or double authentication.
  7. Health Insurance. The applicant shall submit a certificate of insurance from an Icelandic insurance company (see insurance companies) or a foreign insurance company authorized to operate in Iceland (see foreign insurance companies). The insurance shall be valid for six (6) months from the date of the applicant being registered in Registers Iceland and the coverage shall be at least IKR 2000,000.  Registration in Registers Iceland is usuallly valid from the day the applicant‘s photo is taken at either the Directorate of Immigration or at a District Commissioner‘s office for a residence permit card, given that the applicant has stayed in Iceland from that date.
  8. Application for the appropriate work permit, in original format, signed both by the applicant and the employer, and confirmed by the relevant trade union.

a. Application for a temporary work permit for work requiring expert knowledge.

b. Application for a temporary work permit based on shortage of workers.

c. Application for a temporary work permit for athletes.

d. Application for a temporary work permit for qualified professionals on grounds of collaboration or service contracts.

9. Employment contract, in original format, signed by both the applicant and the employer. The contract must state the applicant’s wages and terms of employment, and must fulfill the statutory minimum wage terms.

Documents that may be submitted

  • Power of Attorney signed by two (2) witnesses.The Power of Attorney does not have to be submitted unless the applicant wants someone other than him/her to receive information about the processing of the application by the Directorate of Immigration.

The applicant is responsible for submitting the necessary supporting documents with his/her application. If satisfactory documents are not received by the Directorate of Immigration, this may result in delays in processing the application or in the application being refused. The Directorate of Immigration may request additional information when special circumstances warrant it.

If the applicant meets all requirements of a residence permit, the permit will be granted and the applicant will be sent a notification of the granting of the permit. 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 (1) week from his/her arrival in Iceland,
  • reported his place of residence to the Directorate and
  • undergone a medical examination, within two (2) 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.