Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions 


Icelandic words explained 

Selected Icelandic words explained in various languages. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here we have highlighted questions and answers regarding information we receive frequent requests for. If you can not find answers to your questions, do not hesitate to contact us or chat to our team of consultants.

Accordion Content

If you lost your job, you need to register at the website of Directorate of Labour – Vinnumálastofnun by filling in an online application. You will be required to have an electronic ID or Icekey to log in. When you access ‘My Pages’ you will be able to apply for unemployment benefits and look for available jobs. You will also need to submit some documents regarding your last employment.  Once you are registered your status is an unemployed person actively searching for job. This means that you can start working at any time. Please note that you must confirm your job search through ‘My pages’ between the 20th and the 25th each month to ensure payment.


Further information you will find on the website of Directorate of Labour.   

If you are having issues with your employer, you should first contact your labour union. It is important to report any cases of human trafficking and labour exploitation. The labour unions are divided by employment sectors or industries. You can verify which labour union you belong to by checking your payslip where it should state the union you have been making payments to. 


Talking to the union is confidential and they will not contact your employer unless you give your permission. More about worker´s rights in Iceland.


Please contact New in Iceland if have more questions or need individual assistance. 

Workers’ unions represent workers and guarantee their rights. It is not obligatory to belong to a determined union, but the workers can make payments to a definite union if there is one.


To register as a member of a workers´union and be able to enjoy the rights associated with its membership, you need to apply for written permission.


There are numerous workers unions, and there are classified depending on the occupation. Each union implements its collective agreement in representation of the profession it represents. More about Icelandic Labour Market

When looking for a job in Iceland it is best to start looking online – there are different websites where jobs are advertised. You can also register at Vinnumálastofnun, Directorate of Labour which is responsible for public labor exchanges, the registration of jobseekers and the calculation and payment of unemployment benefits.


When looking for and applying for a job, it´s important to be organized, to set goals and to think about the next steps so that your job search is more effective and the objective is reached as soon as possible.


Here you can find more useful information on our website.

There are numerous unions of workers, and there are classified depending on the occupation. The role of unions is first and foremost to negotiate, on behalf of their members, wages and other employment terms in – collective wage agreements and to protect their interests in the labour market.


On the website of The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASI) you can find a summary of labour law and trade union rights in Iceland.

If you lost a job you have to apply for unemployment benefits at Directorate of Labour (Vinnumálastofnun). All information about benefits: www.vmst.is  Email address: postur@vmst.is.


More useful information on our website here.

Work related rights

Video about  labour market rights in Iceland, looking at some useful information about the rights of workers, and the experiences of people who have received international protection in Iceland.

EEA citizens who move to Iceland from an EEA country or Switzerland are entitled to health insurance coverage from the date that their legal domicile is registered with Registers Iceland – Þjóðskrá, provided they have been insured by the social security system in their former country of residence. Applications for registration of domicile are submitted to Registers Iceland. Once it has been approved, it is possible to apply for registration in the Insurance Register of Icelandic Health Insurance Sjúkratryggingar Íslands. You will NOT be insured unless you apply for it!


If individuals do not have insurance rights in their previous country of residence, they will have to wait 6 months for health insurance coverage in Iceland. 


Citizens outside EEA must buy health insurance – called medical expense insurance / Sjúkrakostnaðartrygg­ing, from an insurance company that is licensed to operate in Iceland. The insurance must be valid for at least six months from the date on which legal domicile has been registered, or until the right to be medically insured in Iceland has been acquired.


More about health insurance in Iceland

Healthcare centers first and foremost serve the residents of the municipality or neighborhood in question. It is recommended that you register yourself and your family at the nearest healthcare center or healthcare facility and apply for a GP. Once the registration has been confirmed, you will need to grant the healthcare center permission to access any past medical data. Only healthcare employees may refer people to hospital for treatment and medical assistance.

Anyone can encounter abuse especially in close relationships, regardless of gender, age, social position, or background. The violence can be in various forms. The most common forms are mental, physical, sexual and financial violence where the aim of the perpetrator is to gain complete power over the spouse´s life. More about forms of violence. No one should have to live in fear of those they love and admitting to violence towards yourself is the first step in seeking help. 


You can always call112. 


Here is a list of the places and organisations that offer help, information and counselling. 


Please contact New in Iceland if you have more questions or need individual assistance. 

If your fixed residence is in Iceland or you are planning on making Iceland your fixed residence you should register your address in the Registers Iceland / Þjóðskrá.  Fixed residence is the place where the individual has her/his belongings, spends his/her free time, and sleeps and when she/he is not temporarily absent due to vacation, work trips, sickness, or other reasons.


To register a legal domicile in Iceland one must have residence permit (applies to citizens outside EEA) and an ID number – kennitala (applies to all). A domicile must have a definite address in a street or in a house with a name. This address should be up to date.  To register an address and to notify a change of address, you can do so here through the Registers Iceland.


Link of interest

It is always a big step to move to another country. You can find a lot of information on our website Multicultural and Information Centre www.mcc.is


It is fairly easy if you are a citizen of EEA country. You need to register your stay with Registers Iceland. You will need to have a job contract of sufficient amount of money to support yourself for the first three months.


More information on the Registers Iceland


If you intend to stay in Iceland longer than three months and you are a citizen of a country that is not an EEA/EFTA member state, you need a residence permit. The Directorate of Immigration issues the residence permit.


Main types of residence permits are based on:



Family reunification for the closest relative of a person residing in Iceland


Special ties

Au pair



Legitimate and special purpose


More information you can find on our website

You might be entitled to receive housing benefit if you use social-assistance housing or rent housing on the open market. This can be done online or on paper, however you are strongly encouraged to provide all the information online. Once application is received you will receive an email confirming your application. If further information or materials are needed, you will be contacted via “My pages” and the e-mail address you give in your application. Remember that it is your responsibility to check any incoming requests.


Detailed information and prequisites: 





When moving away from Iceland there are certain things that have to be taken care of. Doing the appropriate paperwork right, makes everything easier. And importantly, doing it while still in Iceland.


  • Notify Registers Iceland that you will be moving abroad
  • Think about possible transfer of your insurance and/or pension rights. Also keep other personal rights and obligations in mind.
  • Check if your passport is valid and if not, apply for a new one in time.
  • Be sure to know about what rules apply to residence and work permits in the country you are moving to.
  • Make sure all tax claims are fully paid
  • Don´t rush to close your bank account in Iceland, you might need it for some time.
  • Make sure mail will be delivered to you contacting the mail service or having a representative to receive your mail.
  • Remember to unsubscribe from membership agreements before leaving.



We advice you to check out the following links for more information:


Registers Iceland

Health Insurance Iceland


Info Norden

Frequently asked questions by The Consumer’s Association of Iceland

All you need to know about housing in Iceland

To check if your foreign study certificates are valid in Iceland and to have them recognized you can consult ENIC/NARIC. More information on http://english.enicnaric.is/ 


If the purpose of recognition is to acquire rights to work within a regulated profession in  Iceland, the applicant must apply to the appropriate competent authority in the  country.

If you are in urgent financial need you can search for financial support from your municipality. You might be eligible for financial support if you are not receiving unemployment benefits. In this case you need to contact your municipality directly.

Here you can select your municipality and find a phone number and e-mail address

Here you can find several NGO’s in Iceland that provide aid to people in difficult situations.

  • Icelandic Church Aid (Hjálparstarf kirkjunnar) provides emergency aid, in consultation with priests and social workers.
  • Red Cross Clothes Distribution – If you need clothing assistance you can apply for clothing cards at the Red Cross that can be used in the Red Cross shops.
  • Fjölskylduhjálp (Iceland Family Aid) provides food aid in Reykjavík and Reykjanesbær, but people from any other municipality can apply.
  • Mæðrastyrksnefnd (Subvention for mothers and single women)
  • Pepp – Association of People Experiencing Poverty open to everyone who has experienced poverty ad social isolation and who want to be involved in changing the conditions of people living in poverty.

Electronic certificates (also called electronic IDs) are personal credentials used in the electronic world. Identifying you with electronic IDs online is tantamount to presenting personal identification. Electronic ID can be used as a valid signature, it´s equivalent to your own signature.

In banks, savings banks and at Auðkenni. You can get electronic IDs for your phone or smart cards. If you are going to provide an electronic ID by phone, you need to check if your phone SIM-card supports electronic IDs. If not, you can get such a card from your network operator. You then go to a bank, savings bank or to Auðkenni (website in Icelandic only) and get an electronic ID there. When applying for an electronic ID, you must always have with you a valid driver’s license, passport or identity card with a photo.

You can use the electronic IDs to authenticate your self and sign electronic documents. Most public institutions and municipalities already offer login to service sites with electronic IDs, as well as all banks, savings banks and more.

You need to select one PIN. Whenever you use the electronic ID, this PIN number will be useful to you. It is therefore the same PIN number for all service sites that offer login with electronic IDs. This greatly reduces the number of PINs you need to remember.

Yes, electronic IDs can be installed in almost all types of mobile phones. It´s good to know that to get an electronic ID in your phone, it doesn´t need to be a smartphone. Simpler phones will do.

They increase security. They are comfortable. All you have to do is remember one PIN instead of several and they will give you access to multiple service pages. In addition, you can use them to give  a fully valid signature.

Electronic IDs have been rated the most secure authentication available to the public, according to a recent survey. A password is never stored centrally and that increases security.

Electronic IDs are based on the the so-called Iceland root-certificate  (Íslandsrót, information in Icelandic only), which is owned and managed by the Icelandic state. The state does not issue electronic certificates to individuals, but sets strict conditions for the issue of such certificates. Those who issue or intend to issue electronic IDs to individuals in Iceland are under the official supervision of the Consumer Agency. With strict requirements and its ownership of Íslandsrót, the state has full control over the environment of the documents and is responsible for the basic structure on which they are based.

About electronic IDs

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