Iceland – How to get a residence permit?

Iceland – How to Get a Residence Permit?

Are you considering moving to Iceland and wondering how to obtain a residence permit? Look no further. In this article, we will guide you through the process of acquiring a residence permit in Iceland.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to understand the basics of residence permits in Iceland. A residence permit is a document that allows non-Icelandic citizens to live and work in Iceland for an extended period. There are different types of residence permits depending on the purpose of your stay. The most common types are:

– Work permits

– Student permits

– Family reunification permits

– Humanitarian permits

Each permit type has specific requirements that applicants must meet before being granted a permit. Additionally, applications can only be made through the Directorate of Immigration (UTL).

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for a residence permit, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include:

Financial Means

Applicants must prove they have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in Iceland. This requirement varies depending on the type of residence permit applied for.

Valid Passport

All applicants must have a valid passport or travel document.

Health Insurance

Applicants must have health insurance coverage in Iceland.

Clear Criminal Record

Applicants cannot have a criminal record or pose a threat to public security.


Applicants must have accommodation secured in Iceland.

Application Process

Now that you understand the basics and eligibility requirements let’s dive into the application process.

Gather Required Documents

Before applying, ensure you have all necessary documents, including:

– Passport or travel document.

– Health insurance documentation.

– Proof of financial means.

– Proof of accommodation.

– Criminal record check.

– Other documents depending on the type of permit applied for, such as employment contracts or school acceptance letters.

Complete Application Form

The next step is to complete the application form. The form can be accessed online or at the UTL offices. Ensure all information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

Submit Application

Once the application is completed, it must be submitted to the UTL with all required documents. Applications can be submitted in person or through the mail.

Wait for Processing

After submitting your application, you must wait for it to be processed. Processing times vary depending on the type of permit applied for and the number of applications received.


Acquiring a residence permit in Iceland can be a lengthy process, but it’s worth it if you plan on living and working in Iceland long-term. Remember to familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements, gather all necessary documents, and submit an accurate and complete application. With patience and perseverance, you can obtain a residence permit and start living your Icelandic dream!# Moving to Iceland: What You Need to Know Before You Go

So you’ve decided to move to Iceland – congratulations! This stunning country is known for its natural beauty, friendly locals, and high standard of living. However, before packing your bags and making the big move, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know before moving to Iceland.

Cost of Living

Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, with a high cost of living. It’s crucial to factor in living expenses when considering a move to Iceland. Rent, groceries, and transportation costs can add up quickly. However, it’s worth noting that healthcare and education are free for all residents, which can help offset some expenses.


Finding affordable housing in Iceland can be challenging, especially in Reykjavik, the capital city. Rental prices in Reykjavik are among the highest in Europe. However, there are more affordable options outside of the city center. It’s essential to start your housing search early and be prepared to pay a deposit and several months’ rent upfront.


Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from -10°C to 20°C throughout the year. Winter months can be dark, with only five hours of daylight, while summer months have nearly 24-hours of daylight. It’s important to have appropriate clothing and prepare for the weather conditions.


The official language of Iceland is Icelandic, and while many locals speak English, it’s a good idea to learn some basic Icelandic phrases. Not only will this help with communication, but it will also show respect for the local culture.


Iceland has a unique and rich culture, with traditions such as Midsummer Night’s Eve and the Yule Lads. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with Icelandic customs and etiquette before arrival. Icelanders value punctuality, honesty, and modesty.

Job Market

Finding work in Iceland can be challenging, especially if you do not speak Icelandic. However, there are opportunities available in industries such as tourism, healthcare, and technology. It’s important to research the job market and potential opportunities before moving.

Health Care

Iceland has a high-quality public healthcare system that is free for all residents. Private healthcare options are also available. It’s crucial to register with a local health clinic upon arrival in Iceland.


Iceland offers free education for all residents, including primary, secondary, and higher education. The country has several excellent universities, including the University of Iceland and Reykjavik University.


Moving to Iceland can be an exciting and life-changing experience. However, it’s essential to understand the cost of living, housing, weather, language, culture, job market, healthcare, and education before making the move. With proper preparation and research, you can make a smooth transition to your new home and start enjoying all that Iceland has to offer.Remember to take the time to plan and prepare for your move to Iceland properly. Research the cost of living, housing options, job market, and local culture before arrival. Learning some basic Icelandic phrases will also show respect for the local culture and make communication easier. With patience and perseverance, you can make a successful and enjoyable transition to life in Iceland.

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