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Residence permit in Iceland
Residence permit in Iceland

Residence permits in Iceland

If you plan on staying for an extended period in Iceland, you might have to apply for a residence permit.


Residence permits in general:

  • Nordic citizens do not need a residence permit to reside in Iceland. 
  • Residence permits are generally issued for one year at a time. Residence permits must be in accordance with the purpose of a foreigner’s stay in Iceland. The rule for issuing permits varies between citizens of the EEA and non-EEA citizens. For more information about residence permits see: The directorate of immigration or Í
  • Attention! Tourist visas are not the same as permission to reside in the country. Tourist visas are never issued for more than 3 months and not usually extended.

EEA citizens 

Citizens of EEA countries, with the exception of Romania and Bulgaria, who intend to reside in Iceland for more than 3 months, may apply for a residence permit after arriving in the country. Applications for permits must be in accordance with the purpose of stay.

Non-EEA citizens

Citizens who are not from the EEA, including citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, must apply for a residence permit before entering the country. Applications for residence permits are classified according to purpose of stay. Purpose of stay must be clearly stated on the application form. For instance, are you coming to work? Are you coming to unite with your family? Are you coming to study? The purpose of your stay dictates what kind of a permit you must apply for and what documents you must submit with the application. For more information regarding documents, which must accompany applications. For more info see: The directorate of immigration

Residence permits for spouses 

Spouses of EEA citizens who are holders of a residence permit in Iceland may have the right to  permit in Iceland. The same applies for the spouses of non-EEA citizens holding a permanent residence permit in Iceland.

Residence permits for children

Parents who are the holders of permits may apply for their children’s permits. Children born in Iceland must also apply for a residence permit.

Renewing permits 

Applications for the renewal of residence permits should be submitted to the Directorate of immigration at least one month prior to the expiration date of the permit. It is the responsibility of the individual to submit the application for renewal at the right time. 
This article was written in cooperation with Áttavitinn