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IsIceland Visas
& Permits.






Country Capital



Icelandic króna (ISK)

Are you planning to grow your company in Iceland? Leveraging the local talent pool can be key to supporting your expansion goals. Additionally, you may want to relocate current team members to help scale your operations in Iceland. Either way, you’ll need to ensure all workers have the correct documentation to legally work in the country.

Types of work visas in Iceland

Iceland is a member of the Schengen Agreement, which eliminates checkpoints and visa requirements for citizens from the Faroe Islands or countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) or the European Free Trade Agreement countries. This exemption extends to work permits, making it easier for individuals from these regions to engage in employment activities. It is important to note that such nationals are still required to register with the Registers Iceland if they wish to stay in Iceland for longer than 3 months.

Workers from countries outside of these agreements can obtain visas for many reasons, including:

  • Business
  • Family matters
  • Short-term study
  • Travel and tourism
  • Religious, scientific, cultural, and sports events

However, these visas do not cover employment. If an international employee wishes to enter Iceland for work, they must apply for a residence permit. This document comes with an entry visa and allows a long-term stay in the country. International employees also need work permits for legal employment status.

The Directorate of Immigration only issues residence permits to individuals who apply for a work permit. There are several types of work permits for various circumstances, including:

  • Athletes
  • Labor shortages
  • Jobs that require expert knowledge
  • Specialized employment based on a service contract

Individuals with residence permits based on studies, family reunification, and lawful purpose will also require a work permit if they wish to take up employment in Iceland.

Requirements to obtain work visas in Iceland

To obtain a work permit in Iceland, applicants need a range of documents. Every visa type requires an employment contract, and some applications will ask for further details regarding expertise, diplomas, and certifications.

Residence permits based on work require:

  • Medical insurance
  • A passport-sized photo
  • An employment contract
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s passport
  • A completed application for a work permit
  • An original criminal record along with a translation

The application also requires information about education and professional qualifications, so employees should have supporting documents for those details as well.

Application process

International employees must obtain a work permit through the Directorate of Labor before applying for a residence permit. Employers typically handle the work permit application process and must submit all relevant materials to the Directorate of Immigration, which will forward the documentation to the Directorate of Labor.

When the Directorate of Labor verifies the right to a work permit, the permit holder can apply for a residence permit. Employees who need a visa to enter Iceland can handle this application process at the nearest embassy or consulate. The permit comes with a visa for international employees to enter the country.

After the international employee obtains a work permit and residence permit, they can begin employment in Iceland.

Other considerations

Residence permits come with a specified expiration date depending on the type of work permit. If a permit holder wishes to renew their residence permit, they must do so 4 weeks before the expiration date. Permit holders must apply for renewals in person, unlike first-time applicants who can apply through the mail.

When first-time applicants receive confirmation regarding their application, they must get a photo ID from the Directorate of Immigration. This process must be handled in person, and during this visit, the applicant will also receive a medical exam and notification of residence.

Discover how G-P can help you manage your global teams.

At G-P, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to global business, enabling opportunity for everyone, everywhere, and helping companies tap into the fullest potential of their workforce. We help you maintain full compliance with local laws and ensure everything from hiring and onboarding to paying employees is quick and easy, regardless of where they are in the world.

Find out more about how our Global Growth Platform™ can help you grow your team across the globe.

At this moment, G-P does not offer support in the processing of work visas or permits in this particular location. For any other inquiries, contact us today.



THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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