This is the place for frequently asked questions on various topics.
See if you find the answer to your question here.
For individual assistance, please contact our counsellors. They are there to help.
To check if your education 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.
Applicants for international protection (asylum seekers) can attend free Icelandic lessons and other social activities arranged by the Red Cross. The timetable can be found on their Facebook group.
Please visit our webpage for more information about studying Icelandic.
If you have lost your job, you may qualify for unemployment benefits while you look for a new job. You can apply by registering at the website of Directorate of Labour – Vinnumálastofnun and 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 need to be available to start work 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 you receive your unemployment benefit payments. You can read more about unemployment on this website and you can also find further information on the website of the Directorate of Labour.
If you are having issues with your employer, you should contact your labour union for support. Labour unions are divided by employment sectors or industries. You can check which labour union you belong to by looking at your payslip. It should state the union you have been making payments to.
Union employees are bound by confidentiality and they will not contact your employer without your explicit permission. Read more about worker‘s rights in Iceland. On the website of The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ) you can find a summary of labour law and trade union rights in Iceland.
If you think you might be a victim of human trafficking or you suspect someone else is, please contact the Emergency Line by calling 112 or through their webchat.
Workers’ unions represent workers and protect their rights. Everyone is required by law to make membership payments to a union, even though it is not mandatory to be a member of a union.
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 membership in writing.
Iceland has a large number of workers’ unions which are formed on the basis of a common occupational sector and/or education. Each union implements their own collective agreement based on the profession it represents. Read more about the Icelandic Labour Market.
You can apply for unemployment benefits at Directorate of Labour (Vinnumálastofnun).
Free legal aid may be available to you:
Lögmannavaktin (by the Icelandic Bar Association) is a free legal service to the general public. The service is offered all Tuesday afternoons from September to June. You will need to book an interview beforehand by calling 5685620. More information here (only in Icelandic).
Law students at the University of Iceland offer free legal counselling for the general public. You can call 551-1012 on Thursday evenings between 19:30 and 22:00. You can refer to this Facebook site for more information.
Law students at Reykjavík University also offer free legal aid. Call 7778409 on Tuesdays between 17:00 and 19:00 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request their services.
The Icelandic Human Rights Centre offers legal advice to immigrants. Find out more here.
If you need urgent financial assistance, you should contact your municipality to check what assistance they can offer. You might be eligible for financial support if you are not receiving unemployment benefits. You can find out how to contact your municipality here.
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.
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.
Please visit this part of our site to get more information about electronic IDs.
Free legal aid to the general public is available:
Lögmannavaktin (by the Icelandic Bar Association) is free legal service to the general public. The service is offered all Tuesday afternoons from September to June. It´s necessary to book an interview before hand by calling 568-5620. More information here (only in Icelandic).
Law Students at the University of Iceland offer free legal counselling for the general public. You can call 551-1012 on Thursday evenings between 19:30 and 22:00. See also this Facebook site for more information.
Law students at Reykjavík University also offer free legal aid. For their counselling, call 777-8409 on Tuesdays, between 17:00 and 19:00 or send an email to email@example.com
The Icelandic Human Rights Centre has offered assistance to immigrants when comes to legal matters.
EEA/EU citizens who move to Iceland from an EEA/EU 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). Please note that you will not be insured unless you apply for it.
If you do not have insurance rights in your previous country of residence, you will need to wait six months for health insurance coverage in Iceland.
You will need to register yourself and your family at the nearest healthcare center or healthcare facility in the area where you are legally domiciled. You need to book an appointment to see a doctor at your local healthcare centre. You can book appointments by calling your healthcare centre or online on Heilsuvera. Once the registration has been confirmed, you will need to grant the healthcare center permission to access your past medical data. Only healthcare employees may refer people to hospital for treatment and medical assistance.
Read more about healthcare in Iceland here.
Anyone can encounter abuse or violence, especially in close relationships. This can happen regardless of your gender, age, social position, or background. Nobody should have to live in fear, and help is available.
Read more about Violence, Abuse and Negligence here.
For emergencies and/or lifethreatening situations, always call 112 or contact the Emergency Line through their webchat.
You can also contact 112 if you suspect that you or somebody you know is being abused.
Here is a list of the organisations and services that offer help to those who have experienced or are currently experiencing violence.
Please contact our consultants team if you have more questions or need individual assistance.
Housing / Domicile
If you are a resident Iceland or you are planning on making Iceland your 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). Register an address and notify a change of address through the Registers Iceland.
You are in the right place! This website you are currently visiting has plenty of useful information.
If you are a citizen of EEA country, you need to register with Registers Iceland. More information on the website of 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 to apply for a residence permit. The Directorate of Immigration issues residence permits. Read more about this on our website.
You might be entitled to receive housing benefits if you are living in social housing or rent housing on the private market. This can be done online or on paper, however you are strongly encouraged to provide all the information online. Once the 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.
Check the following links for more information:
Housing benefits application – HMS
About housing benefits – island.is
Read more about this on our website.
We also advise to check out the following links for more information:
In disputes between tenants and landlords, you can get assistance from the Tenants’ Support. You can also appeal to the Housing Complaints Committee. Read more about assistance for tenants and landlords here.