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Work permits

Nationals of countries outside of the EEA/EFTA need a work permit before moving to Iceland to work. Find out more information from the Directorate of Labour. Work permits from other EEA countries are not valid in Iceland.

A national of a state from within the EEA/EFTA area, does not need a work permit.

Hiring employee from abroad

An employer who intends to hire a foreigner from outside of the EEA/EFTA area, needs to have an approved work permit before the foreigner begins work. Applications for work permits must be submitted along with the necessary documentation to the Directorate of Immigration. They will forward the application to the Directorate of Labour if the conditions for the issuing of a residence permit are met.

National of an EEA/EFTA state

If a foreigner is a national of a state from within the EEA/EFTA area, they do not need a work permit. If the foreigner requires an ID number, you need to contact Registers Iceland.

Residence permit based on work

The residence permit will only be issued once the applicant has come to be photographed at the Directorate of Immigration or the District Commissioners outside of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Area. This should happen within one week from arrival in Iceland. You will also need to report your place of residence to the Directorate and undergo a medical examination within two weeks from arrival in Iceland. Please note that the applicant must present a valid passport when photographed for identification.

The Directorate of Immigration will not issue a residence permit if the applicant does not meet the requirements stated above. This could lead to illegal stay and expulsion.

Long term visa for remote work

A long-term visa for remote work permits people to stay in Iceland for 90 to 180 days for the purpose of working remotely.

You can be issued a long-term visa for remote work if:

  • you are from a country outside the EEA/EFTA
  • you do not need a visa to enter the Schengen area
  • you have not been issued a long-term visa in the past twelve months from the Icelandic authorities
  • the purpose of the stay is to work remotely from Iceland, either
    – as an employee of a foreign company or
    – as a self-employed worker.
  • it is not your intention to settle in Iceland
  • you can show a foreign income of ISK 1,000,000 per month or ISK 1,300,000 if you also apply for a spouse or cohabiting partner.

More information can be found here.

Frequently asked questions about remote work visa

Provisional residence and work permit

Those who are applying for international protection but want to work while their application is being processed, can apply for so called provisional residence and work permit. This permit has to be granted before starting any work.

The permit being provisional means that it´s only valid until the application for protection has been decided on. The permit is not granting the one that gets it a permanent residence permit and is subject to certain conditions.

Read more about this here.

Renewing an existing residence permit

If you already have a residence permit but need to renew it, it´s done online. You need to have electronic identification to fill out your online application.

Further information about residence permit renewal and how to apply.

Note: This application process is only for renewing an existing residence permit. And  it is not for those who have received protection in Iceland after fleeing from Ukraine. In that case, go here for further information.

A national of a state from within the EEA/EFTA area, does not need a work permit.