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Personal matters

Social Support and Services

Social services are provided by municipalities to their residents. Those services include financial assistance, support for disabled and senior citizens, housing support and social counseling, to name a few.

Social services also provide a wide range of information and advice.

Obligation of authorities

Municipal authorities are obliged to provide their residents with the necessary support to ensure that they can sustain themselves. Municipal social affairs committees and boards are responsible for providing social services and are also obliged to provide advice on social issues.

A resident of the municipality is any person who is legally domiciled in the municipality, regardless of whether they are an Icelandic citizen or a foreign national.

Rights of foreign nationals

Foreign nationals have the same rights as Icelandic nationals regarding social services (if they are legally domiciled in the municipality). Anybody staying or intending to stay in Iceland for six months or longer must register their legal domicile in Iceland. If you receive financial support from municipalities, this may affect your application to extend a residence permit, for permanent residence permit and for citizenship.

Foreign nationals who get into financial or social difficulties and are not legally domiciled in Iceland can seek assistance from their embassy or consul.

Financial support

Keep in mind that receiving financial support from municipal authorities may affect applications for extending a residence permit, applications for a permanent residence permit and applications for Icelandic citizenship.

You can read more about financial support here.

Social services are provided by municipalities to their residents.