Moving to Iceland

Moving to Iceland: Your Comprehensive Guide

If you’re drawn to Iceland’s landscapes, culture, and opportunities, you’re in the right place. This guide offers essential information to help you navigate the process of moving to Iceland smoothly and successfully. 

Iceland Visa

Moving to Iceland involves various considerations depending on your citizenship. Citizens from the EU, EEA, or EFTA can live and work in Iceland without special permits for up to three months, extendable to six months for job seekers. For non-EU citizens, options include marrying an Icelander, attending a university, or finding a job to secure a long-term visa. The process for obtaining residency and work permits differs based on your nationality.

Finding housing in Iceland, especially in Reykjavík and the surrounding region, can be competitive due to the small rental market. Job opportunities exist beyond traditional industries like fishing and farming, with wages ranging from 480,000 to 750,000 Icelandic Krona per month before taxes. Learning Icelandic can be beneficial for integration and upward mobility.

Iceland offers high living standards, safety, and beautiful scenery but comes with a high cost of living and long winter nights. The country’s small population fosters community living and acceptance. Understanding Icelandic culture and language is essential for making lasting connections and adapting to the local way of life.

In summary, moving to Iceland requires thorough preparation, especially for non-EU citizens. Understanding the immigration process, housing market, job opportunities, language, and cultural nuances are crucial steps towards a successful transition to living in this enchanting nation.

Iceland, with its breathtaking beauty and then thriving economy, beckons adventurers and dreamers from around the world. If you’ve ever wondered about the steps required to make Iceland your new home, then this article is your ultimate resource.

For citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), then the path to living in Iceland is relatively straightforward. As an EEA/EFTA national, then you can travel to Iceland and enjoy its wonders, much like a local. However, if your stay extends beyond three months, you’ll need to register at the Registration Office to comply with local regulations.

For non-EEA/EFTA nationals, embarking on the journey to Iceland requires meeting specific criteria. You can move to Iceland for various reasons, including work, marriage, study, or joining family members living on the island. To do so, you’ll need to complete the Iceland immigration process, which involves submitting necessary documents, paying fees, and attending interviews.

Navigating the Immigration Process

The process of moving to Iceland involves a series of steps that must be followed chronologically to ensure a smooth transition. If you’re eager to embrace all that Iceland has to offer, here’s a breakdown of the essential steps:

  • Understand Immigration Types: Familiarise yourself with the different types of immigration to determine which one aligns with your circumstances.
  • Select the Appropriate Form: Choose the residence application form that corresponds to your reason for relocating to Iceland.
  • Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents for your residence permit application.
  • Submit Your Application: Ensure all required documents are submitted as part of your application.
  • Prepare for an Interview: Be prepared for the possibility of an interview as part of the application process.
  • Pay the Immigration Fee: Fulfil the necessary financial requirements by paying the Iceland immigration fee.

Diverse Residence Permit Forms

The type of residence permit form you need to fill out depends on your specific circumstances. Iceland offers various forms to cater to different situations. Then here are some of the available forms:

  • D-100 Application for a temporary residence permit
  • D-101 Application for a residence permit based on marriage or cohabitation with an Icelandic citizen
  • D-102 Application for a residence permit based on marriage or cohabitation with a foreign citizen
  • D-106 Application for a residence permit for parents aged 67 years and older
  • D-107 Application for a residence permit based on employment participation
  • D-108 Application for student residence permit
  • D-109 Application for a residence permit for an appointment
  • Application for a residence permit (various circumstances)

Looking for assistance with immigration paperwork? Get expert help from professionals specializing in immigration services.

Understanding Processing Times

The timeline for obtaining an Iceland residence permit can vary. The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration typically takes up to 180 days to process a residence application upon submission.

For those seeking a renewal of their Iceland residence permit, then the processing time is approximately 90 days.

Seeking Icelandic Citizenship

While immigrating to Iceland is a significant achievement, it does not automatically grant you citizenship. In order to attain Icelandic citizenship, you’ll first need to establish residency in the country. Upon meeting the necessary conditions, you can then apply for Icelandic citizenship.

Applying for Work in Iceland

Employment Opportunities

If your intention is to work in Iceland, then obtaining a residence permit based on employment is your gateway to employment opportunities. This permit allows you to work legally on the island.

Additionally, the following individuals can also work in Iceland under specific conditions:

  • Spouses of Icelandic citizens (no work permit required)
  • Cohabiting partners of Icelandic citizens (work permit required)
  • Family members under 18 (work permit not required)
  • Family members over 18 (work permit required)

What Are the Best Neighbourhoods To Live In Iceland?

Some of the best neighborhoods to live in Iceland include Breiðholt, Árbær, Grafarvogur, Laugardalur, Vesturbær, Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Mosfellsbær, and Seltjarnarnes. These neighborhoods offer a mix of affordable housing, good schools, and a variety of amenities. Reykjavík, the capital, is a popular choice due to its cosmopolitan energy, nightlife, and trendy restaurants. Other cities like Akureyri, Hafnarfjörður, Seyðisfjörður, and Kópavogur also offer unique experiences and a vibrant atmosphere. When choosing a neighborhood, consider factors like cost of living, access to public transportation, and proximity to work or school.

Navigating Daily Life

The Role of Kennitala

The Kennitala, a 10-digit number incorporating your birth date, is a vital identifier in Iceland. It’s essential for various activities, such as seeking medical care, opening bank accounts, and accessing library services. Obtaining a Kennitala typically costs around 8000 ISK.

In conclusion, as you embark on your journey to Iceland, each step brings you closer to embracing the island’s wonders and also opportunities. Remember that the key to a successful transition lies in understanding and following the intricate immigration process. Whether you’re moving for work, study, family, or love, Iceland’s charm and promise await.