Residence permits are issued based on the Act on Foreigners no. 96/2002, as amended, and the Regulation on Foreigners no. 53/2003, with further/later amendments.

A foreigner from a country outside of the European Economic Area and/or EFTA, who plans to stay in Iceland for more than three months, must have a valid residence permit.

Citizens from the EEA and EFTA states do not need a special residence permit to stay in Iceland, but must register with Registers Iceland.  Information regarding the permanent stay of EEA and/or EFTA citizens can be found here. Please note that family members of an EEA and/or EFTA citizen who is a third country national need to apply for a residence permit at the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

The conditions that need to be met before a residence permit is issued can be split into two categories. Basic requirements, according to article 11 of the Act on Foreigners and detailed requirements relating to each category of residence permits, according to articles 12 – 12 f of the Act on Foreigners.  Please be aware of the special conditions required for acquiring a permanent residence permit.

Applicants are encouraged to find out what requirements need to be met for the specific residence permit they are applying for, what documents need to be submitted and how these should be presented. It accelerates the process of an application if all documents submitted with the application are as required by the Directorate.  Applications that are submitted with all documents in order receive priority.

Types of residence permits:

Who does not need a residence permit?

General information:

Information on application process and processing time
Basic requirements for a residence permit
Detailed requirements for a residence permit
Processing fee; an application will not be processed until the fee has been paid.

Service for immigrants