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General information on residence permits

The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (Útlendingastofnun) is responsible for issuing residence permits. Applications for residence permits, along with any documentation, must be submitted to the Directorate.

General information on residence permits

Applications and their accompanying documents must be submitted to or at the following address:

Útlendingastofnun (Directorate of Immigration)
Dalvegi 18
201 Kópavogi
Tel.: (+354) 4440900

None of the following persons are required to have a residence permit in Iceland:

  • A citizen of a Nordic country, i.e. of Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden
  • An individual who was born an Icelandic citizen and has resided continually in Iceland for one or more years
  • A foreign citizen who has resided continually in Iceland for two or more years and has a parent who has held Icelandic citizenship for at least five years
  • A foreign citizen who is married to or is in registered partnership with an Icelandic citizen and has resided with her/him in Iceland continually for three years since the date of marriage or registration of partnership
  • A foreign citizen living with a registered common-law spouse who is an Icelandic citizen, provided the foreign citizen has resided in Iceland continually for five years since the date of registering this cohabitation and provided the spouse has been an Icelandic citizen for at least five years.

Foreign citizens must be at least 18 years of age in order to apply for a residence permit. Generally, a foreign citizen younger than 18 years of age may only be granted a residence permit contingent on the residence permit of her/his parent or legal guardian.

A foreigner who is entering or leaving Iceland shall carry a passport or other identity document/card that is recognised as a travel document. A foreign citizen over the age of 18 who is not a citizen of another Scandinavian country must always carry identification on her/his person demonstrating the legality of her/his residence in Iceland.

Residence permit for citizens of EEA countries.
Foreign citizens of EEA countries who intend to stay in Iceland for longer than three months need to apply for a residence permit; this may however be obtained after their arrival in Iceland.


The countries of the EEA are as follows:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Citizens of Switzerland enjoy rights comparable to those of EEA nationals.

Residence permits for EEA citizens are normally issued for a period of five years. Permits for their family members are issued for the same length of time, and never for any longer period.

Residence permits for citizens of countries outside the EEA.
Citizens of most countries outside the EEA need to have a visa before arriving in Iceland.


The website of the Útlendingastofnun provides further information concerning what individuals require visas.

Citizens of countries outside the EEA need to have applied for and received an Icelandic residence permit before travelling to Iceland, if they intend to remain longer in Iceland than the allowed period for travellers.

Residence permits that are being issued for the first time are generally issued for one year, although a permit may be issued for a shorter or longer period, even up to two years, if deemed appropriate considering the purpose of the stay or other reasons. A residence permit issued to the family member of a foreigner shall generally be issued for the same period of time as the permit of the latter, never however to remain in effect longer than the permit of the latter.