Go to Iceland and get a work-permit

A briefing on what you, a foreigner, should do in order to get a work-permit and fit into the Icelandic system, i.e. how Scandinavians, EEA-residents and non-EEA-residents get a residence permit, a work-permit, an identification number and a tax-card.

If you are a Scandinavian citizen...

If you move to Iceland from the Scandinavian countries and are either Icelandic, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish, you must produce a change of residence attest (Internordisk flytteattest). This is not necessary if you are staying in Scandinavia for less than 6 months (3 months for Denmark), but you must register if you want to seek employment. This is where you register:

The National Register, Borgartúni 24, 150 Reykjavík

When you apply for a trans-Scandinavian attest in your home country, your legal residence is automatically transferred from one country to the next. You get a new ID-number in your new country of residence, as you are registered there automatically when you are removed from your original country’s register. You pay taxes in the new country and you are entitled to the same rights as a national of your new country. Scandinavians do not need residence or work permit in other Scandinavian countries.The Icelandic ID-number is delivered by The National Register when you come to Iceland. You get the same kind of tax-card as those residing in Iceland. It is mailed to you to the new address you state in your trans-Scandinavian attest.


If you are an EEA-resident, you are entitled to stay in Iceland and work there without a special permit for up to three months, six if you are looking for employment. If you stay longer, you must have a residence permit. You can apply for such a permit after your arrival to Iceland. You need not apply, however, if you are an EEA-resident returning to your home country every week or so. If you are a citizen of Estonia, Lettland, Lithaen, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic or Hungary seeking employment in Iceland, you can get hired without having a permit, but your employer must report your employment to the Directorate of LabourEEA-residents must submit their address to the National Register. According to The National Register, the employer is the one that must apply for an ID-number for EEA-residents, but the delay mat be up to 4 weeks. If you do not have a residence permit, you must apply for a tax-card. When a residence permit is granted, the National Register is notified and you are registered like other residents. Your tax reduction depends on the National Register.


If you are not an-EEA-resident, you cannot work in Iceland without a residence permit and work-permit. You must submit your application and get your work-permit prior to your arrival to Iceland. If you arrive to Iceland and decide to apply, you must leave the country while the authorization is pending. There are, however, exceptions:

if you are married to an Icelandic citizen or to a foreigner permitted to work in Iceland, and have reached the age of 24.

if one of your parents is an Icelandic citizen or a foreigner permitted to stay in Iceland, and have reached the age of 18.

The Directorate of Immigration applies for a temporary work-permit to the Directorate of Labour, which notifies the employer and the foreign citizen thereof. The Directorate of Immigration gets a copy of the notification. The National Register delivers an ID-number, allowing for a 4-week delay, whereas you may have to wait for 90 days for a work-permit. Once you have your ID-number, you may apply for a tax-card. The employer is the one that applies for a residence and work-permit for a non-EEA national. He also applies for an ID-number and tax-card and is held responsible. This can be done prior to your arrival to Iceland. This is mentioned in the National Register. One other thing: you can’t get a tax-card unless you are employed.

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