ICELAND – Work and Residence Permits Loosened

September 1, 2023

In an effort to ease a tight domestic labor market, and to attract more potential migrants from outside the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), Iceland has made changes to several work and residence permits.

Iceland has increased the period of residency for several types of permit, including:

  • Increasing the residency period to four years (up from two) for jobs which require expertise
  • Increasing the residence permits for specialized workers based on a partnership or service agreement to one year (up from six months)
  • Increasing the term for “labor shortage” residence permits to two years (up from one)
  • Residence permits in the “lack of staff” or “specialized worker” categories now include the right to family reunification for spouses, children, and parents over the age of 67

Other changes deal with foreign students studying in Iceland, with foreign nationals now allowed residency for three years instead of only six months, and doctoral students may now apply for residency permits from within Iceland, instead of first needing to leave the country to apply.

Immigration Insights

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.