➢ The most common types of work permits in Iceland are:

  • Work Permit for Experts – Available to individuals possessing specialized knowledge in a particular field
  • Work Permit for Labor Shortages – Granted when there is a lack of suitable employees in Iceland or another EU country
  • Work Permit for Athletes – Designed for athletes associated with sports clubs within the Icelandic Sports and Olympic Federation

➢ Requirements for a Work Permit for Experts:

  • You must request the assistance of the Directorate of Labour to find a suitable employee in Iceland, the EU, or the Faroe Islands
  • The foreign national will enter into an employment contract for a specific job that requires specialized expertise as outlined in Article 8 of the Foreign Nationals’ Right to Work Act, no. 97/2002
  • The foreign national’s expertise is of vital importance to your company
  • The foreigner has unique skills that encompass university-level education and specialized training recognized in Iceland

➢ Requirements for a Work Permit for Labor Shortages: 


  • You must reach out to the Directorate of Labour to assist in finding a suitable employee in Iceland, the EU, and the Faroe Islands
  • The foreign national will formally enter into an employment contract with your company
  • You have acquired the opinion of the relevant labor union
  • You are able to justify the necessity to employ foreign workers in Iceland from countries outside the EU

➢ Requirements for a Work Permit for Athletes:


  • The foreign national must officially sign a job contract with a sports club, either for active involvement in a specific sport or as a dedicated coach for a particular sport. You must bring the foreign national on board as an employee, not a self-employed contractor
  • In certain instances, the sports club must undertake the expenses for the foreign national’s return travel once their employment term concludes

➢ Post a job ad on VideoWorkers and select from the candidates who applied or search the database directly

➢ After finding a good match, conduct the interview, make a job offer, then sign an employment contract

➢ You must submit the application for a work and residence permit to the Directorate of Immigration

➢ Required documents:

  • A passport-size photo of the worker (35 X 45 mm)
  • Copy of the worker’s passport, valid for at least 90 days beyond the expiration date of the work permit 
  • Criminal record certificate not older than 12 months
  • Health insurance covering at least ISK 2,000,000
  • Job description
  • Application for the appropriate work permit confirmed by the relevant trade union and signed by both you and your prospective employee: 
  • Employment contract
  • If applicable, information regarding your attempts to find a suitable candidate in Iceland, EU, and the Faroe Islands
  • For a work permit for experts: 
    • Certified copy of the worker’s diploma translated into Icelandic or English 
    • If applicable, a copy of the required license issued by the competent Icelandic authority
    • Evidence of the foreign national’s relevant work experience, showcasing their expertise
  • For a work permit for labor shortages:
    • Comprehensive justification outlining why it is crucial for your business operations to hire the specific foreign national
  • For a work permit for athletes: 
    • Confirmation that you will fund the foreign national’s return travel if their employment ends due to non-employee fault or long-term disability from illness or accident. You can include this information in the employment contract

➢ Processing fee: ISK 16,000. For expedited applications, the fee is 48,000 ISK, in addition to the standard processing fee, totaling 64,000 ISK

➢ Processing time: For information on the application processing time, please refer to this link

➢ Upon approval of the work and residence permit, you will receive a notification. If your future employee needs a visa to enter Iceland, the competent authorities will send a request for an entry visa to the relevant Embassy. The foreign national must use the visa to enter the country

➢ After entering Iceland, your employee must undergo a medical examination and attend an appointment for a Residence Permit Card

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