According to law, all international students must register in Iceland or apply for a student permit depending on citizenship.

Registering in Iceland for non-EEA/EFTA citizens

Students with citizenship outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) must apply for a student permit before arrival and be granted approval from the Directorate of Immigration. Students should apply for a residence permit immediately after receiving their acceptance letter from the University Centre of the Westfjords. A residence permit may be granted for as long as one year and it is the student's responsibility to apply for a renewal. Please visit the website of the Directorate of Immigration for detailed information.

Before arrival: Submit a complete application for residence permit and supporting documents to the Directorate of Immigration before June 1st. Make sure to carefully read the information and instructions on the website of the DoI. Along with the application, you will be required to submit a number of supporting documents. Please also note that your residence application will not be processed until paid for.

Upon arrival: Please follow all instructions you receive from the Directorate of Immigration as part of your student permit application process. After arrival in Iceland, you have 10 days to get your picture taken for a residence permit card, either at the Directorate of Immigration, where you need to make an appointment, or at an office of the District Commissioner in Ísafjörður. Remember to bring your passport to prove your identity.

Residence permits for students are granted for either 6 months or 12 months. You must apply for a renewal of your residence permit at least four weeks before the expiry date of the previous permit. If you continue to meet the requirements for a residence permit, the permit will be renewed.

To renew a student permit, you must still be enrolled in full studies (30 ECTS per semester) and show satisfactory academic performance. 

Registering in Iceland for EEA/EFTA citizens

Citizens of EEA/EFTA countries who are studying in Iceland for more than six months must register their legal residence in Iceland. All persons who register a legal domicile in Iceland for the first time are listed in the National Registry and allocated a personal ID number – the Kennitala which is a unique, ten-digit number.

Students can start their application process before they arrive in Iceland by filling out an online application form (A-271).

Supporting documents to accompany the application are a copy/photo of a passport or legal travel document with at least 6 months remaining of its term of validity, a confirmation of school admission, a confirmation of health insurance (travel insurance is not sufficient), and documents confirming ability to provide means of support for at least three months (note that it must be clear who owns the means on the documents submitted and the document should not be older than two weeks). More information can be found on the website of Registers Iceland.

When students arrive, they have to go to the offices of Registers Iceland or the nearest registration office (you can do so in Ísafjörður) and present their passport and the other documents. Processing of the registration at Registers Iceland may take a couple of weeks.

Registering in Iceland for Nordic citizens

Citizens of Nordic countries who are studying in Iceland for more than six months must register their legal residence in Iceland. They must come to the office of Registers Iceland or the nearest police office and register their arrival to Iceland within 7 days of arriving in the country. Bring a passport or other valid travel document.

The Nordic agreement on public registration between Denmark (including Greenland and the Åland Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden applies to those who move to Iceland from other Nordic countries. The agreement stipulates that people can only register one legal domicile in the Nordic countries. When a legal domicile is registered in Iceland, Registers Iceland notifies the departure country of the registration in Iceland, and then the person is registered as having moved to Iceland in the national registry of the relevant country.

More information can be found on the website of Register Iceland.

Change of address

All changes to housing arrangements must be notified to Registers Iceland.

Leaving Iceland

Before leaving Iceland, students must notify Registers Iceland. Students who have an Icekey (Íslykill) can file form A-251 online. Students who are unable to do this online must go to Registers Iceland and file the form in person.

Work in Iceland

If you have a residence permit as a student, you must apply for a work permit to be allowed to work.

Once you have received a work permit, you may work for up to 22,5 hours a week (60%). 

You may only work for the employer covered by your work permit and you may not begin working until a work permit has been issued.