What you need to know before hiring your expert
System ID numbers (Utangarðskennitala) can only be used for individuals from EEA or EFTA states seeking temporary work in Iceland. Foreign citizens must always obtain a personal ID number (kennitala), even if they only work for 3-6 months. You can find out more about Icelandic ID numbers at
2. Health insurance
It takes six months of legal residence to become a member of the Icelandic Health Insurance system. Read more about
A foreign national needs to find a place to live in Iceland to register their legal domicile here. They will likely ask for your assistance regarding this matter. For support, check out
All applications must be signed, with all the required documentation included in the original application package. Your contact person will need to reply quickly to emails to speed up the application process.
5. Supporting documents
Better to include more supporting documents with your application than fewer. It is always a good idea to have a reference from a former employer stating the expert's qualifications and experience.
6. Union approval
Remember that a union must have approved the terms and conditions stipulated in the employment contract before the application is sent to The Directorate of Immigration.
7. Residence and work permit
A foreign employee is not permitted to start working before the residence, and work permits have been granted. Applying for an exemption from this rule for foreign experts is possible, but it must be approved before they start work. If your employee starts working without the necessary permits, they may be asked to leave the country and denied any further permits.
8. Application period
It is crucial to renew all work and residence permits on time, applying at least a month before the expiration date of the current one.
9. Tax deduction
Your potential employee may be uncertain about how much their take-home salary will be since Icelandic contracts state salary amounts before taxes, we have done our best to explain it
10. Icelandic lessons
One requirement for those that want to apply for permanent residency and have lived in Iceland legally for four years is that they have taken an Icelandic course. It is mutually beneficial that they can speak Icelandic. Therefore a good idea to offer employees accredited Icelandic lessons that can be found widely.