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What you need to know before hiring your expert

1. Kennitala

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 Registers Iceland.

2. Health insurance

Becoming a member of the Icelandic Health Insurance system takes six months of legal residence. Read more about Icelandic Health Insurance.

3. Housing

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 House Hunting.

4. Applications

All applications must be signed, with all the required documentation in the original application package. Your contact person must 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 cannot 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 here.

10. Icelandic lessons

One requirement for those who want to apply for permanent residency and have lived in Iceland legally for four years is to take 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.