working

Remote work visa FAQ

Iceland is excited to introduce its new remote work long-term visa. Here are some of the most common questions we have received about the application process, and we hope that they will help you! If you have any other inquiries, please let us know.

1) How do I apply? 

For all the details on the application process, forms, and requirements, please see the Directorate of Immigration's remote work long-term visa page. The Directorate of Immigration has introduced the new L-802 long-term visa form for those looking to work from Iceland for up to 180 days. You must be from one of the following countries to be eligible for this visa.

You will need to fill out the L-802 application form and all the necessary supporting documents from the Directorate of Immigration's website.

A copy of applicable certificates must be submitted with your application(s). However, if necessary, the Directorate of Immigration may request originals and/or legal authentication, see information on document requirements. Translated versions are required of foreign certificates issued in languages other than English or a Scandinavian language. Such translated versions shall be submitted in the original format and must be prepared by authorized translators.

Applicants must pay the processing fee before submitting their application and send it in paper form by regular mail to the Directorate of Immigration or deliver it to the drop box in the Directorate's lobby. Applicants can also submit their applications at the offices of District Commissioners outside the capital area. 

The Directorate will contact the applicant by email upon approval if documents are missing or further information is required.

2) For those already in Iceland on a 90-day visa, the steps for applying for the long-term visa are the same as above in step 1 above. 

3) What about applying for the remote work long-term visa while waiting for a pending resident permit? Is this possible? 

This is not possible. A condition for a long-term visa is that the applicant does NOT intend to settle in Iceland.

4) How long does the process take? 

The process will take 3-4 weeks (depending on how many applications the Directorate of Immigration will receive). Needless to say, the better the application, the less time it will take to process it. Those already in Iceland should apply for a long-term visa a minimum of 14 days before their 90 visa-free days are up.

The Directorate of Immigration will notify applicants of their visa approval via email.

5) Applicants for a remote work long-term visa, their spouse, and children must all be exempted from the obligations to have a visa to enter the Schengen-area. 

6) The TAX question

We have received several questions about taxes and how the Remote Work Long-Term Visa applicants should handle this. To be clear, applicants will be in Iceland for less than 183 days and are not considered tax residents of Iceland. You will not be registered with a legal address here, and Iceland will not issue you a social security number (kennitala). Applicants are also not allowed to work for Icelandic employers while in Iceland under the Remote Work Long-Term Visa. While we wish we could provide you with a simple answer, you are responsible for any tax liabilities you may have at the local, state, and national jurisdictions where you, your company, or your employer, are considered a tax resident or citizen.

7) How long do you have to enter Iceland after the remote work long-term visa application has been approved?

You should come to Iceland within three months (90 days) after being notified that your application has been approved. If you do NOT enter Iceland within the 90-day timeframe, you will need to resend your documents regarding your income and health insurance to the Directorate of Immigration.

8) When does the remote work long-term visa start?

The long-term visa will not be issued until you have arrived in Iceland. It will be valid from the date of issuance for the duration you applied for (up to a maximum of 180 days).

9) Where do you present proof of income? Health insurance? Proof of schooling for children <16? 

Such documents must be submitted with the application to the Directorate of Immigration.

10) What are the salary requirements to be eligible for the remote work long-term visa? 

The regulation is firm, and applicants for a long-term visa must show that their income while working from Iceland will amount to 1,000,000 ISK per month for individuals – or 1,300,000 ISK if their spouse is joining them. The currency exchange is calculated on the date of the decision. See the Central Bank of Iceland website for currency exchange rates.

Applicants who are employed can provide a copy of their employment contract if it states their monthly salary. Self-employed applicants could provide information on the work they will be doing from Iceland and how much they will earn for that work, e.g., a contractor agreement.

In other words, it does not matter how much money applicants have in the bank. More important is the proof of the amount contracted employees and self-employed workers will be earning while working from Iceland.

11) What are the requirements for children entering Iceland on a remote work long-term visa?

If you bring children between 6-16, it is required that you provide written confirmation from the school in the home country. Confirmation must state that the child is enrolled and will receive remote teaching from that school while in Iceland. Also acceptable is written confirmation from authorities in the home country saying that the child is being homeschooled or written confirmation from a school in Iceland stating that the child is, or will be, enrolled there during their stay in Iceland.

12) What are the ISK limits for health insurance? 

An applicant for a long-term visa needs to show proof of health insurance coverage of 2,000,000 ISK as a minimum per person, which is 1) valid in Iceland | Schengen-area 2) valid for the duration of their stay in Iceland. If your insurance is not valid in Iceland, please see our Health Insurance page for a list of providers.

13) Remote work long-term visa exemptions for travel during current travel restrictions due to COVID-19

As of 18 March 2021, holders of the remote work long-term visa who have completed vaccination or were previously infected with COVID-19 will be allowed to enter Iceland. Moreover, they will not be subject to border measures, such as testing and quarantine. 

Visa holders must provide proof of full vaccination with a vaccine certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) or European Medicines Agency (EMA). They must also meet any requirements established by Iceland's Chief Epidemiologist and current Icelandic regulations

The exemption also applies to those who can provide valid proof of prior infection. Documentation of the previous infection must be in accordance with the requirements defined by the Chief Epidemiologist. Read more.

Please see Iceland's COVID.is website for the most current regulations regarding entry into Iceland during the COIVD-19 pandemic. Restrictions are subject to change!

14) Can I travel within Schengen while on Iceland's remote work long-term visa?

Yes. During the long-term visa's validity period, you are entitled to travel within the Schengen area for up to 90 days out of any 180-day period. Be aware that COVID-19 measures may impact your travel plans. When you travel, you must bring with you your passport and evidence that you have been issued a long-term visa, such as a visa sticker in your passport. 

You will all be issued with a multiple entry visa. This means that you can travel to and from the Schengen area as you please. You may also travel within the Schengen area. Note that you will not be able to stay for more than consecutive 90 days in a single Schengen member state.

15) Can I travel outside Iceland and the Schengen area while on the remote work long-term visa?

Yes, you may. A few people have asked, for example, whether they could come to Iceland on the Remote Work Long-Term Visa but travel home to the USA for work or meetings. Keep in mind that the visa duration is 180 days, issued for a fixed 180 day calendar period. Therefore, any days you spend outside Iceland/Schengen area will not be added to the back of the visa. Meaning any days, you spend abroad will be lost.

16) Can US residents travel to the Schengen area if they enter Iceland on a remote work long-term visa despite a ban on US travelers?  

The travel restrictions due to Covid-19 differ between Schengen member states. For as long as they are in place, travelers must familiarize themselves with the restrictions in place in each Schengen country they intend to travel to or visit in transit.

17) How does the remote work long-term visa intersect with Schengen's time limits?  

Holders of long-term visas can stay for up to 180 days in total within the Schengen area. A person applying for a long-term visa outside the Schengen area can be granted an Icelandic long-term visa for up to 180 days. A person that applies for a long-term visa from within the Schengen area can be granted a long-term visa for up to 90 days. Applicants should apply for the long-term visa at least 14 days before the 90 visa-free days are up.

 

For example, a US resident that has spent 90 days in Spain could be issued a long-term visa for 90 days in Iceland.

18) How long before people who stay the entire 180 days in Iceland/Schengen on the remote work long-term visa can re-enter the Schengen area?

The general rule is that you will have to leave the Schengen area for 90 days before you can re-enter.

19) I am from one of the countries that can travel visa-free to Iceland, but my spouse/partner is a citizen (traveling with a passport) from one of the countries that require a visa to travel to Iceland. Can they join me?

Unfortunately, not. The law is clear that only citizens from the following countries are eligible for the remote work long-term visa.

20) Can you take pets?

There is no law regarding whether you take a pet with you. However, this is a lengthy and pricey process. Please see the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority for more information on what pets may be imported and from what countries.

21) Is the passport requirement to show "three months of validity" beyond the remote work long-term visa's end date to be proven in Iceland upon arrival? Or is it at the time of application?  

If the passport's validity does not exceed 90 days beyond the validity of the long-term visa, the applicant will be contacted and given the option to either submit a new passport or shorten the period of stay. 

22) When including a spouse/partner/children in the application process, do they need to travel simultaneously and for the same duration(s)? Since they fill out separate applications, can spouse/partner/children present their application at the border without the "main" applicant or their paperwork being present?

They do not need to travel together and only need to bring their own paperwork, but the visa duration will always be tied to the "main" remote worker's application duration

23) Does the employer's confirmation that the employee is authorized to work remotely need to be employee specific, or can it be general? Such as a general letter to all employees from the Corporate Vice President of Human Resources?

If the letter covers the duration of the remote work long-term visa and the specific job, a general letter will be sufficient.