The Paperwork

Once you have found a job in Iceland, it’s time for the paperwork.

The Icelandic government has set itself the ambitious target of having public administration documents online in 2020. This is in line with Icelanders love of technology and smartphones.

In order to live and work in Iceland you will need a personal ID number, and electronic identification. An Ice-key is also convenient.

In order to calculate what NET salary you will receive, you must deduct from your actual (gross) salary, taxes as well as mandatory payments to a union and pension fund.

Foreign experts can apply for a tax discount for three years and an expedited review of their work permit application.

Personal ID number

Your personal ID number (Kennitala) is your personal identification number. It is ten digits long and the first six digits will be your birthday and the last digit will be 9 if you were born before 2000 and 0 if you were born after 2000.

This number is your key to Icelandic society and is used commonly, whether you intend to fill out your tax return or join a gym, you will be asked for this number. Icelanders are not very secretive about their kennitala.

You apply for a kennitala at Registers Iceland (Þjóðskrá). You must present yourself in person with valid ID at Þjóðskrá in order to apply for a kennitala.

You will need a kennitala in order to sign a legal contract in Iceland, both for your job and for your housing. The application process takes about 10 days and the requirements differ depending on your nationality. Registers Iceland provide the necessary information.

System ID number

A system ID number (Utangarðskennitala) can be useful for people that stay for 3-6 months in Iceland. Your company can apply for one for you but this will not give you any rights in Iceland, for example to health insurance. If you intend to work in Iceland you should apply for a real kennitala even if you are staying for less than half a year. You can open a bank account with a system ID number. It is usually used by companies that are importing workers from abroad for a specific project. Most commonly for work in construction, such as builders, electricians, plumbers, etc.

You will find more information about postings in Iceland through the Directorate of Labour.

Nordic nationals

Moving between the Nordic countries is easy, Nordic nationals simply have to register the move to Iceland if they intend to stay for more than six months.

Here is the form from Registers Iceland that you must fill out in order to move from another Nordic country to Iceland.

Bring it with you to National Registers Iceland and hand it in in person (all members of the family must be present). Also bring your passports with you.

Further details.

  • This applies to citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Aland islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Read here for more information on Nordic co-operation.

European nationals

A national from a member state of either the European Economic Area (EEA) or the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) is allowed to stay in Iceland for up to three months without registering or six months while seeking employment.

Here is the form that you must fill out in order to move from an EEA or EFTA country to Iceland. More Details.

Here are the documents, from the Directorate of Immigration, you need to fill out in order to apply for residency.

  • This applies to citizens of: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

Electronic Identification

Electronic identification (Rafræn skilríki) is used to confirm your identity online. For example when filing your tax report or for banking online.

In order to get electronic identification, request it at your bank or phone company. You must bring your passport and the phone with the sim card that you are using in Iceland along to register. They will take a copy of your passport and assign your identity to your phone. You will be asked to choose a number that will be your password to confirm your identity for electronic identification.

When you have set it up, you can choose to log in to the websites of your bank or the tax authorities using “Electronic ID on mobile phone”. You must have your phone unlocked in front of you in order to confirm your identity immediately with the password you chose. You can use your electronic ID to sign forms online.

An Ice-key

Once you have a personal ID number and an Icelandic bank account, you can apply for an Icekey (Íslykill). Alternatively, you can have it sent to your address in the mail.

Please note that must have a proper ID number (kennitala) in order to apply for an Ice-Key. You won’t be able to apply for an Ice-Key with a systematic ID number (utangarðskennitala).

With your icekey, you will be able to access information and applications stored on The online portal for the Icelandic government and to Registers Iceland’s website - Under “forms” on this website you will find the forms you need to fill out in order to register in Iceland.

More information on is the portal where you can access documents from Registers Iceland, the Directorate of Internal Revenue, the Social Insurance Administration, the Financial Management Authority and your municipality.

This is also where you can find the official information the government has about you in order to update it. For example your legal domicile, what cars you own and information about your family size.

If you move, get married, have a new baby or change religions, is where you would notify the government of that change.

Forms that are available in English on

Necessary paperwork to live and work in Iceland also include residence permit and work permit. Tax regulations, especially tax reductions for foreign experts working in Iceland, is worth taking a look at.