Expat in Iceland?

Moving to Iceland

Aptly called the “Land of Fire and Ice,” Iceland is a dream location for many. With many exquisite landscapes, this European country is the target of many prospective immigrants.

Statistics reveal the total number of immigrants living in Iceland by the end of 2019 to be around 50,000. Such a considerable amount guarantees that there are better opportunities for those moving there, but you must know that this country is in no way a wonderland.

Moving to Iceland can be tough. There is a lack of well-paying jobs, the cost of living is high, laws for the immigrants are quite strict, and settling in such a different environment can be pressurizing. Don’t feel helpless, though! This article is a much-needed guide on how you can move to Iceland for a better tomorrow.

Visa and Immigration

The easiest visa you can get to Iceland is as a tourist. This visa has a duration of 90 days. Some people enter the country on this visa and later become permanent residents by either marrying an Icelander, finding a job in the country or by getting themselves enrolled as a student in Iceland. 

This method may not always work, and in that case, you’ll have to return to your homeland. Alternatively, a systematic method is to find yourself a job or get an admission in any of Iceland’s educational institutes.

Finding a good job in Iceland can be hard, but if you have exceptional and highly in-demand skills, you’re likely to get one. Whether you get a work permit or a student’s visa, the process is lengthy with a number of requirements and requires a lot of patience. If you get a good job, your employer may sponsor your immigration and obtain a stay permit. 

In case you’re going to Iceland a student, getting a visa is easy, but you have to wait till their educational year starts. As a student, your stay permit lasts for six months, and you have to get it renewed every semester.

Finding Accommodation

Once you get your visa, it’s better to start looking for a place to live before moving there. There are a number of factors that you need to consider in this regard. Firstly, you need to find accommodation that caters to your family size, if you’re taking them along. If you’re moving to Iceland alone, you should try to look for a partner or roommate. This will reduce your rent and save you a considerable amount of money. 

If you’re on a budget, try to make one of the following two suggestions. First, try to find accommodation near your workplace or college. This will save you money in terms of transportation costs. Second, live in areas that are not in high demand. Rents in these areas are quite low, and you’ll be able to live comfortably even on a tight budget. 

Finding good accommodation in a country like Iceland can be hard and may take a lot of time. Thus, it’s better to start finding yourself a place as early as you can.

Traveling to Iceland

This is one of the most important steps of your journey. Depending on where you live, you’ll have multiple options that’ll take you to your destination. We suggest you go by air and through a certified traveling agent. This will make it easier for you to reach your desired location after you arrive in the country. You can also get an instant pick and drop and baggage insurance when you travel through a reputed travel agent.

Registering for Kennitala

Kennitala is the National ID card for anyone living in Iceland. It’s a 10-digits long number that covers your date of birth. You need to have it issued for yourself as soon as you start your life in Iceland because it’s one of the most important numbers for anyone residing in the country. This is the number you need to open up a bank account, access healthcare facilities, or even borrow a book from your nearby library.

Get Your Credit Card

Iceland’s living pretty far ahead of the times. Currency notes are rarely used in Iceland. Everything there is done through a card. So, you’re going to need a card from the very first day you’re in the country, even if you just need to buy something from a local shop. It’s only on buses that you are supposed to use cash. 

Transport and Movement

Luckily, not having your own car or bike isn’t a big deal in Iceland! Most people use public transportation, which is cheap and convenient. Their buses are everywhere, taking people to an unlimited number of destinations each day.  

Starting a Proper Life

Once you get a permanent stay permit, you have to work on making your life better as a new Icelander. Try to look for high paying jobs and explore your area to know the most budget-friendly shopping options. You can also look for someone who is planning to rent a portion of their house for a long time. We also recommend you try to improve your connection with the community and learn and enroll your children in good schools. 

Some last words…

Moving to Iceland requires a lot of patience and careful planning. Once you reach there, you’re likely to encounter many problems no matter where you go. Our advice is to stay patient, so you can counter all problems effectively and live a great life in Iceland.

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Author: Ludvig
Ludvig is the owner and driving force behind Scandinavia.life. A native Norwegian with ties to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, he is the perfect guy to guide you through the delights of Scandinavia.