5 reasons to take children to Iceland in 2022

Immigration to Iceland from Russia


Iceland – an island-state in the North Atlantic Ocean. Area – about 103 thousand sq. km. The closest neighbors are Norway and Greenland. The northern part of the island is washed by the Greenland Sea, the eastern part by the Norwegian Sea. There are active volcanoes, glaciers, geysers and hot springs in Iceland – beautiful nature all year round. There are white nights in the summer and the northern lights in the winter months.

This is not to say that immigration to Iceland from Russia is popular, rather, only a few people decide to move. The reason is in the remoteness and mystery, as well as some difficulties associated with the local laws and visa restrictions. Attractive jobs in the country are distributed in the first place to local residents, after them the priority in employment are residents of the EU and Schengen. Exceptions can be made only for a very high quality professional.

Preparing for the move

The main points with which immigration begins – the choice of city and the preparation of documents. When choosing a future place of residence consider the standard of living, climate, cost of goods and services, availability of jobs, attitudes toward migrants.

Despite the northern location of the country, the climate in Iceland is mild thanks to the ocean. In winter, there are rarely frosts below zero degrees, and in summer it is quite cool, often rains and fogs. If you plan to immigrate to Iceland reviews of the climate will not be the most important criteria, but for many essential if health-related preferences.

The country is not in the EU, but maintains ties with Europe, is part of Schengen. The local currency is the Icelandic krone. The standard of living is high; the cities have conditions for development. The population is provided with the high-quality medicine. Average life expectancy is 80 years. The island state is one of the safest countries. Here there is not a lot of crime and unemployment. Approximately 1/5 of the population of Iceland receive wages below average, but the government offers subsidies and benefits to the poor.

The cost of services and goods in all cities is high. The same happens with real estate, which is purchased or rented. Housing is more expensive in large cities.

The quality of life of Icelanders, in spite of the high cost, is high – the salary level allows to live in complete pleasure. Pensioners’ incomes are not high, but this category of citizens enjoys social benefits.

Collecting the necessary documentation

During the preparation for the move, it is necessary to know in detail what specific documents are needed, taking into account the basis for obtaining a visa and further registration of citizenship. Standard migrants prepare:

  • Foreign passport (in the original, with copies of all pages);
  • Russian passport;
  • Health insurance with coverage from 30 thousand Euros;
  • confirmation of the basis for the visa;
  • color photographs;
  • receipt of payment of state duty;
  • proof of accommodation in Iceland – purchase agreement, lease or hotel reservation;
  • certificate of no criminal record in your home country.

Available methods

Moving to the northern country is available not only to refugees, but also to students, businessmen, qualified specialists, relatives, etc. Going to Iceland for permanent residence, you need to prepare for the upcoming events.

The first step is to apply for a visa. Iceland is a member of Schengen, so you get a visa on the same basis as the other member states of the agreement. Visa is issued long-term, as a single-entry tourist visa will not allow immigration procedures.

After arrival, one must apply for a residence permit. After 3 years, one can apply for permanent residency, and after another 7 years, one can apply for citizenship. The total period of naturalization before obtaining a passport of Icelandic citizenship is 10 years.

Having a residence permit practically equal in rights with the local population. A residence permit is issued on the basis of employment, education, and purchase of real estate. The application is submitted locally to the Migration Department. Together with the application a package of documents is submitted, where there is a confirmation of financial solvency, legal stay in the country, no problems with the local law enforcement agencies. Documents are translated into Icelandic and notarized.

After 3 years of residence in the country with residence permit status, they apply for permanent residence permit. Must live for 7 years in Iceland, without violating the law to apply for a local passport.

Employment in the country

For visitors from non-EU countries, employers provide an application for admission to work. The document is attached to the employment agreement. The authorities will check whether the vacancy has been published for natives and EU citizens. Then events develop according to one of the options:

  1. Contract work. Refers to hiring a specialist in a subspecialty. A more common option.
  2. Hiring unskilled workers if there is a shortage of local employees.
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An applicant from Russia must find an employer, execute an employment contract and get a work permit from the potential boss along with an invitation. Then – the appropriate visa is prepared, a diploma on appropriate education is presented, an invitation to work. It remains to get a residence permit and move to Iceland to work and live. In this case, along with a specialist allowed to move his family (spouse, children). After 7 years, it is possible to apply for citizenship.

Business immigration

Opening your own business in Iceland does not entitle you to a residence permit. Immigrant receives a multi-visa for a long legal stay on the island. Investors who come from the European Union, are not limited in the choice of direction of commercial activity. Visitors from Russia and other countries are forbidden to open a business in the following areas:

  • exploitation of natural energy resources;
  • fishing in local waters;
  • air transportations.

Initially, businessmen or investors submit a business plan or an application for investment to the Ministry of Commerce. Here they issue the appropriate permits.

Study in Iceland

Before taking classes in one of the local universities, foreigners pass exams in English, pay enrollment fees for tuition. Scholarships are not available here, but there are grants. It is allowed to take a loan for study. For a year will have to pay not so much – about 500 euros. It is possible to study in English or Icelandic.

After admission to the chosen university, it remains to issue a passport and visa, to get permission from the university to live in the country. Next, submit the documents for immigration to the bureau, which deals with foreigners. The consulate in Russia issues a residence permit, if the immigration office has no claims to the applicant. It remains to arrive in Iceland to study. Residence permit is issued for the entire period, as long as the educational program lasts. After residing there for 7 years or more an applicant can apply for an Icelandic passport.

Family reunion

Residence permits on the basis of family reunification are available to retired and underage foreigners. Both can be dependent on residents and citizens of Iceland. Those who marry a resident may also take advantage of this option. The condition for those who want to take advantage of the citizenship-by-marriage program is residence in the country for 5 years, of which 4 are in a marriage with a resident (the latter must have had the appropriate status in the last 5 years). In case of divorce, the foreigner loses his citizenship, if by that time does not find a job with a stable income.

Buying real estate

Foreigners are allowed to buy real estate but not the land under it. Land is only leased. This method of naturalization is simple enough, but provided that there is enough money to buy real estate. After all the technicalities of the transaction settled, the contract is concluded and you can apply for a residence permit. The procedure for the purchase of real estate in Iceland is no different from similar processes in the EU. The transaction is handled by a real estate agency, whose specialists deal with related issues. The buyer is required to visit the office when it comes to the final signing of documents. Then the papers are checked for authenticity, and if everything is in order, you need to pay property tax and utility bills.

For those who are first time buyers of real estate in the country, there is an option to take a loan. Lending deals with local banks. The condition for approval of the loan – the price of real estate of more than 100 thousand euros.

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Conditions for refugees

Refugees who really need help are rarely denied their request. When submitting an application, it is required to prove that the applicant is truly persecuted in his country, risking his life. Before exercising your right to asylum, it is worth considering the pros and cons of living in Iceland to decide whether it is worth putting down roots in this country.

The advantages of the country include high quality of life, minimal crime, the opportunity to find a job and excellent environment.

The disadvantages are considered expensive real estate, high prices for services and goods, the duration of naturalization and the climate itself, which will not suit everyone.

According to statistics, the migration gain in the country in recent years – only about 1%. For 330 thousand people of the local population only 20 thousand newcomers. The authorities use migration quotas mostly to repopulate abandoned villages. Icelanders tend to move to cities because of urbanization, and the villages are empty.

The Office of Immigration decides on the refugee application. If approved, the applicant is given a temporary residence permit for 1 year. The status can be extended automatically thereafter. While the application is being processed by the authorities, the refugee is accommodated in a hotel or boarding house. The state provides financial support of about 150 euros. Refugee status does not allow to work and it is difficult to relocate the family. The country provides material support to refugees, but deprives them of the prospect of becoming citizens.

Locals sympathize with migrants. When the Syrian refugee crisis hit the world (2015), Icelandic authorities announced their willingness to host 50 refugees. At the same time, more than 12,000 Icelanders posted announcements on social media about their willingness to host those in need of support, up to and including flight tickets and the possibility of providing support. Such a number of hospitable people cannot be a mere farce.

Features of Immigration for Men

Some time ago there were rumors of simplified immigration to Iceland for men. It was said that the authorities welcomed the arrival of foreigners and were even willing to provide material support of two to three thousand to those who marry local women. There is no official confirmation of such rumors. Statistics indicate that there is no problem with the size of the male population in the country. Therefore, for naturalization, men can choose the same options as women, families with children – employment, studies, purchase of real estate, family reconstruction, etc.

Men increase their chances of citizenship if they have one of the in-demand occupations:

  • auto mechanic engineer;
  • carpenter;
  • IT-specialist;
  • worker in the fishing industry.

Marriage to a local is not the easiest option for naturalization, as most locals welcome feminism and are libertarian. The comments on thematic forums can help you learn more about the mentality of local brides.

What do the newcomers from Russia have to say?

Icelandic is considered the official language in the country. It belongs to the same group as Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. As a result of the long isolation of the island, despite the territorial relationship with Denmark, the language has become archaic, borrowing almost none. This creates the difficulty in the study, which is referred to by the Russians in the reviews on the forums, in thematic articles on the sites. You have to learn the language. All documents in Iceland are in the state language. Locals speak English quite well, so communication with neighbors, passersby, vendors in stores is simplified.

Speaking of life in Iceland, there are not many Russians here. According to statistics, there are about 300 people in the whole country, but there are three times more Russian-speakers. This is explained by the presence of migrants from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus and other states that were formerly part of the USSR. For the most part Russian-speaking migrants naturalized in the 90s, when there was an outflow of population from the USSR. Therefore, both the migrants themselves and their children had already managed to integrate into society and occupied their social niches.

A few of the most recent testimonials from those who went to Iceland for a better life will help you decide whether to get citizenship of the country:

“I liked the mentality of the locals almost immediately. They avoid formality and call everyone by their first name. Some people won’t like it, but I got in a friendly mood right away.

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“Life here is interesting, but not in the same sense as in developed European countries. Here you never tire of marveling at the beauty of nature, enjoy clean water, fresh air and wild landscapes. In the cities there are few entertainments, even in Reykjavik, but there are plenty of opportunities to relax in nature and do sports. Some people are nervous about the stability – nothing supernatural happens in the country, every day is the same.

“The biggest challenge was to learn the Icelandic language (many people know English, but for work you need to know the local language). After that it is only the sluggish local rhythm of life that is stressful. Those who are used to striving for something, constantly changing something, are unlikely to be comfortable here.

Iceland is one of the five richest countries in the world. Despite scarce natural resources, the authorities have managed to create a powerful economy. The most profitable and important industry was the fishing industry. To strengthen the economy, the government uses all resources, even the peculiarities of the local topography to attract the flow of tourists.

Immigration to Iceland, Residence Permit, Permanent Residence Permit and Citizenship + Video

Immigration to Iceland, residence permit, permanent residence permit and citizenship


Immigration to Iceland is not the most affordable option for Russians. The reason for this is the cold climate, the remote geographical location of the island and a strict migration policy. A certain role was also played by the population of the country. Despite the friendliness of the Icelanders, they do not welcome the mixing of nationalities, besides the authorities themselves do not intend to increase the population of the country at the expense of immigrants. However, such difficulties do not scare those who want to move to Iceland. This is due to the economic stability of the country, social security, high wages, as well as quality education and health care.

A little about Iceland

Immigration to Iceland, residence permit, permanent residence permit and citizenship

Iceland is a large state in Europe, located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its total area is 103 000 square kilometers. The capital is Reykjavik, the current currency – the Icelandic krona. The official language is Icelandic.

The country is adjacent to Norway and Greenland. Almost the entire territory of the state is a volcanic plateau. In Iceland there are several active volcanoes, a large number of hot springs, geysers and glaciers. The glaciers are considered the largest in the world, their area exceeds 11,000 square meters. Therefore, Iceland is called the “glacier country. In the summer months on the island is the time of white nights, and in winter, you can see the Northern Lights.

Ways to Immigrate

There are many ways to immigrate to Iceland. They are available to migrants of different categories – highly skilled professionals, students, businessmen, refugees, etc. All options are accompanied by certain difficulties, but with all the requirements and a competent approach, it is quite realistic to cope with them.

Professional immigration

This method of entry into Iceland is not the most popular. In turn, it includes the following options:

  1. Employment by employment contract. Most of this is available to specialists in narrow specialties.
  2. Hiring unskilled workers when there is a shortage of personnel in the country.

In general terms, labor immigration to Iceland is no different from moving to any other country. The main thing is to find an employer, get a job offer from him and sign a labor contract. It is also necessary to obtain a work visa. After completing all the requirements, you can give a request for a residence permit. Another advantage – an immigrant can move to Iceland with his family (spouse, children), and after living in the country for over 7 years, get citizenship.

But here, too, it is not without difficulties. The employer must prove to the authorities that there are no candidates for the job from the country or from the EU.

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The advantage of this method of immigration is a reasonable price for tuition. To join the ranks of students will be sufficient to pass the language exam and receive the appropriate certificate, choose the institution and enroll. After that, the student must pay for one year of study and provide proof of financial solvency. Having received a visa and entered the country, the student gets a temporary residence permit for the entire period of study. During the study period it is allowed to get an official job and stay in Iceland. After living in the country for more than seven years, you can get the status of a citizen.

Business immigration

Running your own business can not serve as grounds for obtaining a residence permit. When opening a business, a foreigner receives a multi-visa, with which he can stay in the country for a long period of time. For natives of EU countries there are no restrictions on doing business. But immigrants from other countries are not allowed to enter such areas as:

  1. Fishing in Icelandic waters.
  2. Extraction and use of natural energy resources.
  3. Airlines.

To open a business or make an investment in the country’s economy, you must contact the Ministry of Commerce and submit your business plan or application for investment.

Marriage to an Icelandic citizen

This method of immigration is the easiest. By marrying a citizen of the country, you can immediately get a residence permit. You can get citizenship in Iceland after 5 years of continuous residence in the country, 4 of which in marriage. Another way – family reunification. It is available to minor children of citizens of Iceland and elderly parents. It is for this reason many immigrate to Ireland as families at once.

Immigration of refugees

Immigration to Iceland, residence permit, permanent residence permit and citizenship

Asylum seekers in Iceland rarely receive a negative response. The migrant only has to prove that there is persecution in his home country and that it really threatens his life. A migrant only needs to live in refugee status for three years to obtain citizenship.

Acquisition of real estate

According to Icelandic law, a foreign citizen has the right to purchase real estate, but not land. Plots of land here are not sold, but leased. Otherwise, the way to move to Iceland is simple enough, you only need to have the money to buy real estate. After drawing up all the documents on the property, you can apply for a residence permit.

Immigration of pensioners

This option is suitable for the elderly over 66 years of age, whose adult children are citizens of Iceland and are able to support their parents. After seven years of cohabitation they have the right to apply for citizenship. However, in practice, this is very rare. Therefore it is not recommended to consider this method of immigration.

Immigration of children

The option of children moving in with their parents is not the most common. In most cases, families move together at once. To take advantage of this option, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The child’s parents must reside in Iceland legally.
  2. The child must not be older than 18 years.

Obtaining a residence permit

Anyone who has entered the country legally with a long-term visa may apply to the Department of Immigration for a residence permit. With a residence permit, a foreigner has virtually the same rights as the natives and is guaranteed social security.

To apply for a residence permit, the following documents must be properly prepared:

  • passport;
  • 4 photos;
  • Documentary basis for obtaining the status;
  • certificate of absence of serious illnesses;
  • certificate of no criminal record;
  • bank statement as proof of financial solvency;
  • contract with an employer (in case of labor immigration);
  • confirmation of the place of registration in the country;
  • receipts for payment of all fees and charges.

Documents must necessarily be translated into the official language of Iceland.

Where to go? Time and cost

You can apply for a residence permit only at the country’s Migration Bureau. To extend your residence permit must also contact the office or its representative office in the area where you reside.

On average, two weeks are required to process an application for a residence permit. Temporary residence can be obtained at once for a year or for the period of intended stay in Iceland. The cost of registration of residence permit status is 1000 euros.

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Reasons for refusal

Immigration to Iceland, residence permit, permanent residence permit and citizenship

Get a refusal to registration of residence permit can be based on good reasons. These may include:

  1. Problems with the law, a criminal record. Icelanders treat felony and property crimes particularly negatively.
  2. Lack of financial solvency, in which the applicant would not be able to live up to the accepted standard of living in the country. Icelanders spend from 50 euros per person per day. This is considered to be a minimum spending threshold.
  3. Violation of Icelandic migration laws, other problems with Icelandic law.
  4. Lack of some basic or additional documents.

Icelanders will definitely announce the reason for refusal, and if it is possible, you can try to correct the problem and try to reapply for a residence permit.

Obtaining a residence permit

After three years of official residence in the country, the immigrant has the opportunity to apply for a permanent residence permit. To do so, the immigrant must:

  • Have a command of the Icelandic language at the conversational level;
  • Proof of permanent residence in the country (employment, family reunion, marriage to an Icelandic citizen, training, etc.);
  • Have your own or rented accommodation.

Permanent resident status in Iceland can be held for a maximum of four years, after which citizenship can be obtained.

Documents required

An immigrant applying for permanent residence must present the following documents:

  1. Basic and foreign passport.
  2. Application for permanent residence permit.
  3. 3 photos.
  4. Help about criminal record and lack of tax arrears.
  5. Document about family status.
  6. Proof of official, stable income in Iceland.

Where to go? Cost and timing

To apply for permanent residency in Iceland, foreigners must submit an application to the local body of the Ministry of Interior (police). Application for permanent residence is considered within two weeks. The cost of the procedure is 1000 euros. It is only possible to be denied a permanent residence permit for good cause. In case of refusal, it is possible to reapply if there are no problems with the justice.

How to apply for citizenship

In order to acquire citizenship in Iceland, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Have successfully completed the naturalization procedure, i.e. have lived in the country for 7 years and become part of Icelandic society;
  • Have both Icelandic parents;
  • Be an illegitimate child of an Icelandic citizen.

The main condition for obtaining Icelandic citizenship is the absence of criminal convictions and other problems with the law. Otherwise immigration is simply impossible.

Dual citizenship

Immigration to Iceland, residence permit, permanent residence permit and citizenship

If earlier immigration to Iceland was not popular because of the impossibility of dual citizenship, but now, to be exact, since 2003 there have been some changes in the state. And according to the adopted innovations, citizens of the country got the right to obtain dual citizenship. This means that when immigrating to Iceland and acquiring citizenship here, a foreigner has the right not to give up his former citizenship. For this reason, foreigners have become more interested in Iceland.

Life after moving to Iceland

The attitude of Icelanders to immigrants can be described as moderately friendly. Foreigners will not encounter any aggression or infringement of their rights. The main condition is to honor the traditions and foundations of the Icelandic people.

The authorities of the country stimulate the birth rate, and therefore even foreigners are paid good benefits when they have children. Almost all of these processes are computerized, so there is no need to go somewhere to draw up the necessary documents.

Pros and cons of living in Iceland

Moving to Iceland comes with both positive and negative aspects.

Advantages Disadvantages
High wages and social benefits Strict migration policy.
Clean environment, beautiful nature High prices for rent
Low crime rate High food prices
Quality education and medical care Cold climate
Easy to get refugee status. A sedate pace of life with little change

To summarize, moving to Iceland is not an easy task. The local authorities are reluctant to accept immigrants, there is no shortage of labor here. But if you want, you can meet all the requirements and get residency in the country.



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