Moving to Iceland? Here Are Few Things You Need to Know


Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with breathtaking natural surroundings and friendly natives. It is well-known as the Land of Fire and Ice and attracts many tourists, campers, trekkers, hikers, and adventure enthusiasts throughout the year. It is a place that embraces gigantic mountain peaks, museums enriched with great Vikings history, beautiful aquatic and land animals, soothing geothermal spas, and the incredible Northern lights. Everything about Iceland is magical and mystical, also because of its proximity to mother nature.

The unpredictable weather, beautiful four seasons, rich culture, and eye-captivating surroundings make your living experience in this European country a memorable one. You will take back endless happy moments once you spend your time in Iceland. Most people don’t feel like going home after experiencing the enchanting beauty of this place. They come back every year to enjoy the natural sites, and some even permanently move to this place to spend the rest of their lives in nature’s lap surrounded by happy and hospitable people. If you are also to move to Iceland, brace yourself to know how Iceland will welcome you as its resident.

Reykjavik city

Know Why You Should Pack Your Bags and Head Straight to Iceland

There is a huge list of things that can convince you to move to Iceland immediately, but for starters, here are some extremely interesting reasons to persuade to live in Iceland other than its extremely gorgeous natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly Icelanders:

  • Iceland is one of the most desirable and happiest places on earth with dramatic and majestic nature.
  • In Iceland, you will get to experience a plethora of unexplored geological marvels and wilderness.
  • It accepts a large number of immigrants from different parts of the world, which means you will be welcomed with open arms by its friendly, relaxed, and welcoming natives.
  • The country has a drastically low crime rate, which means you don’t have to worry about your safety and security. The place is warming and takes care of you like a family; even police officers are often seen rarely carrying weapons.
  • Iceland’s life expectancy rate is higher than in most countries, with an average age of 83 years.
  • If you are into technology and surfing things online, then it may be important for you to know that around 97 percent of Icelanders have access to broadband internet, which is more than many countries.

At last, one of the most convincing factors of living in Iceland is its nature. The breathtaking beauty is something that is unique and can only be found at a place that is home to some of the great natural phenomena and sites. The place promises to deliver endless eye candies for you which are enough to attract you to live in this extremely gorgeous country.

Ways Through Which You Can Move to Iceland

There are many ways through which you can legally move to Iceland. The place usually witnesses immigrants from all over Europe, America, and Canada. Most people plan to move to Iceland after visiting the place more than twice and thrice; it so eye-captivating that people take up this huge decision to move to the country without a second thought. You can stay in Iceland for 90 days with a travel visa, but you need to get into various legalities if you’re planning to stay for a longer time than stated. You can choose one of the following ways to start a new beginning in Iceland: 

  • Study Permit: Many universities in Iceland welcome international students to help them complete their higher studies. It is one of the easiest ways to stay in Iceland legally as you can enjoy breath-taking sites, know the local environment better, get along with the natives, learn the local language and stay closer to mother nature while learning and refining your skills and expertise. With a student visa, you can live for up to six months in Iceland. You need to show bank statements and funds that prove that you can support your education and livelihood while staying in Iceland.
  • Work/Employment: You need to sign a work contract with a legal and certified employer to get a work permit for Iceland. The place often has vacancies for qualifies professionals in the field of research, education, and computers. You can also apply to work as a general laborer at places that cannot be filled by local Icelanders. If you have good funds, you can start a business in Iceland by meeting all the legal requirements. When you can stay in Iceland for the duration of your contract, it is called Au-pairs, which is a common way for people to move to Iceland. Read more about finding a job in Iceland here. 
  • Marriage: This may sound a little awkward, but you don’t have to go for this option necessarily. Marrying a local or a citizen makes you legally eligible to move to Iceland permanently. Iceland is a place where you can find love and peace at the same time. You have to take a pragmatic approach while choosing this option as it is about your life, and making wise decisions is important. Though your spousal rights allow you to move to the country, you still have to show relevant proves and documents to be legal for this perk.
winter in Akureyri in northern Iceland, capital of North Iceland

The Kennitala - Personal Identification Number

Like any other country, Iceland also provides a personal identification number or social security number called Kennitala. This number holds significant importance when you move to the country on a study or work permit. Everything you do in Iceland would require Kennitala which means you need this as soon as you hit the floors of the surprising European country. From renting property to opening a bank account to issuing books from the library and registering for a doctor, you would need this 10-digit number for everything. Kennitala is also required to receive a tax card, buy a phone, take admission in a public/government institution, and even buy a connection to the internet. This is how extensively you need this number, which is made of your date of birth along with four randomized numbers at the end of the 10-digit number. It serves as an easy way to track the census for the government. This number will also be bound with legality and track you if anything goes wrong from your side or get involved in any illegal or unethical practice. Through this number, the government can track your activities; it is like a virtual footprint you leave every time you access anything.

Flatey Island in west Iceland

Things to Help You Prepare for the New Beginning

Moving to a new country is not as easy as it may sound; you get to keep in mind several things to be prepared to accept new changes and challenges. You need to follow certain items and keep in mind the following suggestion before making the big decision:

  • Reading local news or keeping track of local activities can make you familiar with the place. It is important to know about the place through local channels or community groups on social media from a native’s perspective. You will feel connected with everything if you keep reading and learning about exciting things about your would-be new home.
  • Learning about government policies, rules, and regulations should be your priority before moving to Iceland. This includes all the legal requirements that you would need as you move to a European country. You wouldn’t want to get into trouble by not knowing anything, so it is better to take some sweet time to learn about important things beforehand.
  • Before moving to Iceland for your studies or work, do not forget to read about the insurance and tax policies. Knowing about insurance also covers your health benefits and what all things you would get as a temporary residence in Iceland. Because you will be availing tax benefits and paying tax while working, know before the requirements and procedure to avoid real-time hitches.
  • Remember to make any place your home, you need to get involved with the local people and native practices to feel more accepted and welcomed. This starts with communicating through the same language. Try to learn Icelandic, the native language, or at least learn the most popular terms to initiate a conversation with people around you.
  • Other than beautiful mother nature, Iceland is popular for its unpredictable weather. Before hitting the grounds in Iceland, do take a look at the brief description of its weather all season. Winter is extreme in Iceland, so you need to see whether you will be able to handle the cold weather or not. You will look forward to longer and darker nights with no sunlight for over 22 hours. Similarly, you can experience longer days too in Iceland. Come prepared to witness the unexpected and unpredictable.
  • You need to conduct brief research about working conditions in Iceland, the remuneration you will get based on your expertise, or the average salary according to the assigned work. Learn about how things program in Iceland about your work or business. Also, do not forget to compare the cost of living with the amount you’re expected to get.
  • International students need to know about the surrounding areas that are cheaper and fulfill major requirements. You should know beforehand what all things are expected from you throughout your stay in Iceland. This also includes knowing the fee structure, travel expense, and accommodation charges.
  • If you want to move to Iceland on a work permit or Au-pair, follow platforms that provide information related to the job posting in different countries. There are several online platforms that you can access from other countries and apply for the jobs accordingly.
  • Accommodation is one of the most important factors you should consider before packing your bags for Iceland. Scroll through local real estate websites and platforms to know more about the availability of a roof. Compare prices and opt for options that are closer to your workplace or college to eliminate using public transport while on budget.
  • Learning from other opinions can be a very helpful experience. Look for immigrants that are staying in the country as they would be the most reliable and trustable sources for knowing the real-time situation.
  • Iceland has a different currency, which is called Icelandic Krona. As you’re exchanging this money to exchange different products and services, make sure you know how to use them and convert them as needed.
  • Iceland is a big country with tricky roads and bumpy terrains; you would not require a personal conveyance if you’re living in the city of Reykjavik. You would need a car or any personal vehicle when you’re staying in the countryside. The basic amenities are a little far from the countryside or small villages, so you would require something to get groceries or go out shopping. You can take public transport, but they majorly have connectivity to only bigger cities and towns, which are popular.
  • Do learn about things that are expected from an immigrant in Iceland. Iceland is a country that strictly follows sustainable living, so make sure you follow the same route to live as a responsible resident.
  • The incredible natural beauty is what makes Iceland beautiful and unique. Iceland holds its beauty within its magical natural surroundings, which means whenever you’re traveling from one place to another or using any natural resources, you will follow responsible practice under the guidelines stated by the officials or higher authorities.
  • It is important to know that though you’re moving to a new country with different rules and people, you would still enjoy your rights as an immigrant and, most importantly, as a human. So, make sure you remain safe and secure even if it’s not your country or you’re just a temporary residence. Know your rights both as a student and working professional to have a safe and happy stay in this magical country.

Iceland is a place that holds the best for everyone; the eye-captivating natural surroundings, rich history, and warm people make it one of the safest and happiest places to live on the planet. You just need to be prepared to start a journey that is exciting, fun, and, most importantly, adventurous. Moving to Iceland is one of the most fun decisions you would take, as it would be worth your time and effort. Take every decision wisely and carefully by measuring each step thoroughly to create a lifetime experience for yourself. Living amid nature, fulfilling your dreams, spending time with the locals, trying out native food, and experiencing the best of nature is what you get in this magical and most stunning country.

Flateyri fishing village in the Westfjords of Iceland
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