Temporary work permits for specialised employees under service contracts or collaboration agreements on educational, academic, or scientific work
A temporary work permit may be granted, in exceptional circumstances, to specialist employees on the grounds of a service agreement or collaboration agreements on educational, academic or scientific work, per Article 15 of The Foreign Nationals’ Right to Work Act, no. 97/2002. The conditions, amongst others, are as follows:
For applications on the grounds of a service agreement:
- The foreign company providing services here in Iceland does not operate a branch in Iceland.
- A service agreement has been made between the foreign and domestic company.
- The service agreement or confirmed addendum thereto stipulates the necessity of the foreign national applying for the work permit to the services being provided and the employee is considered as a specialized employee in terms of the service provision. Permits in this category are not granted for general or non-specialized work.
For applications on the grounds of collaboration agreements:
- A collaboration agreement on educational, academic or scientific work must be in place between the foreign and domestic company. Collaboration agreements on another type of work don’t qualify under this category.
- The collaboration agreement shall state, amongst other things, that it covers the educational, academic or scientific work of the employee and the work must be carried out in Iceland.
- The foreign employer’s employee in question shall have completed the university studies that are necessary to perform the work involved.
Necessary application supporting documents:
- Original copy of the application for a temporary work for specialist employees on the grounds of a service agreement or collaboration agreement.
- A copy of the service- or collaboration agreement between the foreign and domestic company.
- The agreement or a confirmed addendum must stipulate the necessity of the foreign national, applying for the work permit, to perform the services being provided.
- A contract of employment between a foreign national and the foreign service company of which must include information regarding the foreign nationals’ terms and conditions of employment while they are residing in Iceland.
- When applying on the grounds of a collaboration agreement the applicants must submit a copy of the employee’s university education qualifications such as a copy of his or her relevant university diploma.
- For this permit category, it is not necessary to obtain the review of the relevant labour union as with other permit categories.
Where should the application be submitted
Applications should be submitted to the Directorate of Immigration, Dalvegi 18, 201 Kópavogur, or alternatively to the local District Commissioner offices if you are located outside of the Capital Region.
It is the applicant's responsibility to present the necessary documentation for the application for a temporary work permit. If all required documentation is not submitted with the application, it will result in a delay in the processing of the application, or the application being declined. The Directorate of Labour may request additional documentation, should the directorate deem it to be necessary.
It is the applicant's joint responsibility to acquaint themselves with the relevant regulation on taxation in Iceland. Further information may be found here.
When can the employee start working?
That an employee may not commence work in Iceland until the necessary permit has been granted by the Directorate of Labour.
Permits are generally granted for six months at a time but can be granted for up to twelve months.
Application for a permit extension
With an application to extend a work permit, the same documents must be submitted as with a new application apart from educational certificates. When applications for renewal are submitted before the current permit expires, the employee may continue to work during the processing of the permit application.