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Immigrating to Iceland

Residence Permit for a Foreign Citizen's Spouse or Cohabitating Partner

Application for Residence Permit for a Spouse or Cohabitating Partner of a Foreign Citizen

Adults (18 or older), who intend to live in Iceland with their spouse who is a foreign citizen or cohabitating partner who is a foreign citizen, may apply for a residence permit under certain circumstances (see below). Note that in the case of cohabitating partners, they must have been cohabitating for at least one year; for married couples there is no required minimum length of marriage. Otherwise the applications are identical.

The sponsoring spouse or cohabitating partner of the applicant must be:

  • a citizen of a Nordic country (besides Iceland)*

  • a foreign national with permanent residence in Iceland

  • a foreign national whose temporary residence in Iceland is based

    • on work as a qualified specialist

    • on work as an athlete

    • on studying as a graduate or post-graduate student

    • being a parent†

    • on grounds of international protection†

    • on grounds of humanitarian views†

    • on grounds of special ties to Iceland†

For more details on this kind of permit, please see the Directorate of Immigration.

*Note that a citizen of a EEA/EFTA state may sponsor their spouse or cohabitating partner from outside the EEA/EFTA for a residence card instead of a residence permit.

†Note that a special requirement applies to these cases: the applicant's sponsoring spouse or cohabitating partner must have worked or studied in Iceland during a legal stay for the last four years before submitting an application unless an exemption is granted (for example, if it can be shown that the couple was married or cohabitating before the sponsoring spouse moved to Iceland, both partners had a valid residence permit when they married, they are expecting a child, etc.).

Application for Residence Permit for a Spouse or Cohabitating Partner of a Foreign Citizen