The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration has received a total of 65 requests for residence permits on the basis of rule changes that were made last autumn to make it easier for foreigners from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to Iceland and work remotely.
According to answers from the Directorate, these 65 applications for Remote Worker Visas include both the workers that want to come to Iceland and work remotely and their family members. 95 percent of the applicants are from the United States and the remaining few are from Canada and the United Kingdom.
To this day, only 10 people have moved to Iceland and formally started living here on the basis of the new Remote Worker Visas, but 50 more applications have already been approved. The Directorate of Immigration says it is currently reviewing the applications of five more people.
The new measures were put in place in October, but they enable non-EEA foreign nationals to reside in Iceland for up to six months and work remotely for foreign companies. The foreign nationals are allowed to bring their families without having to move their legal domicile to the country or obtain Icelandic ID numbers.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies around the world have made significant changes to the way they operate and are now increasingly allowing and encouraging their staff to telework. The result is that in many instances the staff member can choose their home environment, irrespective of the location of their workplace.
How does one apply for the Remote Worker Visa?
To get a Remote Worker Visa in Iceland, applicants must have valid health insurance, either in Iceland or abroad. Applicants also need confirmation from their employer that they can perform their work remotely from Iceland. Self-employed applicants must confirm that they are verifiably self-employed in the country in which they have permanent residency or work typically.
Applicants must also have confirmation that their income from remote working will correspond to at least 1 million ISK per month. For example, an employee can present an employment contract with information on the monthly salary.
A self-employed person can, for example, show a contract for the project(s) they intend to work on remotely and the agreed
If people are also applying for a spouse or cohabiting partner to join them in Iceland under the Remote Worker Visa, they must have income for their remote work which corresponds to 1,3 million ISK per month.
More information about the Remote Worker Visas can be found on the Directorate of Immigration’s website.