Iceland: Country-Specific Brexit Information

December 16, 2020

UK nationals who have been legally living in Iceland before December 31, 2020 when the UK withdraws from the EU may continue to live, study, and work in Iceland through rights established through the Withdrawal Agreement. UK nationals who are residents of Iceland by the end of the Brexit transition will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and their rights will be protected if they remain a resident. UK nationals should make sure they are registered as residents.

Entry and Residency Requirements

UK nationals who were legally residents of Iceland before the end of 2020 can stay in the country if they remain residents.

UK nationals who plan to stay in Iceland for more than three months must register with Registers Iceland to get a national identification number (Kennitala). UK nationals will need the identification number to access most services in Iceland, including opening a banking account, applying for telephone and internet connections, obtaining Icelandic health insurance, and more.

Individuals who plan to work as residents in Iceland must have their employer apply for a system ID (Kerfiskennitala) on their behalf for tax purposes. The Kerfiskennitala is not a residency document, but it is required for UK nationals employed in Iceland.

UK nationals who move to Iceland following the Brexit transition to live or work will be subject to the same rules as non-EU/EEA citizens, which are outlined in the Icelandic Act on Foreigners. A residence permit is required for all UK nationals who move to Iceland after the transition.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in Iceland before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

Working in Iceland

UK nationals who were residents of Iceland on or before December 31, 2020 can continue to work in the country if they remain residents.

All UK nationals need a Kennitala to work in Iceland. Some jobs may also require a UK criminal records check (Police Certificate check).

Individuals who live in Iceland and commute to work in another EU/EFTA country may need a permit proving that they are a frontier worker starting in January 2021. The Home Office will provide further details when guidance is available.

Passports

A valid passport is required to enter the country through December 2020. Starting on January 1, 2021, passports must have at least a six-month validity, except for individuals transiting Iceland or who fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement. Individuals must renew their passport prior to traveling if they have less than six months remaining on their passport. Additional months from passports that are more than 10 years old cannot be added to the validity period.

Starting on January 1, 2021, UK nationals are advised to carry a letter from Registers Iceland in addition to their passport when traveling. The letter, which can be obtained or by scheduling an in-person appointment, shows evidence of status under the Separation Agreement. 

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