Iceland

The inhabitants of Iceland do not have surnames, only patronymics, and the names of children are selected from a special register.

About Country

    Continent

    Europe

    Capital

    Reykjavík

    Population

    341,243

    World share 

    0 %

    Land area

    100,250 km²

    Official Languages

    - Icelandic

    Unofficial Languages

    - English
    - German
    - Nordic languages

    Currency

    ISK

    Economy rating

    107

    Economy GDP

    24,155 millions USD

    ВВП на человека

    70,785 USD

Democracy Index

9.37

Full
democracy

*

Electoral process and pluralism

10
10

Functioning of government

8.57
8.57

Political participation

8.89
8.89

Political culture

10
10

Civil liberties

9.41
9.41

    Crime Rate

    0.9

    Safe zone

    Unemployment

    7.2 %

    Normal unemployment

Expense and Salary

3.33

Middling

*

Average salary

7.4
7.4

Average expense

1.79
1.79

Average rent price

0.79
0.79

    Average salary

    5,202 USD

    Average expense

    1,082 USD

    Average rent price

    1,398 USD

Immigration

    Immigration difficulty

    Normal

    Recommended Savings

    14,879 USD

    Double citizenship

    Allowed

    Official site

    Immigration official website

    Compulsory exams

    Icelandic language exam

    Passport rating

    12 Amount of countries: 180

Immigration options

Immigration typeRequired TimeFee
Marriagefrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
3 years (for citizenship)
84 USD
Family reunificationfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)
84 USD
Employeefrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)
84 USD
Studentfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)
84 USD
Real estate investmentsfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)
84 USD


Marriage

Immigration feeImmigration Time
84 USDfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
3 years (for citizenship)

List of documents:
- Completed questionnaire;
- International passport;
- 2 color photos;
- Receipt of payment of the fee;
- General civil passport;
- Medical insurance;
- Certificate of no criminal record;
- Financial documents: bank statement with bank seal;
- Documents confirming the marriage.
Additional Information:
When you marry an Icelandic citizen, you are issued a residence permit.
But before that, you will face a number of procedures to check your marriage for fictitiousness.

Family reunification

Immigration feeImmigration Time
84 USDfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)

List of documents:
- Completed questionnaire;
- International passport;
- 2 color photos;
- Receipt of payment of the fee;
- General civil passport;
- Medical insurance;
- Certificate of no criminal record;
- Financial documents: bank statement with bank seal;
- Documents confirming the relationship.
Additional Information:
The right to a residence permit is granted to close relatives and those who are dependent on a person legally residing in Iceland (these include citizens of the country, those who have permanent residence and a residence permit).
Unmarried minor children and pensioners over 66 years of age are eligible for this program.

Employee

Immigration feeImmigration Time
84 USDfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)

List of documents:
- Completed questionnaire;
- International passport;
- 2 color photos;
- Receipt of payment of the fee;
- General civil passport;
- Medical insurance;
- Certificate of no criminal record;
- Financial documents: bank statement with bank seal;
- An invitation from the employer.
Additional Information:
If you find a job in Iceland, you can safely apply for a residence permit.
The only difficulty lies in the fact that an Icelandic company or an individual entering into an employment contract with a foreigner must obtain permission to attract a specialist from abroad.

Student

Immigration feeImmigration Time
84 USDfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)

List of documents:
- Completed questionnaire;
- International passport;
- 2 color photos;
- Receipt of payment of the fee;
- General civil passport;
- Medical insurance;
- Certificate of no criminal record;
- Financial documents: bank statement with bank seal;
- Certificate of admission.
Additional Information:
A student in Iceland has the right to obtain a residence permit.
For admission, you need to pass exams and make a down payment for your studies.
The visa is issued for a period confirmed by the educational institution. The training is conducted in English.

Real estate investments

Immigration feeImmigration Time
84 USDfrom 6 to 12 days (paperwork)
7 years (for citizenship)

List of documents:
- Completed questionnaire;
- International passport;
- 2 color photos;
- Receipt of payment of the fee;
- General civil passport;
- Medical insurance;
- Certificate of no criminal record;
- Financial documents: bank statement with bank seal;
- Documents confirming the purchase of real estate.
Additional Information:
When you purchase a property in Iceland, you get a residence permit.
But the cost of housing should exceed 100 thousand euros.
Also, foreign citizens can apply to an Icelandic bank for a loan.

Taxes

The main taxes in Iceland are: taxation of individuals, income tax, social contributions, financial activity tax, VAT, withholding taxes, inheritance tax, stamp duty.

Taxation of individuals
Residents pay tax on world income, non–residents pay tax on income from sources in Iceland.
Income tax is levied at progressive rates:
- income up to 4,042,995 ISK (28,203 USD) - taxed at a rate of 20.6%;
- income from 4,042,995 (28,203 USD) to 11,350,472 ISK (79,180 USD) - at a rate of 22.75%;
- income over 11 350 472 ISK (79 180 USD) - at a rate of 31.8%.
In addition, municipal tax is paid at rates from 12.44% to 14.52%, depending on the municipality.
Capital gains tax is paid at the rate of 22%.

Income tax
Income tax is paid by resident companies from their worldwide income, by non-resident companies from income from sources in Iceland.
The corporate income tax rate is 20%.

Social contributions
Employers pay:
- Social insurance contribution at the rate of 6.35%.
- Pension contribution at the rate of 11.5%.
- 0.1% to the rehabilitation fund.
Employees pay:
- Pension contribution at the rate of 4%. Additionally, 4% may be paid to mandatory or voluntary pension funds (in this amount, this contribution is deducted for tax purposes).
- The contribution to the fund of elderly people is paid in a fixed amount when a certain income level is exceeded.

Financial activity tax
Financial institutions, including insurance companies, pay a tax at the rate of 5.5% from the payroll. And an additional tax of 6% is paid if the total wage fund exceeds 1,000,000 ISK (6,980 USD).

VAT
The standard VAT rate is 24%. For some goods and services, the rate is 11%.

Taxes at the source of payment
When paying dividends to a non–resident company, the tax is withheld at the rate of 20%, to an individual – 22%.
When paying interest, the tax is withheld at the rate of 12%.
In relation to the piano, the tax is withheld at the rate of 20% for companies and 36.94 – 46.24% for individuals.

Inheritance tax
Inheritance tax is charged at a rate of 10%. The tax is not levied on spouses.

Stamp duty
The rate is 0.8% for individuals and 1.6% for legal entities.

Education

The education system in Iceland is divided into 4 stages: preschool education, compulsory education, high school and higher education.

Preschool education
Preschool education is the first stage that children aged from one to six years go through. There is a fee for preschool education, but it is largely subsidized by the state. Kindergarten attendance is not mandatory.

Education is mandatory
Compulsory schooling is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 16 years.
Parents are obliged to enroll their children in primary school and they are also responsible for their attendance.
Primary education is divided into three levels:
- junior level from 1st to 4th grade;
- the middle level is students of grades 5-7;
- and the last level is students from grades 8 to 10.

High school
Senior secondary schools belong to the third level of study in Iceland. They are variously called junior colleges, secondary schools, technical schools or vocational schools. Anyone who has completed primary school, received a basic education or reached the age of 16 can start studying at secondary school.
The training lasts for 4 years - from 16 to 20 years and is free, the student pays only the admission fee on his own and buys all the necessary textbooks on his own.
All gymnasiums can be divided into several groups:
- Academic. Students choose an educational program with in-depth study of subjects in one of the following areas - foreign languages, natural sciences or social sciences.
- Professional and technical. Students combine the study of theoretical subjects with obtaining practical skills to work in some profession (for example, in the field of fishing, tourism, healthcare or commerce).
- General education. They combine academic and vocational programs, as well as specialized vocational training programs.
- Specialized vocational schools offering training programs in certain specialties.

Higher education
Everyone who has a certificate of full secondary education is eligible for higher education.
For admission, it is necessary to pass entrance exams in specialized subjects.
In three state universities, tuition is free, students pay only the entrance fee. In private educational institutions, studies are paid, but all students have the opportunity to receive a loan for training, which they can give after graduation, as well as receive a scholarship. For students of master's and doctoral programs, the possibility of obtaining grants for research is provided.

Healthcare

Iceland's healthcare meets the highest standards of quality of medical care, this care is generally available and comprehensive. Healthcare is financed mainly by general taxation. A significant part of government spending is directed to healthcare. There is almost no private health insurance and private hospitals in Iceland.

The country is divided into seven medical districts. Medical facilities and/or medical centers can be found in the districts. Health centers provide general health services for the district, such as primary health care, clinical trials, treatment, hospital care, medical rehabilitation services, nursing for the elderly, dentistry, and patient counseling.

Medical centers providing primary health care are located throughout the country, while some of them work at small institutes and hospitals. All patients must register and gain access through a primary health care center and a general practitioner of their choice. Specialized services are provided mainly by general practitioners, private or public.

There are 6 regional hospitals and 16 medical institutions in the country. The main hospital is located in Reykjavik. Most medical workers and doctors are employees and receive salaries from hospital budgets.

Specialized medical institutions are divided into seven types, of which only three are hospitals in the usual sense of the word. These are district hospitals, multi-specialty hospitals, and general hospitals, which have specialists in surgery, internal medicine and general practitioners.
Other specialized medical institutions include nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, centers for patients with chronic diseases and rehabilitation centers for patients with alcoholism and drug addiction.

Icelandic health insurance is based on residence, so it is important to register a legal place of residence in Iceland as soon as possible.

The health insurance system in Iceland is a system of co-payment in order to reduce the costs of those people who are in great need of medical care and have paid large sums for this service.

The system covers the payment for services provided in medical centers and hospitals, as well as medical services for self-employed doctors, physiotherapists, speech therapists and psychologists.

If you are a citizen of a non-EEA/EFTA country, Switzerland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, it is recommended that you purchase private insurance while you wait to become insured for illness in the social insurance system.

For temporary workers from outside the EU, health insurance is one of the main conditions for issuing a residence permit.

Climate

Iceland is an island country located in the west of Northern Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean. In the north and northeast it is washed by the Arctic Ocean. The territory of the state consists of an island of the same name with an area of 103,000 km2 and small islets near it. The most sparsely populated country in Europe.

The capital and largest city of Iceland is Reykjavik, which (together with the surrounding areas) is home to more than 65% of the country's population.

Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite the high latitude beyond the Arctic Circle. Due to the high latitude and location in the middle of the ocean, summers are cool here, and most of the islands have a polar climate.

The climate in Iceland is much milder than one might assume. This is partly due to the influence of the Gulf Stream.
Unfortunately, there is another side to this process: warm air from the Atlantic mixes with Arctic air from the north, which leads to frequent and completely unexpected weather changes.
Another consequence of this is strong winds and heavy rains throughout Iceland, as well as the fact that more precipitation falls in the south of the country than in the north.

Another reason for the warm climate in Iceland is that the island is located directly above one of the hottest spots on the planet. Iceland is a land of incredible geothermal activity: there are many hot springs, geysers, mud cauldrons, volcanoes and from time to time there are earthquakes.

The landscape of Iceland is mostly flat, but a large number of volcanoes, including active ones, creates a separate microclimate in some areas. At elevations in winter it can be up to -10C. The weather is almost the same on the whole island, but there are still distinctive features. The northern and eastern suburbs, especially near the coast, are a couple of degrees colder than the southern and western ones.

In summer, the average temperature is about +12C. In winter – about 1 degree of frost.

Among the features of winter – cold, windy, rainy and snowy, but few tourists, and the Northern lights in the sky.
Summer is characterized by warmth, low rainfall, the presence of "white" nights, but this is the height of the tourist season.

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