Residence permits for volunteers

Cost of Living
Talent Migration


Residence permits for volunteers are for persons older than 18 years old who intend to work for non-governmental organizations (NGO) on charity and humanitarian issues. Such organizations must be non-profit organizations and tax exempt.

Residence permits for volunteers are granted based on Art. 67 of the Act on Foreigners No. 80/2016.


  1. Submit the necessary documents with the application to the Directorate of Immigration.
  2. If the application is successful, the residence permit will be granted and the applicant will be sent a notification of the granting of the permit.
  3. Report Place of residence at the Directorate.
  4. Undergo medical examination.
  5. The applicant has come to be photographed at the offices of the Directorate of Immigration or at offices of district commissioners outside of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Area.


An applicant who does not need a visa may stay in Iceland when submitting an application and while it is being processed, provided the stay in the Schengen Area does not exceed 90 days in the 180 day period. An applicant who needs a visa may not stay in Iceland when applying for the permit and while it is being processed. Such an application will be refused.



12 months





Processing time

20-24 weeks




What are eligibility requirements for the Residence permits for volunteers?

8 Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must have a formal written confirmation of an invitation to Iceland to work for an acknowledged NGO working on charity and humanitarian issues, and are neither operated for profit and tax liable.
  • Applicant must be older than 18 years old.
  • Applicant must be a non EFTA or non EEA country citizen.
  • Applicant must carry out work accordance with the activities of the NGO you will work with.
  • Applicant must present a travel ticket from Iceland stating time of departure at the end of stay.
  • Applicant must have a valid insurance with an Icelandic insurance company or a foreign insurance company authorized to operate in Iceland.
  • Applicant must have not served a criminal sentence abroad during the last 5 years or been sentenced by a court of law for an offence which would be punishable by more than 3 months imprisonment according to Icelandic law.
  • Applicant must have a passport valid at least 90 days beyond the estimated period of validity of the residence permit.

Which documents do I need to apply for the Residence permits for volunteers?

10 Document Required

  • Payment receipt (if the application has been paid for at a bank). The name of the person for whom payment is being made must be clearly stated. List the name of the applicant, his/her date of birth as a reference.
  • Application for a residence permit. (Please download and save on computer before filling out). In original format, carefully filled out and signed by the applicant. (It is important that the applicant states his/her place of residence in Iceland. If the address is not stated when the application is made, the applicant must notify his/her place of residence within 2 weeks from the applicant’s date of arrival in Iceland (for example when being photographed).
  • Passport photo (35x45 mm).
  • Photocopy of passport: the period of validity must be at least 90 days beyond of the period of validity of the residence permit. This must include photocopies of the passport’s personal information page and the page containing the applicant’s signature.
  • Confirmed original of a foreign criminal record certificate. The criminal record certification must not be older than 6 months. A criminal record certificate must be submitted from all the countries where the applicant has lived for the last 5 years. (The criminal record certificate shall be issued by the highest appropriate authority in every country, i.e. the authority authorized to issue such a certificate). Note there is a requirement for apostille confirmation or double authentication.
  • Confirmed copy or original translation by an authorized translator of the criminal record certificate. Applies only if the foreign certificates are in other languages than English or the Nordic languages. Note there is a requirement of confirmation of translation if the translator is not an authorized translator in Iceland, i.e. apostille or double authentication.
  • Health Insurance: The applicant shall submit a certificate of insurance from an Icelandic insurance company or a foreign insurance company authorized to operate in Iceland. The insurance shall be valid for 6 months from the date of the applicant being registered in Registers Iceland and the coverage shall be at least IKR 2000,000.
  • A contract with an acknowledged NGO working on charity or humanitarian issues. Original format is required, dated and signed both by the applicant and the spokesperson of the organization. The contract must state the kind of work the applicant will carry out and how long his/her stay is. A confirmation must also be stated regarding the organization guaranteeing housing and maintenance for the applicant in Iceland (if applicable).
  • Documents on support if applicable: If the NGO does not ensure the applicant’s maintenance, the applicant must show sufficient financial support during the time of stay.
  • Copy of a travel ticket from Iceland, that states the applicants time of departure at the end of your stay.

Talent Migration data for Iceland

Talent gain & drain map of 2015-2019 data. Sourced from World Bank Digital Development Data.

Disclaimer: is a FREE visa database and Immigration Expert Marketplace. The information displayed in this page is not legal advice. Please speak to an Expert before applying.

feedbackImprove this page

Hire verified experts for your next visa is trusted and funded by European Union, UNWTO, CORFO, MITEF and other organizations. Read more about us here.


No platform fee

Visadb is free for all users and we charge experts a fee.


Verified & Licenced Experts

We select high-reputation Experts, conduct video-interviews and verify their businesses.

as seen inFeatured in BBCFeatured in Business InsiderFeatured in CNNFeatured in The Next WebFeatured in The Guardian

Subscribe to our newsletter

We send you latest news and updates about Visa and Immigration