Immigration. Travel. Living.

Iceland: citizenship obtaining ways

While Icelandic is the official language, a high percentage of citizens speak English fluently, so if you do not speak the former but the latter, you can still reside here.

With a growing economy expected to continue increasing, the nation is great for those who desire to start a new life here. Employment, salaries, tourism; everything in the country is rising and now is a great time to grab an opportunity. As one of the most advanced countries globally, it is said that the nation is in the top three happiest places on earth.

Based on any application made by an applicant or a custodian of a child under the age of 18 years, the Directorate of Immigration is allowed to issue citizenship. There are a few ways a foreigner can become eligible to acquire a nationality. This guide covers all you need to know about Citizenship and its various types.

What are the options?

There are 2 major ways to become a citizen of Iceland, they are explained below with their requirements.

Citizenship By jus soli (Birth)

To be granted citizenship by the Directorate of Immigration, an applicant submitting his application form must fulfill at least one of the residence requirements, aside from being born anywhere in the world. 

Citizenship by residence

For a person to qualify for citizenship by the Directorate of Immigration, such a person must:

  • be the holder of a permanent residence permit
  • not be eligible to live in Iceland without a residence permit
  • have lived for a coupled of years before applying

The requirement for the duration of stay for individuals differ, but all applicants must generally meet at least one of the criteria listed below:

  • A person is a resident for the last seven (7) years
  • A woman married to a national and have resided for at least 4 years

NOTE: a spouse must be someone who has lived here for a minimum of five (5) years. A kid born to a native who has lived in the country for the previous two (2) years. A person without citizenship has been domiciled here for the last five (5) years, etc.

asphalt road and cliff horizon


It is compulsory to have passed the language test, have a legal source of income, not in debt as confirmed by the National Treasury, and possess a valid means of identification to apply for citizenship from the Directorate of Immigration.

To acquire citizenship, a person must have been found worthy of being a citizen. The basic conditions for applying are:

  1. Residency of at least seven years
  2. Identification documents
  3. Language certificate 
  4. bankruptcy proceedings or default tax payments
  5. Criminal record certificate

Processing Time

As a first-time applicant, you have to know that it takes a couple of months for Citizenship to be granted. First-time applications are prioritized and attended to within 6 months of application. So just sit back and wait for your approval after you’ve submitted your work. A paper application must be mailed or given to the Directorate of Immigration’s lobby dropbox. Applications can also be submitted at the nearest District Commissioners’ offices.

Processing Fee

A bank receipt showing proof of payment must be attached to all applications. It is required that the date of birth and the full name of the applicants be indicated in the proof of payment, and this covers only one individual application at a time. The cost of all citizenship applications is 25.000 ISK.

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