Moving to Iceland

Last updated: September 4, 2019

Do you imagine what packing up your life and moving to Iceland would be like? Well, with our guide, we can help you realise what that could be like and how to do it! We’ve gathered up all the important bits of information that you need to know before you make the big leap. Take a look at our top 10 International Removal companies page for help on choosing a removal company.

Moving to Iceland

Here is the nitty gritty stuff that you need to know about moving to Iceland. So, if you’re serious about moving, this section has all the essential information that you will need to know:

Visas to Iceland

If you have a UK passport and are moving to Iceland for up to three months, you won’t need a visa. You will need to apply for a residence/work permit within the first week of arriving to allow you to live and work in Iceland for longer than three months. You can apply for this at the Directorate of Immigration.

If you’re planning on moving to Europe after Brexit, then you will have to keep your eyes on the news. If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, then the passport validity rules will be different.

Jobs in Iceland

If you haven’t already got a job, then you may be in search of some work in Iceland before you go. You will most likely find a job in the capital, Reykjavik, unless you’re looking for a job in fishery or agriculture. The best way to find a job is to send speculative job applications to the companies that you would like to work for, as more often than not they won’t advertise new jobs. LinkedIn is also a good way to look for job opportunities in Iceland.

Moving Costs to Iceland

Size of HouseholdTimeCost
1 bed flat6-8 weeks£2,100 – £2,900
3 bed house<31 days£4,300 – £6,000
5 bed house<31 days£6,600 – £9,200

Above you can see the estimated cost of moving to Iceland: we have made these costs based on a move from London to Reykjavik via sea. Transporting your belongings by road will be quicker, however this will cost you a substantial amount more. There are many factors that will influence the overall price of your removal costs, the two major ones being volume and distance. If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at our container shipping costs page.

The best way to find out how much your move will cost is to request quotes. This way removal companies can give you a precise price on your move. If you’re not sure how to tell if your quote is good or not, read our removal quotes page for advice.

Moving to Iceland

Living in Iceland

Whether you want to know how much it costs to live in Iceland or what you can expect the weather to be like, this section provides you with everything that you may need to know before moving to Iceland. Take a look at our moving abroad page for more help on what you need to prepare.

 

Living Costs in Iceland

If you’re planning on moving to Iceland, you should really be prepared for the expensive living costs. Everything from food to transport, expect a much higher increase in costs. A small apartment in Reykjavik may cost you at least 175,000 ISK (approximately 1110 GBP) a month. Standards of living are a lot higher, which is great for any expat. For a better idea on the difference that you can expect, this website provides a good comparison of living costs in Iceland vs UK.

Housing in Iceland

It is probably wise to find a place to live before moving to Iceland to save you from the stress of looking whilst you’re there. Around 80% of property in Iceland is privately owned, which results in the rental market being quite small. Also, bear in mind that accommodation will be much more expensive in Reykjavik than other smaller towns. There are many ways that you can find an apartment in Iceland. Some websites that show house listings include mbl and Leiga.

If you have a lease for at least six months in residential housing and are at least 18 years old can apply for rent subsidies. This way you can receive financial compensation! For more information, you can read about housing benefits on the multicultural and information centre’s page.

Healthcare in Iceland

Before packing up all of your belongings, you may be interested to know what the healthcare system in Iceland is like. You can use your European Health Insurance Card to get a reduced cost for some treatments. However, even with your EHIC card, you will still need to make a patient contribution for some services. You must always present your EHIC card, personal identification papers and documents that prove your citizenship. Visit the Icelandic Health Insurance website for more information.

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Education in Iceland

Maybe you’re planning on moving to Iceland with your family or maybe you’re applying to study there either way, you may be interested in what the education system is like. Education is mandatory between the ages of 6-16 and is divided between these four levels:

  • Playschool (<6 years)
  • Compulsory (6-16 years)
  • Upper Secondary (16-20 years)
  • Higher (>20 years)

The compulsory schooling follows the national curriculum and will be in Icelandic. However, there are now provisions being put in place for people whose mother tongue is not Icelandic.

For, more information on universities in Iceland, visit the Study in Iceland website.

Moving to Iceland for the nature

Moving to Iceland Pros & Cons

Still not sure whether moving to Iceland is the right thing for you? Then take a look at our list of pros and cons which may sway you either way:

Pro: Abundance of Jobs

There are many jobs in Iceland available, however, they aren’t in every single industry. Tourism is one of the most popular jobs sectors in Iceland. Alongside this, healthcare, construction and IT are sectors with skills shortages-something to keep in mind when looking for jobs in Iceland!

Con: Weather

Ok, so you probably won’t be moving to Iceland if you’re in the hope of finding sun, sea and sand. Weather in Iceland is known for being cold, rainy and occasionally snowy. The days in winter are super short and temperatures reach freezing levels regularly. However, summer days are very long and temperatures are 15 degrees on average.

Pro: Equality

Iceland is rated as one of the best countries for gender equality in the world, which makes it a great place to work. Furthermore, standard of living is a lot higher there than in any other country.

Con: Cultural Differences

Of course you have to expect that there will be some cultural differences with moving abroad to any country. So, unless you speak Icelandic, you will have to face the language barrier as well as avoiding any small talk with people. You may also be interested to know that the working hours are a lot longer in Iceland compared to other European countries.