Checklist when moving from Iceland to another Nordic country

Gátlisti vegna flutnings frá Íslandi til hinna Norðurlandanna
Various things need to be considered when moving from Iceland to any of the other Nordic countries. Below is a list of suggestions of things to remember. It should be borne in mind, however, that the list is not exhaustive and that every person has different needs.
  1. Registration of legal domicile is subject to a Nordic agreement on Registration in the National Registry. To transfer your domicile, you must contact the agency which looks after registration in the country you move to. In Denmark, it is the municipalities, in Sweden and Norway it is the tax authority and in Finland it is the Local Register Offices. Upon registration, you will be assigned an Identification number.  
  2. It is advisable to bring with you sufficient financial resources to support yourself for the first few weeks or months. Bear in mind that it is often necessary to pay a deposit for rental housing and that sometimes it may take some time to process applications, for example, for housing benefits or child benefits.  
  3. Persons who expect social security payments need to contact the Social Insurance Administration (Tryggingastofnun) before moving. This is especially important for persons receiving disability or old-age pensions. A tax return must be filed in Iceland to receive pension payments, and more details on this should be obtained from the Social Insurance Administration before departure.  
  4. Child benefits in Iceland are paid by the tax authorities, unlike the situation in other Nordic countries, where they either paid by the equivalent of the Social Insurance Administration or the local municipality (in Denmark). If necessary, a certificate can be obtained from the Directorate of Internal Revenue, (Rikisskattstjóri) stating that the person will no longer be entited to child benefits. The certificate can only be obtained after moving abroad. Taking this certificate to the social security administration in the state the person has moved to can help speed up the payment of child benefits in the new country. However, this is not always necessary.  
  5. Pregnant women should acquaint themselves with the rules on maternity/paternity leave before making a decision to move, as it may make an important difference where a child is born. There are also detailed rules which must be followed to transfer entitlement to maternity/paternity leave between countries.  
  6. Persons who move abroad to study should check on the possibility of domicile for tax purposes. This is suitable, for example, for persons who come to Iceland during the summer to work. The Directorate of Internal Revenue can provide further information on domicile for tax purposes.  
  7. Make sure to familiarize yourself with customs regulations if you intend to move your household belongings or vehicle to another Nordic country. Vehicle registration fees and transport costs are often high, so check these issues carefully to determine whether it pays to take a vehicle along.  
  8. It may be a good idea to check whether you need to apply for certification or an operating license for the trade or profession in which you intend to work. In some cases, the application process may take some time so it is advisable to consider this early enough.  
  9. Persons moving abroad to work should contact the Directorate of Labour with at least three weeks' notice to check their rights and even obtain the U-1 certificate, which shortens the waiting period for unemployment benefits in case of becoming unemployed. In order to obtain a U-1 certificate, proof of work must be provided from employers for the past three years. It can also be a good idea to speak to your trade union and get a certificate that shows your acquired rights. It's important to familiarize yourself with what needs to be done once abroad in order not to lose your entitlements. Further information can be obtained from the Directorate of Labour.  
  10. Unemployed persons who have received unemployment benefits in Iceland for at least four weeks should be entitled to continue receiving the benefits when moving to another Nordic country, if certain conditions are met. To do so you need a U-2 certificate, which can be obtained from the Directorate of Labour, see the instructions concerning U-1 above. The benefits can continue for up to 3 months while searching for work.  
  11. It may be a good idea to contact your bank, for example, to close accounts, change the address for the accounts or settle loans. It may be useful to have a letter or some sort of recommendation from the bank to present when commencing business with a bank in the new country.  
  12. You may want to consult a doctor and get a physician’s letter in a Nordic language or English if you suffer from a clinical condition and a prescription for the medicines you need during the first few weeks in a new country.  
  13. Don’t forget to contact insurance companies and terminate any policies which will not be needed. A certificate showing the bonus earned for vehicle insurance coverage could save you some money if you need to insure a car abroad.  
  14. Subscriptions for telecoms, local gyms, and other services need to be terminated.  
  15. Important documents and papers, such as letters of recommendation, diplomas and degrees, children's health records and possibly marriage and birth certificates can prove useful or necessary.  
  16. Make sure mail is forwarded, by filling out a request with the postal service to send it abroad or to family members, and change your address at banks and other institutions.
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Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.