A child acquires Icelandic citizenship at birth if its mother is an Icelandic citizen or if its father is an Icelandic citizen and married to the mother. The child of an Icelandic father and a foreign mother who are not married will automatically acquire Icelandic citizenship at birth if it is born in Iceland and the paternity is confirmed under the Children's Act.
If the child is born abroad, the father can request from the Ministry of Infrastructure that the child acquire Icelandic citizenship. Children who are twelve years of age or older should be consulted on this matter. If a child's parents get married and the child has not already received Icelandic citizenship by any of the means mentioned above, the child acquires Icelandic citizenship upon the parents' marriage. However, this only applies to children born after 1 October 1988. More information is provided by the Ministry of the Infrastructure on its website, and the Act (in Icelandic) can be viewed on the Althingi website.
Applying for Icelandic citizenship
Applications for Icelandic citizenship are made to the Directorate of Immigration. The general requirement for granting Icelandic citizenship is that the applicant has been domiciled in Iceland for seven years. However, citizens of the Nordic countries are an exception. A Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish citizen, who has become such automatically, can, if certain conditions are met, obtain Icelandic citizenship by requesting it from the Directorate of Immigration.
The following conditions must be met:
The applicant must have reached the age of 18,
have had legal residence in Iceland for the last three years and
may not, during that period, have been sentenced to prison, to be subjected to security detention or asylum detention under provisions of the General Penal Code.
Nordic citizens who do not satisfy the conditions above can submit a general application for Icelandic citizenship and must then have resided in Iceland for four years
When a foreign national is granted Icelandic citizenship by act of law from the Althingi, there is no requirement that the person give up his/her previous citizenship in order to obtain Icelandic citizenship. However, the law of the state where the person is a citizen may stipulate that citizenship there will be terminated. All the Nordic countries allow dual citizenship.
Icelandic citizens are allowed to keep their Icelandic citizenship even if they apply for citizenship in another country. However, Icelandic citizens who apply for foreign citizenship may have to renounce their Icelandic citizenship if the law in that country does not allow dual citizenship.
Further information can be obtained from the Directorate of Immigration.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.