Looking for work in Iceland

Atvinnuleit á Íslandi
Here you can find information about looking for work in Iceland and how you can get unemployment benefits from your home country for three months while looking for a job.

Applying for work in Iceland

Unemployed persons from the Nordic countries who come to Iceland in search of work must obtain an Icelandic Id. No. from the National Registry of Iceland in order to register as seeking work at the nearest employment office of the Directorate of Labour. The addresses of the employment offices are available on the Directorate of Labour’s website.

In addition to job placement, the Directorate of Labour's employment services provide information on the employment situation and outlook, and free advice on study and career choices and job seeking. Job seekers can also register with a private employment agency or contact employers directly. Job advertisements are also often published in the main daily newspapers and on the newspapers' websites.

The following are the websites of the main employment agencies in Iceland, but the list is not exhaustive:

Applying for work through EURES

The Directorate of Labour is responsible for the operation of the pan-European employment agency EURES (European Employment Services). EURES is a co-operation on job seeking and job placement among the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and is run by the EU Commission.

The aim of EURES is to make it easier for working people to move between countries of the EEA area and thus to promote a balance between labour supply and demand within the area.

EURES advisors guide people on searching for work abroad, provide information on working and living conditions in the region, and assist employers who want to hire workers from other EEA countries.

More information can be found on the EURES website, which contains a wealth of information for persons looking for work and planning to move within Europe.


Nordic citizens or citizens of the European Union who live in the Nordic countries and are between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply for Nordjobb. Nordjobb promotes mobility for young people in the Nordic countries by mediating employment and housing in the Nordic countries.

Looking for work in Iceland while receiving unemployment benefits from your home country

All the Nordic countries are members of the EEA Agreement, which means that individuals can go to another Nordic country for up to three months in search of work and still retain their right to unemployment benefits from their home country. The conditions of the country that pays the unemployment benefits must be met (see links below).

In order to receive a daily allowance while seeking work in Iceland, the job seeker must have a PD U2 certificate (N-303 if moving from the Faroe Islands or Greenland) from the government that pays the benefits.

When the person arrives in Iceland, he/she must register with the Directorate of Labour. The foreign institution that provides unemployment benefits will continue to pay the benefits

Make sure to contact your home institution in good time

You need to contact the institution that pays unemployment benefits well before setting out, in order to get information about the specific conditions, time limits and possible waiting time for cases to be processed.


If a job seeker fails to find work

After three months, benefits are no longer paid from the home country and the job seeker must return to that country to retain the right to benefits. You need to return to your home country and register with the employment service there before your certificate expires. No more than seven days may pass from your arrival until you register. The period during which you are entitled to receive unemployment benefits abroad while seeking work cannot be extended. Make sure to de-register with the employment service in the Nordic country where you were seeking work when you return to your home country.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from the Directorate of Labour, on their website or by phone +354 5154800

Contact the authorities
Ask Info Norden

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.

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.