Seeking Work in Iceland

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

Applying for a job in Iceland

Unemployed persons from the Nordic countries who come to Iceland in search of work need to obtain an Icelandic Identification number (Id. No.) from Registers Iceland in order to apply as seeking work at the next employment office of the Directorate of Labour. Addresses of the employment offices are available on the website of the Directorate of Labour.

In addition to job recruitment services, the employment offices of the Directorate of Labour provide information on the labour market situation and outlook and free counselling on study and career choices and seeking work. It is also possible to register with private employment agencies or contact employers directly. Job listings are also found in the main daily newspapers and on the newspapers’ web pages.

The following are the websites of the main employment services in Iceland, but note that the list is not exhaustive.

Applying for work through EURES

Among the tasks of the Directorate of Labour is the operation of the EU job mobility portal EURES. EURES is a co-operation network for job searching and recruitment designed to facilitate the free movement of workers within the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and is run by the EEA Executive Committee.

The objective of EURES is to facilitate movement of workers between EEA states, thus promoting a balance between labour supply and demand in the area.

EURES advisers guide people seeking work abroad, provide information on working and living conditions in the EEA, and assist employers wishing to recruit employees from other EEA states.

Further information is available on the EURES website which has a wealth of information for jobseekers interested in moving within Europe.


Nordic citizens or EU citizens residing in the Nordic countries who are 18-30 years of age can apply for Nordjobb. Nordjobb encourages greater mobility for young people in the Nordic countries, providing access to employment and housing in the Nordic region. All further information can be found on the Nordjobb website.

Seeking work in Iceland while receiving unemployment benefits in your home state

All the Nordic countries are members of the EEA Agreement, which means that a person can spend up to three months in another Nordic country in search of employment and still retain the entitlement to unemployment benefits from his/her home state. The conditions of the state paying unemployment benefits must be met (see links below).

In order to receive per diem allowance while seeking work in Iceland, the person concerned must have a PD U2 certificate (N-303 if coming from the Faroe Islands or Greenland) from the government agency that pays the benefits.

Upon arriving in Iceland, the person must register with the Directorate of Labour. The foreign agency responsible for unemployment benefits will continue to pay the benefits

Make sure to contact the agency in your home state well in advance.

In order to obtain information about special conditions, time limits and possible waiting periods for handling cases, contact the agency responsible for paying unemployment benefits in good time before you leave.

If you cannot find work

Once three months have passed, compensation from your home state is no longer paid and you must return to keep your entitlement to benefits. You have to return to your home country and register with the employment service there before your certificate expires. No more than seven days may elapse from the date of your arrival until your registration. The period during which unemployment benefits are paid in the country where you are seeking work cannot be extended. When returning to your home state, make sure to de-register with the employment service in the country where you were seeking work.

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If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.

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.