Residence permits are given to children under the age of eighteen if one of their parents is resident in Iceland and is:

  • an Icelandic national;
  • a national of a Nordic country;
  • a foreign national with a permanent residence permit;
  • a foreign national with a temporary residence permit:
  • as an expert;
  • as a sportsperson;
  • as a spouse or cohabiting spouse;
  • as a student in further education;
  • based on international protection;
  • based on humanitarian grounds; or
  • owing to special links with the country.

The child must be in the custody and a dependent of the person from whom they derive their entitlement and must live with the custodial parent.

Custodians who are not the biological parent of the child are entitled to a residence permit for the child only if they also adopt the child. The adoption process must have been completed before the application is submitted and must have been conducted in accordance with Icelandic law. Adoption of a child abroad by a person resident in Iceland must be pre-approved by the district commissioner, cf. the Adoption Act (Act No 130/1999).

You may be entitled to a residence permit as a child if you meet all of the following criteria (and others):

  • you are under the age of eighteen;
  • you have a parent resident in Iceland who is a national of Iceland or a Nordic country or a foreign national with a permanent residence permit or a residence permit of one of the types listed above;
  • you are in the custody and a dependent of the parent living in Iceland;
  • your custodial parent(s) agree to your receiving a residence permit in Iceland;
  • you have health insurance with an Icelandic insurance company (see under ‘Insurance companies’) or an overseas insurance company licensed to operate in Iceland (see under ‘Foreign insurance companies’);
  • you have not served a court sentence since the age of fifteen or been sentenced to imprisonment for a period longer than the equivalent of three months’ imprisonment under Icelandic law;
  • your parent/custodian has not, over the last five years, received a court sentence or been subject to security measures (unless an exception applies);
  • you have a passport which is valid for at least ninety days after the expected validity period of the residence permit.

You may not:

  • be over the age of eighteen when the permit is granted, except in the case of a residence permit renewal application (and only then if you are studying or working and live with your parent);
  • be married or cohabiting when your residence permit is renewed;
  • be away from Iceland for more than ninety days in any twelve-month period while your permit is valid, otherwise your residence permit may be cancelled or withdrawn.

Further details are available on the website of the Directorate of Immigration.

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