Residence permits for parents aged 67 or older

Residence permits are granted pursuant to Article 72 of the Foreigners Act (Act No 80/2016).

Residence permits are granted to individuals aged 67 or older who have an adult child in Iceland and who intend to move to Iceland. This is subject to the child being a national of Iceland or a Nordic country or a foreign national with a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit based on a work position requiring expertise, as a sportsperson, based on marriage or cohabitation, international protection, humanitarian grounds or special links to the country.

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

  • you are aged 67 or older and have an adult child in Iceland;
  • the child who is resident in Iceland is a national of Iceland or a Nordic country, or a foreign national with a permanent residence permit, or a foreign resident living in Iceland on the basis of a residence permit of one of the types listed above; 
  • you can demonstrate that you can support yourself during your residence period;
  • 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 over the last five years or been sentenced to imprisonment for a period longer than the equivalent of three months’ imprisonment under Icelandic law;
  • your family member in Iceland 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; and
  • the family member in Iceland authorises the issuance of a residence permit.


You may not:

  • begin working before a residence and work permit has been granted;
  • work for a different employer from the employer to whom the work permit is granted;
  • 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ninety days in any twelve-month period while your permit is valid, otherwise your residence permit may be cancelled or withdrawn.


Applications for a residence permit (and work permit, where appropriate) should be submitted to the Directorate of Immigration or to district commissioners outside Greater Reykjavik.

Applicants not requiring a visa may be present in Iceland when the application is submitted and while it is being processed, provided that their stay in the Schengen Area does not exceed ninety days over the previous 180-day period. Applicants requiring a visa may not be present in Iceland when the application is submitted. Such applications will be rejected. 

If the applicant does not meet these criteria and the criteria given below, they will be denied a residence permit and will have to leave Iceland. If the applicant does not leave Iceland, this could lead to deportation and a ban on returning. A ban on returning involves a ban on returning to the Schengen Area for a specific period of time of no less than two years.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to apply for renewal of their residence permit at least four weeks before the validity of the permit expires. If this is done, the applicant is authorised to remain in Iceland while the renewal application is being processed by the Directorate of Immigration. If renewal is not applied for before the validity of the residence permit expires, the application will be handled as though it were a first application rather than a renewal. Applications received after the validity of the previous permit has expired will be rejected if the applicant is not authorised to remain in Iceland while their application is being processed. 

For more information, see the website of the Directorate of Immigration.