Moving to Iceland: All About Smooth & Convenient Relocation for Expats

Iceland stands out as a highly desirable place for relocation with its stunning nature, high standards of living, and safe environment, all accomplished with a thriving economy and contemporary infrastructure.

If you intend to enhance your understanding and gain additional justification for relocating to Iceland, IMovingTo is here to provide the required guidance.

Mount Kirkjufell in Iceland

Overview: Why Is It Worth Moving to Iceland? 

Iceland is a great place to live thanks to its vibrant cultural scene, supportive social welfare system, and surrounding geothermal lagoons, spurting geysers, glaciers, and waterfalls. 

Over the years, Iceland has consistently ranked highly in international comparative studies on happiness, openness, gender equality, and other factors. The winter months are when you can marvel at the incredible green, blue, yellow, and pink lights of the aurora borealis in the night sky. The summers are surprisingly warm, lush, and green.

The happiness of the Icelandic people is influenced by a culture of acceptance and excellence. When you are surrounded by stunning natural beauty, it is difficult to be sad. Iceland is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth, as well as an enthusiastic society that loves to explore the great outdoors. 

Locals frequently enjoy swimming in the stunning hot springs and appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the extensive national parks.

Cost of Living in Iceland

Iceland is one of the most expensive and highest-earning countries when it comes to both employment and income. The monthly minimum cost of living, which includes housing, utilities, food, food, public transportation, and outdoor pursuits, is $1,600.

Icelandic housing costs start at $766 and above, including utilities. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center, for example, would cost around $2,100, while a one-bedroom apartment would cost around $1,370

Compared to the modest costs of electricity and heating, food can be somewhat expensive in Iceland, especially if it is imported. Here is a brief overview of the expenses that are evenly distributed considering the average monthly salary after taxes is $3,278. 

  • Basic bills (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for a small apartment: $110.49
  • Monthly transport pass: $55.89
  • Three-course meal for a couple in a mid-range restaurant: $97.81
  • Cinema ticket: $11.88

All About Visa Types & Work Permits 

Living and working in Iceland does not require any special permits if you are from a member state of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or the European Free Trade Association. These nationals can lawfully work in Iceland for 3 months before they need to register, though this period can be extended to 6 months if they are actively looking for a job. 

If you are not from the European Economic Area, there are a few more procedures for long-term residency in Iceland. There are several major ways to obtain the visa you require to stay in Iceland for an extended period: marrying an Icelander, enrolling at an Icelandic university on a student visa, or obtaining a job and a work visa. 

Most applicants require at least 7 years of residency in the nation before they can claim citizenship.

When it comes to skilled professionals’ permits, your prospective position should involve specialized skills and cannot be a short-term project to qualify. As opposed to the permit for certified professionals, the labor shortage permit is temporary, can only be renewed once, and is not a basis for permanent residence.

Relocating Your Possessions to Iceland

If you’re moving light to Iceland, purchasing additional luggage while you’re on the plane may help. It’s a good idea to pack your belongings in travel trunks, boxes, or bags while only bringing the necessities with you.

However, if you have more than one additional piece of luggage, it may become expensive and challenging. That’s why you should probably take advantage of international moving services provided by reputable companies in the industry. Keep in mind that they often provide international moving and packing services as well. Still, let’s take a look at key information about transforming your possessions. 

The most common method of shipping your possessions to Iceland is by ship. Although it takes longer than flying, this approach is substantially less expensive and can deliver heavier items. The greatest alternative for relocating with a lot of heavy furniture and packages is by sea freight.

Career Opportunities for Foreigners in Iceland

Jobs in Iceland have quickly expanded outside the traditional fishing and agricultural industries as a result of the nation’s thriving economy and high level of education. There are many employment opportunities in Iceland for foreigners, including jobs in the tourism sector, teaching English, working in construction, working as a nurse, and many more opportunities.

While certain jobs are more accessible to foreigners, others are targeted toward locals or expats who have spent years integrating into the local community. 

English-speaking workers are needed in several fields, including tourism, counseling, education, interpreting, quality control, and other areas. Fluent English speakers are especially sought after by the tourist and hospitality sectors, as Iceland’s biggest tourist markets are the USA and the UK. If a native English speaker meets the standards to teach English in Iceland, there may also be teaching positions available.

As demand for labor rises from June to August due to summer vacations and tourism, finding a job may be easier in the months leading up to the summer season. 

What Does Climate Look Like in Iceland?

Iceland, which is close to the Arctic Circle, has 4 distinct seasons that provide countless opportunities for adventure and stunning displays of vibrant life.

Iceland’s climate is mild thanks to the North Atlantic Current, contrary to what many people might anticipate when relocating to the region covered in glaciers. You may expect to have cool summers with highs of 13 Celsius and unexpectedly moderate but windy and wet winters with average temperatures of between 0 and 30 Celsius. 

July and August are the most pleasant months in Iceland. With 24 hours of daylight, June is regarded as the peak of summer. However, adverse weather, like heavy rain and severe winds, is typical even on this day.

Healthcare System in Iceland

Iceland’s government provides all medical care, with citizens contributing through taxes and other payments. Given that Iceland has the longest life expectancy in Europe, at 83 years, a sizable percentage of the public budget is also devoted to healthcare

Iceland has 16 medical facilities, including six regional hospitals. There are no private hospitals on the island, and private health insurance is uncommon. If you are required to speak with an English-speaking nurse who can direct you to night clinics or send professionals to your home, you should call 1700. 

Air ambulances are a critical component of Iceland’s overall health care system and emergency response due to the huge expanses of wilderness that are so common there. 

If you have a European Health Insurance Card as a citizen of the EEA or EFTA, you will discover that you are covered by Icelandic health insurance.

Social Life & Culture in Iceland

Iceland strives hard to protect its legacy in the arts and language because it is proud of its culture and its inhabitants. Icelanders are accessible to tourists and immigrants despite their remote location. 

The genetic makeup of native Icelanders comprises Gaelic and Norse ancestry, and many Icelanders identify as Nordic rather than Scandinavian. Family is the focus of Icelanders’ social lives because they are typically a close-knit society. People frequently know one another or have mutual friends.

Icelanders enjoy a vibrant gastronomic, literary, and artistic culture in addition to their Viking heritage.

In Iceland, fish, lamb, or Icelandic-style yogurt are the most frequently devoured foods. For more than a thousand years, they have been the primary components of Icelandic cuisine. Due to a paucity of historically cultivable regions, meat-based dishes are frequently served in Iceland.

How to Find Accommodation in Iceland

The cost of a single room can reach 80,000 ISK, if not more. Another rather popular district is Vesturbaejar, which is located just west of the city center. If cost is a concern, consider District 105 or other neighboring areas. Landlords are free to set their rates because there is little regulation of the cost. 

The most essential thing is to take advantage of anything you see because it can disappear within the day. Moreover, unfortunately, landlords often use Airbnb to significantly increase their profits by renting their apartments daily instead of for long periods of time. However, recent legislation has been introduced to try to alter this approach. So far, nothing has changed.

Pros & Cons of Moving to Iceland


Strong sense of community 

With slightly over 350,000 citizens, Iceland is the least populated nation in all of Europe. The immigrant community in Iceland shares Icelanders’ strong feelings of community. Foreigners make up 10% of Iceland’s population, but they express the same levels of satisfaction as Icelanders who were born there. 

One of the causes of this connection is the historical difficulties of residing in such a remote area with such a harsh climate.

Crime free society 

Iceland seems to have very low rates of all forms of offenses, including violent crime. The police do not carry weapons since violent crime is so rare.  A significant reason for the high levels of happiness in Iceland is the close-knit society, which gives residents the confidence to trust one another and makes them feel safe.

Healthy lifestyle 

People in Iceland live very long, healthy lives. Icelanders have the world’s longest life expectancy, with women generally living even longer than men. 

This health is a result of an active lifestyle and a diet high in fish and local meat. With more produce being grown in geothermal greenhouses, it is also becoming easier to find local vegetables.


Long winter nights

December days last just a little bit longer than 4 hours. And if you add a few clouds, you suddenly have much less clarity or none at all. You won’t see any sun during the day if you spend most of the day at work. If you require a lot of suns and despise cloudy weather, then moving to Iceland might be extremely depressing.

Isolated Island 

You can’t use your automobile to travel somewhere else in Iceland because it is an island. Every journey needs to be prepared for, and you should set aside a whole weekend or week to travel to another location. It is not like Switzerland, where you can travel to France, Germany, Italy, or Austria in just 20 minutes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Iceland is one of the most convenient countries for relocation if you’re looking for high living standards accompanied by safety, a thriving economy, and modern infrastructure.

So, don’t hesitate to take advantage of IMovingTo’s services for international relocation, and we’ll make certain to expedite your relocation without any obstacles!

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