Coming to Iceland

It is imperative that you follow these directions and that you also consult the website of the Directorate of Immigration (DoI),, for further information. It is our experience that those who follow our directions in a timely manner have no problems during the application process and during arrival. On this page you will find detailed information regarding the application itself, necessary documents accompanying the application and more. Again, it is important that you follow these instructions, as requested information on the application form is not all self-explanatory.

Timeline to consider

  • It may take up to 6 weeks to get a new passport.
  • Fulbright grantees are exempt from the requirement for a criminal record certificate (FBI background check). However, a criminal record certificate is required for accompanying dependents, as applicable. (Only doctoral students and scholars are eligible to bring dependents.)
  • The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (DoI) usually takes at least 12 weeks to process application documents and it may take longer.
  • All documents need to have an official stamp or seal and a signature as evidence of authenticity.
  • We do not recommend sending documents via regular airmail. The most reliable courier service will probably take at least 2–3 days and in some cases longer.

Step by step

  • Passport
    Check your passport. It must be valid at least six months beyond your intended stay in Iceland. If needed, you should get a new one.
  • Application Form
    Download and fill in the application form. Please refer to the “Filling in the Application Form” section below for detailed instructions. Fill in all four pages, and don’t forget to date and sign the application!
    All Fulbright grantees, both student and scholar grantees, apply for a student residence permit by filling out the form D-208 which is available on the DoI website. Students registered at a university must be registered for a full course load and provide verifying documents. Family members who are entitled to family unification apply for a residence permit through the family reunification form.
  • Accompanying Documents
    Under the “Documents Accompanying Application” section below you will find a checklist of the documentation that must be submitted with your application. All documents except the FBI background check are required for Fulbright grantees.
  • Housing Certificate
    A housing certificate is needed. If you already know your address in Iceland, you must ask the landlord to fill this form out and mail it to the Fulbright office. Leave the space for your ID number blank. If you do not yet have an address to put on your application, please notify the Fulbright program officer. In that event, the Fulbright program officer will provide you with an address to use on your main application form and fill out the housing certificate for you.
  • Financial Support
    The stipend is adequate to cover the minimum living costs as presented on the DoI’s website, and a sufficient guarantee of financial support for the grant period. Furthermore, supplemental health and accident insurance is included in your grant.
  • Mailing the Application
    Mail your completed application to the Fulbright Commission in Iceland. We will attach to it a letter confirming that you are a Fulbright grant recipient and as such will receive a monthly stipend during your grant period. It is imperative that you send your application to the Fulbright Commission, so that we may include these important items when we submit the application to the Directorate of Immigration. The Commission recommends that all the documents related to the residence permit be sent via express or courier mail. Address: Fulbright Commission, Hverfisgata 105, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Application Fee
    The Directorate for Immigration requires a fee for processing your application. The Commission will pay the fee for you and withdraw it from your first stipend payment.

Filling in the Application Form

Below is detailed information on how you fill in the actual Residence Permit Application Form. Please read the application form carefully and enter information accordingly.

Part 1

  • Check: “a) – First residence permit” (unless you already have had a residence permit in Iceland). At the top of the first page students should check “student” or “doctorate student”, as applicable. Scholars should leave this section blank.

Part 2: Information about applicant

  • Make sure you enter your name exactly as it appears in your passport.
  • Address in home country: this should be your permanent address in the US.
  • Address in Iceland:
    • If you will rent an apartment or room and you have the address, enter it accordingly, and enter the name of the owner/landlord in the appropriate space.
    • If you do not yet know where you will stay, contact the Fulbright adviser for further instructions.
    • Telephone no.: enter “+354 551 0860” (this is the main office number of the Fulbright Commission), unless you know the home phone or office phone that you will have here.

Part 3

  • Passport information is self-explanatory. Please estimate your date of arrival as accurately as you can.
  • If you are bringing dependents with you to Iceland (spouse, children), you may need to verify additional funding. Please consult the DoI´s website regarding who is eligible to bring family and for information on necessary proof of financial support.
  • Parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 should be self-explanatory.
  • Parts 8 – scholars should leave this section blank. The Fulbright Commission will provide confirmation about your teaching/research activities at the host institution.
  • Part 9 should be self-explanatory.
  • Part 10 – leave blank. Fulbright grantees do not have to submit a criminal record certificate. (Dependents that need to submit the FBI background check do so in their own application).
  • Leave parts 11 and 12 blank.
  • Part XIII: applicant’s representative: You should authorize the Commission to act as your representative here in Iceland. The Commission will provide you with the appropriate information via e-mail.
  • Remember to fill in the time period you expect to stay. Be as accurate as you can on the arrival date. Student grants cover one academic year, a total of 9 months. Scholar grants vary in length from 3 to 12 months. If you want to arrive earlier than needed or stay on a while after your grant period ends, you must make sure that you will be able to support yourself the entire time.
  • Remember to sign the application.
  • Mail the application form via express or courier mail, along with all the necessary documents, to:
    • Fulbright Commission Iceland
      Hverfisgata 105
      IS-101 Reykjavik
      Remember to make copies for your own files.

Remember to make copies for your own files.

List of accompanying documents

A more detailed list can be found at the Directorate of Immigration website,

  • Application form, signed.
  • Passport-sized photo.
  • Photocopy of your passport – the picture page and the adjacent one as well.
  • Medical insurance. Supplemental health and accident insurance is included in your grant (ASPE – Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges). The Commission will provide proof. You do not need to provide documentation.
  • Financial support. We will add our document to your application.
  • School confirmation. Confirmation will be provided by us. You do not need to provide documentation. If, however, you already have an acceptance letter or invitation from your host institution, please include it.
  • Housing certificate (leave the ID number space blank)
    Criminal record certificate (FBI background check) is only required for accompanying dependents, as applicable.