University of Iceland


Bringing your family

Family members who are Nordic citizens do not require a residence/work permit to live and work in Iceland.

Family members who are EU/EEA or Swiss citizens may reside and work in Iceland without a residence/work permit provided that they have sufficient means of financial support.

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, your immediate family members may reside with you for the duration of your stay in Iceland.

You spouse/partner will need to apply for a work permit if he/she is not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and plans to work in Iceland.

If you and your family members are not EU/EEA nor Swiss citizens, you will need to apply for residence permits for each family member on the grounds of family reuinification. More information

Your spouse/partner will need to apply for a work permit along with their residence permit if he/she plans to work in Iceland.

Schools in Iceland

The Icelandic school system consists of four stages: preschools/kindergartens, elementary/primary school, high school/secondary school and university. Of these, elementary/primary school is compulsory and free of charge. Further information can be found on the Ministry of Education‘s website.

Day parents (dagforeldrar) provide care of children as young as six months old in private homes. Many parents choose this option for their children until they are old enough to attend preschool. Day parents are private operators who decide their own rates. Municipal authorities subsidise part of the cost if the day parent is licensed to operate by the authority. For more information, contact your local municipal office.

Preschool (leikskóli). Children can attend preschool from 18 months of age until they start primary school at age 6. Some preschools accept children as young as 6 months. Municipalities subsidise part of the cost. Often there is a waiting list for a place at preschool; therefore parents are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Primary school (grunnskóli). By law, all children must attend primary school from age 6-16, or from grades 1 through 10. Primary schools are free of charge. Children are enrolled in the school nearest to their permanent residence, but parents may choose to have their children attend another school. The International School of Iceland in Garðarbær (15 mins. From Reykjavík) is a privately operated school that offers an international educational program to children in grades 1-7.

Secondary school (menntaskóli/framhaldsskóli). Everyone who has completed a primary school education (or equivalent) may attend upper secondary school, usually from age 16-20. Attendance is not compulsory but students must pay a fee to attend, which can vary from school to school. Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð is a member school of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and offers a comprehensive pre-university curriculum that is taught in English and recognized by universities worldwide. For more information, see here.

University (háskóli). Students wishing to attend university in Iceland must have an upper secondary school education or equivalent. There are seven institutions in Iceland that offer university-level education, including the University of Iceland. Fees vary between universities as some charge tuition fees while others charge only registration fees.


Everyone who has been legally domiciled in Iceland for six months is covered by Icelandic public health insurance (see more under Healthcare). Children under the age of 18 are covered by their parent‘s health insurance and do not need to pay appointment fees at local healthcare clinics.

Parents are strongly advised by the Directorate of Health to vaccinate their children against common childhood diseases. Public health insurance covers the cost of all childhood vaccinations, from age 3 months to 14 years.


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