Permanent work permits
Non-EEA nationals who hold unlimited work permits are in the same position on the labour market as Icelandic citizens. They are no longer tied to a specific employer, as is the case in the case of temporary work permits and are therefore free to change their occupation.
The main conditions for granting an unlimited work permit are as follows:
the foreign national has been legally domiciled in Iceland, and has lived there, for three consecutive years,
the foreign national has acquired a residence permit in Iceland under the Act on Foreigners,
a temporary work permit has previously been issued to him.
These conditions may be waived in cases where an Icelandic citizen divorces, or terminates cohabitation with a foreign spouse or partner. The marriage, registered partnership or registered cohabitation must have lasted for at least two years, and the foreign spouse or partner must have been legally domiciled in Iceland for at least the same length of time on a continuous basis. Furthermore, it may be permitted to waive these conditions in the case of a foreign spouse or partner in the event of the death of an Icelandic spouse or partner or in a case involving the spouse or partner of a foreign national who holds an unlimited work permit, or his or her children aged 18 or older.
The same applies in the case of a foreign national who has taken a course of studies in Iceland lasting at least three years, and has completed it.