Immigration Law

Leading Expert in Immigration Law

CPLS is Iceland’s leading expert in immigration law. We have navigated this area of law successfully for over a decade.

We represent the interests of individuals and companies. We provide a wide range of services in refugee- and immigration law, including application for international protection, residence- and work permits, citizenship, assessment of eligibility for short term or long term stays in Iceland.

We also assist individuals with applications to relevant government institutions for recognition of their foreign education.

Many Icelandic companies and institutions have relied on our expertise to secure residence- and work permits in Iceland for sought-after experts from across the globe.

We also assist international students to secure permits to study in Iceland as well as student work permits.

Planning to visit Iceland?

Entering Iceland as a visitor can occur in two ways, either with a visa waiver or a Schengen visa. Both offer a temporary and short-term stay in Iceland of a maximum of 90 days over a 180-days period. Neither entitles the visitor to employment nor medical treatment.

In addition to the short-term visa options, Iceland offers long-term visa options for a maximum of 180 days for special reasons or for remote workers and their families.

How we can help you

  • CPLS assists with visa options for both routine and complex cases
  • We provide advice and representation for long-term visa options
  • We advise and provide representation for visa applications at Icelandic consulates and embassies outside of Iceland
  • We can assist in appropriate cases involving prior denials and prior immigration violations
  • We provide advice and representation for change in or extension of status

Planning to study in Iceland?

Iceland continues to attract a growing list of foreign nationals wanting to pursue studies in Iceland. The appropriate residency category is the student residence permit, which, on its own, does not form the basis of permanent residency in Iceland. During studies in Iceland, students are permitted to take up 40% employment. Following the completion of the study, students may become eligible to apply for a change in status to obtain a residence and work permit as a qualified professional.

Individuals who wish to study during the fall semester must apply to the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) by 1 June each year and for the spring semester by 1 November each year.

How we can help you

  • We assist with identifying appropriate student category
  • We advise on requirements for maintenance, extensions as well as change in residency status
  • We advise on potential rights for family reunification 
  • Facilitate communication with the relevant educational institution

Planning to work in Iceland?

We have assisted countless individuals, Icelandic companies, and institutions to secure work and residence permits in Iceland for sought-after experts from across the globe.

There are various temporary immigration categories that allow foreign nationals to engage in employment in Iceland. The most common categories are for a shortage of labor and qualified professionals.

Both categories form the basis of permanent residency in Iceland, but only the latter permits family reunification.

How we can help you

  • We assess and advise applicants, individuals, and companies on appropriate employment-based, residence- and work permit options
  • We provide representation throughout the application process from start to finish
  • We assist applicants with maintenance, extension, and/change of residency status
  • We assist with applications for recognition of foreign education and local licenses

Planning to reside in Iceland?

Various temporary immigration categories allow foreign nationals to reside in Iceland without employment being a pre-condition. Residence permits on the basis of family reunification fall within such categories.

Temporary residence permits are valid for 12 – 24 months at a time.

Following 3 to 4 years of continuous residency in Iceland, temporary residents may become eligible for permanent residency.

How we can help you

  • CPLS assists with evaluating options and eligibility for gaining temporary or permanent residency status
  • We provide representation throughout the application process
  • We do an early intervention to shorten processing time, which ranges from six months up to 18 months in complex cases

Planning to apply for citizenship in Iceland?

A foreign national can obtain Icelandic citizenship by naturalization in two ways: With an application to the Directorate of Immigration or a petition to the Icelandic parliament, Althingi. 

We have assisted countless individuals with obtaining Icelandic citizenship.

Unlike for example the U.S., a foreign national does not obtain Icelandic citizenship solely by birth and can be subject to expulsion.

We also assist children of Icelandic citizens born abroad and who have never resided in Iceland to retain their Icelandic citizenship. 

How we can help you

  • We do early intervention, assess eligibility, make recommendations when applicable
  • We provide representation throughout all stages of the process
  • When appropriate, we represent individuals seeking certificates of citizenship or to retain citizenship, including those born to Icelandic parents abroad and who have never lived in Iceland

Planning to seek international protection in Iceland?

Claudia is one of Iceland’s leading experts in refugee law with over a decade of experience in this area of law.

Applicants for international protection are entitled to free legal representation during the first and second stages of the application process. Representation is provided by any lawyer registered with the Directorate of Immigration.

Applicants for international protection may also choose legal representation at their own cost.

Claudia has successfully represented many of those applicants. 

CPLS also offers representation pro bono to select applicants after a final negative decision. The assessment to provide representation is done on a case-by-case basis. 

How we can help you

  • We assist clients to determine eligibility
  • We provide representation during all stages of the process at the first stage at the Directorate of Immigration (“UTL”), at the second stage, before the Immigration Appeals Board (“KNU”), and before the Domestic Courts
  • We accompany clients to interviews with the immigration authorities
  • We file Interim Measure Applications to the European Court of Human Rights to stop deportations
  • We assess cases after a final negative decision for pro bono representation