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​​Contractual work​

  • Any person who undertakes, for a consideration, to execute or manage a specific project for another party and guarantees the success of the project is a contractor. ​
  • A contractor issues invoices for his/her work and is him/herself responsible for paying taxes and wage-related expenses. ​
  • A contractor is required to file a tax return and declare income and expenses (cost). ​
  • An economic operator (contractor) who employs people (employees/wage earners) are also called employers and as such have specific duties.​

Independent economic activities​

  • Before operating activities commence, they must be reported to the Directorate of Internal Revenue, irrespective of whether they are conducted as a company or under the identification number of the individual (sole proprietorship). ​
  • It is also required to report changes to the operations and the cessation of activities (if a company is dissolved). ​
  • People who conduct independent economic activities must manage their finances carefully:​
    • Keep the accounts and regularly pay VAT.​
    • Enter income as soon as it is obtained. ​
    • Issue invoices. ​
    • File annual accounts at the end of each business year. ​
    • File a tax return.​
  • The Commissioner of the Inland Revenue regularly offers courses for people who are embarking on independent economic activities,

 Job seeking​

  • Although unemployment is usually low in Iceland, there can be competition for jobs. ​
  • Most jobs are advertised in newspapers and/or online. ​
  • Large companies advertise available jobs on their home pages or provide opportunities for submitting applications if a job becomes available. ​
  • There are also many employment agencies where many available jobs can be viewed. ​
  • In many cases, the application shall be filled out online and a CV, letter of introduction and certificates shall be enclosed (as an attachment) as needed. ​
  • It is also possible to send an e-mail message directly to a company, to make a phone call or turn up in person in order to apply for a job or ask for a job interview. ​
  • Invitations to attend job interviews are sent by e-mail or arranged over the phone. ​
  • A job application must include:​
  • A letter of introduction with a short presentation of the individual, information about his/her professional background, if applicable, and arguments to establish competency and interest about the job.​
  • CV – i.e., a written summary of education and work experience. It should contain information about:​
    • Personal matters (photo, name, ID number, e-mail address and telephone number) and information about personal affairs, should the applicant so wish.​
    • Education​
    • Work experience​
    • Language skills​
    • Other information that may be of relevance.​
    • References​

​Immigrant participation on the Icelandic labor market

  • Immigrants in Iceland come from all over the world, although Poles constitute by far the most numerous immigrant group. ​
  • It has often proved difficult for immigrants to have their qualifications accepted on par with Icelandic education degrees. It is possible to apply for attestation of diplomas from the relevant professional organisation though the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. ​
  • The ENIC/NARIC office provides consultancy about assessment of previous education.
  • Validation of competence regarding e.g., the vocational trades and other jobs is the responsibility of the bodies providing continued education.

Immigrants on the labor market

  • It is important for everyone to learn Icelandic as well as they possibly can, and to make use of each opportunity to practise. Even minimal skills can help when applying for a job. ​
  • Icelandic society is still adapting to become a multicultural society and sometimes the directors of companies are hesitant to give immigrants an opportunity on the labour market. ​
  • The need for diverse cultural and professional training resources for people of foreign origin increases as the number of people of foreign extraction in Iceland increases. ​
  • There is a need for studies that combine Icelandic language studies and basic training, secondary school or university studies or occupational training.​


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