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Coordinated Reception of Refugees​

  • Refugees, who have been granted international protection in Iceland, whether they arrived in the country independently or at the government's behest, receive coordinated services. ​
  • The services include Icelandic and social education, as well as support for job seeking and other activities, such as studies, supported employment and vocational training.​
  • The social services of the relevant municipality, the Directorate of Labour and the Icelandic Red Cross are among the parties that handle refugee services. ​
  • The Red Cross also provides refugees with general instructions, education and counselling and points them to resources available to them. ​

Right to interpreter services

  • Immigrants often must use interpreters.​
  • They have a right to use an interpreter for health care when dealing with the police and in court.​
  • The institution in question pays for the interpreter. ​
  • But you must ask for an interpreter yourself with notice. Don't be afraid to say you need an interpreter. That's your right. ​
  • Other institutions also often use interpreters, e.g. schools and service centers. ​


  • A bank is a company that mainly deals with payments, loans and returns. ​
  • Individuals younger than 18 can't take out bank loans but can have a bank account (with their guardian's permission) and deposit money (save) and transfer (withdraw) money. ​
  • Guardians are usually the parents of a child. ​
  • Banks offer diverse services:​
  • Bank accounts.​
  • Debit and credit cards.​
  • Bank services online and via phone. ​

 Bank Account

  • Everyone must have a bank account to tend to their personal finances. ​
  • It is best to have an open account that you can withdraw from when needed. ​
  • Many people also open specific savings accounts. ​
  • A bank account is necessary in order to be able to:​
    • Receive wages or benefits.​
    • Receive transfers from individuals, domestically or from overseas. ​
    • Withdraw money, pay bills or electronically transfer into other accounts. ​
  • When an individual has been granted a residence permit and registered with the National Registry ( – and been issued an Icelandic ID number (kennitala) - they can apply for a bank account. ​
  • The bank will check that personal information (e.g. name, ID number, phone number, email address) is correct for all its customers. ​
  • Banks also check where the money people deposit into their bank account comes from and how they intend to use the money. ​
  • This is in the form of a questionnaire that everyone has to fill out (check the right answer) when they open a bank account. ​
  • In Iceland, most people use electronic payment methods; card or smartphone payments. ​


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