Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Iceland: Foreign Nationals Supervision Act of 1965

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 12 May 1965
Cite as Iceland: Foreign Nationals Supervision Act of 1965 [Iceland],  12 May 1965, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4ea2b.html [accessed 20 December 2014]
Comments This is an official consolidated translation obtained from the Immigration Service in Reykjavik. Last amendment included here is Act No. 133 of 31 December 1993 on the amendment of various statutes concerning judicial procedure, rights of employment et al. in connection with membership of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Article 1

The Minister of Justice may issue a regulation stating that foreign nationals who enter or leave Iceland shall carry passports or other identification papers.

The Minister of Justice may stipulate whether passports or identification papers shall contain a visa granting permission to enter the country.

In accordance with rules set by the Minister of Justice, special travel documents may be issued to a foreign national who is otherwise unable to acquire a passport or other identification papers.

Article 2

All persons who enter or leave Iceland shall be obliged according to rules set by the Minister of Justice to report to the passport control authorities, show their passports or other identification papers and provide all necessary information.

Commanders of ships and aircraft shall be obliged to comply with the rules on passport control.

Article 3

A foreign national who arrives in Iceland on an Icelandic or foreign ship or aircraft and belongs to the crew of the ship or aircraft may not be removed from the crew register without the permission of the Immigration Office. The commander of the ship or aircraft shall be responsible for ensuring that persons are not removed from the register without permission. If it is intended to register a foreign national on an Icelandic or foreign ship or aircraft in Iceland, the police shall be informed of this with out delay. The commander of the ship or aircraft shall establish whether the foreign national possesses the necessary employment permit.

The ship's captain or operator or his agent in Iceland, shall be obliged to reimburse all expenses which may be incurred by the state due to the illegal presence and repatriation of a foreign national as a result of the infringement of the above rules and also the cost of repatriating, or returning to their ships, sailors who have fled from their ships or been left behind. The Minister of Justice may set rules on the obligations of ships' captains or operators, or their agents in Iceland, in connection with the reimbursement of expenses incurred by the state resulting from the presence of stowaways in Iceland and their repatriation.

Paragraph 2 shall apply, as appropriate, to aircraft captains, airlines and their agents in Iceland.

Article 4

The Immigration Service shall grant the permits necessary for entry and residence under this Act.

The Minister of Justice may authorize police commissioners, and also Iceland's ambassadors and consuls abroad, to issue such permits.

Article 5

Foreign nationals who are required to have special permits (visas) for entry under Article 1, paragraph 2, may not remain in Iceland for longer than the period specified in their visas without obtaining special permission.

Other foreign nationals may not remain in Iceland without special permission for longer than three months at a time from the date of their arrival in Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden from any other country. Periods spent by the foreign national in the countries named above during the six months immediately preceding his last entry into Iceland shall be deducted from the aforementioned three-month period. If such periods, added together, amount to more than three months, entry shall not be permitted without a special permit.

If a foreign national covered by paragraph 2 has received a residence permit in Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, he shall be permitted to reside in Iceland during its period of validity without a special permit for up to three months from the date of his arrival. However, periods which the foreign national has spent in Iceland during the six months immediately preceding his last entry into Iceland shall be deducted from this three-month period. If such periods of residence amount to more than three months, the foreign national shall be required to possess a special entry permit.

Article 6

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 5, paragraphs 2 and 3, foreign nationals who are covered by the rules of the Agreement on the European Economic Area regarding the free movement of people (cf. paragraph 2) may enter Iceland without special permits and reside in the country for up to three months from the date of entry. The provisions of Articles 10-13 shall therefore be applied to such foreign nationals insofar as they are compatible with these rules.

The Minister of Justice shall set further rules on the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement on the European Economic Area regarding the free movement of people concerning exemptions from visa requirements and restrictions on the right of entry into Iceland and residence in the country.

Article 7

International agreements may include provisions for the mutual granting of exemptions from the rules on residence permits.

Article 8

The Minister of Justice may issue regulations requiring persons who provide foreign nationals with accommodation, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to notify the police of this and to make available the necessary information regarding the foreign nationals.

The Minister may determine that persons who provide foreign nationals with accommodation in return for payment shall, in addition to or instead of the notifications described above, keep a legally-authorized guest register to which the police shall have access. Such registers shall be kept for at least two years after they are filled.

Article 9

Foreign nationals shall be obliged to submit proof of their identity if required to do so by the police in connection with information provided under Article 8 or for other reasons.

The Minister of Justice may set special rules on the obligations of foreign nationals to report to the authorities during their stay in Iceland, and may also order that they shall at all times carry a passport or other identification papers and show them to the police if required to do so. Regulations may be issued specifying that the National Register and the local health insurance authorities shall provide the police with information regarding foreign nationals.

Article 10

A foreign national shall be refused entry into Iceland:

1.         If he does not comply with the rules of Article 1 regarding travel documents and visas, and also the corresponding rules in Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden if he intends to travel to these countries.

2.         If it seems likely that he does not possess sufficient funds to support himself in Iceland or in Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, if he intends to travel to these countries, and for his journey home.

3.         If it seems likely that he intends to enter into employment in Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden without having acquired a permit for this purpose in advance.

4.         If it seems likely that he intends to enter into employment in Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden in an unlawful or dishonest manner.

5.         If he has been sentenced to imprisonment in Iceland or abroad or if it seems likely for other reasons that he will commit a punishable offence in Iceland or in Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden.

6.         If, on the basis of his former conduct or on other grounds, it seems likely that the purpose of his visit to Iceland or to Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden is to commit acts of sabotage or engage in spying or unlawful intelligence activities.

7.         If he has been expelled from Iceland or from Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, and is trying to return without permission.

In addition, a foreign national may be denied entry into Iceland if this is considered necessary for reasons other than those stated in paragraph1.

A commissioner of police shall deliver a ruling concerning the refusal of entry as soon as possible after the foreign national's arrival.

If a foreign national maintains that he has been forced to seek asylum as a political refugee, then providing his statement is considered credible, the police may not refuse him entry. The case shall be referred without delay to the Immigration Service for a ruling.

In accordance with the decision of the Immigration Office, a foreign national may be denied entry if, on grounds other than those listed in paragraph 1, it seems likely that he has come to Iceland for employment or activities which are unlawful, improper or pose a danger to the national or public interest, or if the foreign national's personal circumstances are such as may be considered dangerous or deleterious to the national or the public interest. If a commissioner of police considers that a foreign national should be denied entry for reasons stated in this paragraph, he shall submit the case for a ruling by the Immigration Service as soon as possible.

The Minister of Justice may set special rules on the denial of entry to stowaways.

Article 11

The Immigration Service may expel a foreign national from Iceland:

1.         If the foreign national should have been denied entry to the country for reasons listed in Article 10, paragraph 1, and these reasons still apply.

2.         If the foreign national, either on purpose or in spite of warnings from the police, repeatedly neglects to fulfil his obligations concerning reporting to the authorities according to this Act.

3.         If he violates the rules concerning visas, residents permits or employment permits, or the conditions applying to such permits. The same shall apply if he has acquired a permit on the basis of information which he knew to be incorrect or by concealing important facts with an intention to deceive.

4.         If his continuing residence in the country is considered to pose a danger to national security or the public interest, or if his presence is undesirable for other reasons.

If authorization exists for the expulsion of a foreign national from the country, the Immigration Service may, if there are reasons favouring such a course of action, require him to leave the country by a certain deadline, failing which the police will ensure that these instructions are obeyed.

Article 12

A commissioner of police may expel a foreign national from Iceland:

1.         If he has entered the country without reporting to the Icelandic, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish passport control authorities.

2.         If he has previously been expelled from Iceland and has returned without the required permit.

A commissioner of police may also expel a foreign national who is not a Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish citizen if he has previously been expelled from Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden and forbidden to return, yet arrives in Iceland without obtaining permission to enter Iceland or the country or countries named above.

However, in cases covered by Article 10, paragraph 4, a commissioner of police may not expel the person from the country, but the case shall be referred to the Immigration Service for a ruling as soon as possible.

Article 12a

A foreign national may appeal to the Minister of Justice:

1.         A decision to deny him a residence permit.

2.         A decision on the termination or withdrawal of a residence permit.

3.         A decision or ruling on his expulsion from the country.

4.         A ruling under Article 10, paragraph 4.

Foreign nationals shall be informed of their right of appeal under paragraph 1 at the time that they are informed of a decision or ruling, and assisted with making such appeals.

If a foreign national wishes to exercise his right of appeal, he shall, within 15 days of being informed of the decision or ruling, state his appeal to the person who informed him of it. If he states the appeal before the decision or ruling is implemented by deportation, this measure shall be postponed until the Minister has delivered his ruling.

Article 13

A foreign national who has settled in Iceland shall be expelled if, before completing five continuous years of residence in the country, he is convicted under the law of an act which is generally regarded as despicable. In such cases, the court shall state in its judgement that the convicted person is to be expelled after serving his sentence.

Article 14

When a decision is taken to expel a foreign national from Iceland under Article 11, 12 or 13, it may also be decided to prohibit his re-entry into Iceland, either for a specified period or permanently. This prohibition shall be recorded in a register concerning foreign nationals, and the penalty for infringement of the prohibition shall be stated in the record.

The Immigration Service may lift a prohibition imposed under paragraph 1 if there are reasons favouring such a course of action.

Article 15

The police shall ensure that a foreign national is contactable until a ruling is delivered as to whether he is to be refused entry or expelled from the country; this shall also be done in order to implement such a decision.

For this purpose, the foreign national may be required to report to the police at certain times, or he may be prohibited from travelling beyond certain limits. If these measures can not be considered as ensuring with sufficient reliability that the foreign national will be contactable, he may then be placed in custody according to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, with concessions according to the nature of the case.

If deportation is delayed by more than fourteen days, the commissioner of police shall inform the Immigration Service of the reasons for this without delay.

Article 16

All expenses resulting from the denial of entry to a foreign national or his expulsion as authorized by this Act, including the cost of meals, accommodation, necessary clothing and custody, shall be borne by the foreign national himself. If his funds are insufficient to cover these expenses, the outstanding amount shall be paid by the Treasury.

Article 17

Violations of this Act or regulations issued under it shall be punishable by fines, custody or imprisonment of up to six months unless heavier penalties are prescribed in other statutes.

The same punishment shall apply to a person who:

1.         Acquires a passport or other travel documents in an unlawful manner by giving false information to the authorities or intentionally concealing facts or causing an incorrect name or date of birth to appear in his passport or other travel document.

2.         Acquires more than one passport or travel document in his name for an unlawful purpose.

3.         Alters or removes parts of a passport or travel document, or visas in these documents, for an unlawful purpose.

4.         Enters or leaves Iceland without contacting the Icelandic, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish passport control authorities.

5.         Takes part in concealing a foreign national from the police if he knows or should know that the foreign national has entered Iceland without contacting the Icelandic, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish passport control authorities or is staying in Iceland illegally for other reasons.

6.         Violates instructions issued under Article 14 of this Act or the provisions of older legislation on foreign nationals.

Attempted violations of this Act, and participation in violations, shall be punishable.

A person who contributes towards a foreign national's entry into the country without contacting the passport control authorities shall, in addition to being liable to punishment, be obliged to pay the expense incurred by the state resulting from the foreign national's illegal residence in Iceland and his repatriation.

Article 18

Cases arising from violations of this Act shall be handled according to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

If for other reasons an enquiry into the personal circumstances of foreign nationals has to be conducted in connection with any matters concerning the implementation of this Act, it shall be carried out according to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Fines imposed under this Act shall be paid to the Treasury.

Article 19

No one shall have the right to demand information on declarations issued in connection with applications for entry permits, residence permits or employment permits, or on matters regarding the denial of entry, expulsion or the withdrawal of an expulsion order.

Article 20

The Immigration Service is a special institution headed by the Commissioner of Police in Reykjavik.

Police commissioners, assisted by law enforcement officers, shall see to the supervision of foreign nationals in their respective areas. A register shall be kept in each law enforcement area of the foreign nationals resident in the area. A comprehensive register of foreign nationals shall be kept at the Immigration Service.

Article 21

The Minister shall issue further provisions on the implementation of this Act in the form of regulations.

Article 22

This Act comes into force immediately. At the same time, the Foreign Nationals Supervision Act, No. 59 of 23rd June 1936, is rescinded.

The Minister of Justice shall determine when the provisions of Article 5, paragraphs 2 and 3, Article 10, Article 12, paragraphs 1 and 2 and Article 17, paragraph 2, sub-paragraphs 4 and 5, shall be implemented with regard to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

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