I was in Iceland some time ago and I will be going again soon. Because I like this country very much and I think about moving, I am curious what is the attitude of Icelanders to foreigners? Is it true that you like newcomers from abroad and are open to new cultures? A few months ago I watched a movie about Jón Gnarr - was this man actually a politician and actually Iceland is from another planet? Best!
Lol, yeah, Jón was actually a Mayor, and most people were happy with his term He now plays the Mayor on a TV show about ‘The Mayor’, making fun of politics and the standard suited politician (what he totally is not).
Icelanders are pretty cool about foreigners. I don’t think we’re much different from other nations, just similar. I think we’re a bit hard to get close to, especially if you do not speak the language. So if you move here, try to learn the language
Don’t really know much about the regulations, but if you live in Schengen, you should be fine. Maybe check the ministry of immigration?
I love that Iceland is getting more and more multicultural - and most people are in favour of it too. Of course there are some loud (but few) voices against immigrants/tourists/foreigners but fortunately they’re very few.
As an Icelander I love meeting people from all over and showing them around Iceland or teaching them about Iceland’s culture. And teaching them the language (make sure to put in some effort to learn Icelandic, your life here will be so much easier/fun!) So, be very welcome if you move here
And yes, Jón Gnarr was a punk rocker turned radio host turned comedian turned actor turned mayor turned back to comedy acting. He’s great and was a fantastic mayor. The current mayor, Dagur B, is pretty good too, although he doesn’t dress up in drag for Gay Pride.
I moved out here a year ago from the UK and have to admit, I have no interest in leaving. Granted, I have as of yet to learn the language (typical Brit behaviour) but I’ve found the Icelandic people more than accommodating in the meantime, and more than willing to speak their perfect English to me whilst I struggle with the pronunciations.
The country is expensive though, so it’s important to find work before you arrive (or at least have some savings). When you get here, you’ll need to sign up for a kennitala (Icelandic social security ID) and open a bank account. Finding a place to live can be difficult in the city, given that competition for places are high, but the market appears to be quite fluid. It’s a case of watching out for apartments to free up when they do.
When it comes to apartment hunting, please be careful not to pay for rent in advance until you get the key. This may seem common sense but to some it really isn’t. As is usually the case with people looking for apartments to rent there will always some people out there who will want to scam you or make you pay more than you should. Unfortunately that has happened with foreigners in Iceland.
They can be charged more than Icelanders simply because they do not know the norm for very small rooms and uncomfortable quarters or pay rent in advance and are promised homes and then left with nothing.
So just be careful of that. Don’t worry most people in Iceland are really lovely. This is just an absolute just in case scenario.