International employees

At Landspitali we have international employees from from 31 countries. Our international employees work in all division and in a wide variety of jobs. Around 40% are professionals, mostly health care professionals and most of those are Nurses and Nurse Associates. Around 65% of our employees with a foreign nationality are from Europe. 33% come from Poland, 11% from the Filippines. Very few come from Africa and the Americas.

This website is intended for our newly recruited international employees to assist them as they integrate into their new job and society. It provides general information about the hospital and basic information about living and working in Iceland.

Information for international candidates for employment

The initial step in securing employment with our hospital consists of submitting your CV (either by e-mail or via our employment website) and having it reviewed by the relevant hiring manager. Usually this is followed with a Skype interview, and possibly with an invited visit to Iceland. If the hiring manager wishes to take the issue further, a human resource specialist comes in and helps with practical issues, some of which are detailed below.
Your licence to work within your speciality needs to be recognised by the Directorate of Health, before you can start working in Iceland. The following documents are required with the application:
  1.  A certified proof of your citizenship. A certified photocopy of the first pages of your passport is sufficient.
  2. A statement from the competent authorities in your home country that your XX training complies with the training standards laid down in directive 77/452/EBE Article 3, and directive 77/453/EBE Article 1 (ref: EEA legislation).
  3. A certified copy of a your diploma and a document that states that you are registered as a radiographer in your home country.
  4. A certificate of good standing of this licence with the competent authority in the member state of origin or last residence. This certificate must not be older than three months to ensure its up-to-date validity. 
These documents must be original or "certified true copies” by the respective authorities - photocopies of documents are not accepted. They should be written/translated by certified by a governmental authority or an official translator. Please send these documents to the Icelandic Directorate of Health, addressed as follows: Landlæknir, Barónstígur 47, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland or via email mottaka@landlaeknir.is. Please send them the application form that you will find at: www.landlaeknir.is under “umsókn um starfsleyfi” (application of job licence) and then choose then your speciality. The Directorate of Health charges for the recongition of your job licence.

The following documents must be received at Landspítali before an employment contract can be signed.

  1.  A Curriculum Vitae (e-mail attachment suffices) with personal information, language and computer skills, working and educational career and further education since graduation. In your Curriculum Vitae you must state your speciality very clearly. Please be as specific as possible because the units here are quite specialised.
  2.  Accommodation needs: We need clear information as to your needs regarding accommodation, and whether or not you require assistance with obtaining accommodation. 
  3.  Information about 1-2 former or current employer(s) we can contact, with full names, titles and phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Please give us access to your direct supervisor(s) if possible, rather than HR department. 
  4.  A statement (e-mail) of your ability to be effectively integrated into work using English as the language of communication (please specify: verbal, writing and reading). 
  5.  A statement (e-mail) specifying that you realise that Icelandic is the working language in Ieland and that you are committed to learn Icelandic as rapidly as possible, including funding it yourself if you require more help than the hospital can supply.
  6.  A photocopy (mail) of the papers you sent to the ministry when applying for the licence.
  7. 1 month before your eventual estimated time of arrival in Iceland I need to receive a certificate that you have tested MRSA negative. The test will be repeated in Iceland on arrival but we need to know your status at this point.

Icelandic resembles Norwegian, Danish and Swedish but the grammar is somewhat more complicated.  Internal documents regarding the profession, staff guidelines and instructions for navigating the hospital are written in Icelandic and verbal communication is normally conducted in Icelandic, so knowledge of the language is very important.  The main alternative language for the initial period would be English, and most Icelanders are quite proficient in English (both staff and patients).  Nevertheless, we recommend that you start learning Icelandic before you come to Iceland.  You can study Icelandic from other countries in various ways. Firstly, there are two websites with free online courses: The “Icelandic Online” course given by the University of Iceland atwww.icelandic.hi.is and Bragi course at www2.hu-berlin.de/bragi

The following is information about common terms of employment.
  • The normal work week in Iceland is 40 hours. 
  • Monthly salaries are based on collective bargaining contracts, and they depend on your expertise, education and age. There are extra payments for shifts (varying based on your profession). All overtime is generally paid extra, but with upper limits. Vacation for one year of employment is at least 24 weekdays (4 weeks and 4 days) and depending on your collective bargaining contract, you may be entitled to winter holiday if you work shifts. 
  • Accommodation assistance is offered, but terms vary based on availability and job category. 
  • Orientation courses (in English) are offered to new international employees.
  • Working clothes are provided free of charge at the hospital.
  • Staff canteens are subsidized by the hospital.
  • Psychological support sessions can be offered upon request depending on availability.
  • The hospital offers support with various logistical issues such as finding rental housing, child care or schooling for children, figuring out the best way to commute to work and in general finding your way around necessary institutions in Iceland. We also offer guidance regarding spousal employment, although we naturally cannot guarantee this. 
Citizens of the European Union or European Economic Area countries do not need special work- or residence permits but they need to register with Registers Iceland. Those who have enjoyed social security coverage in a country within the EU/EEA for the past 6 months and move their legal domicile to Iceland are covered for non-emergency health care by the Icelandic health insurance system. But there is a need to fill in a form there for insurance registration in Iceland. A citizen is allowed to stay and work for 3-6 months without moving their domicile to Iceland. EU/EEA citizen are insured in the country where you work. Further information about this you find at www.tr.is, www.skra.is and if your are from the Nordic countries www.hallonorden.org or you can call the HalloNorden office in your home country.

Citizens outside the European Union or European Economic Area need a special work- and residence permit and have to register with Directorate of immigration Iceland within 7 days of arrival. The Directorate then notifies Registers Iceland of the issue of a residence permit and the person is thereafter registered in the population registry. A foreigner that plans to stay in Iceland for longer than 3 months need a valid residence permit. 

Income tax in Iceland is vary from 37,13% to 46,25%, pension fund payments are 4% and additionally most employees belong to a labor union and pay fees there. Vacation is 2 days for each month of employment. According to the labour law, both the hospital and the employee are ensured the right to terminate the contract with 1-3 months notice, but this is specified in the contract of employment. 

Everyone who has been legally resident in Iceland for six months automatically becomes a member of the Icelandic social insurance system, regardless of nationality. This applies unless intergovernmental treaties say otherwise. Those who have not been resident in Iceland for six months and are not covered by the EEA regulations can obtain medical assistance but must, of course, pay in full. They can then seek reimbursement from their own insurance in their country of origin or from their private insurance, according to rules and regulations applicable in their insurance country. But occupational injury insurance covers employed persons working in Iceland.

For further information regarding life in Iceland and Icelandic, please visit the hospital homepage for international candidates and employees: http://www.landspitali.is ("English”) and study the information given directly there or through external links. The websites of the Intercultural Centre is www.asetur.is and Iceland on the web www.visitreykjavik.is provide excellent information about life and work in Reykjavik and Iceland. The former one particularly focuses on information for immigrants.  The website of the Directorate of Labour, www.vinnumalastofnun.is, contains the law and regulations regarding employment and residency of foreign citizens.  The part “Living and working in Iceland” gives an overview for EEA residents. Nordic citizens are advised to visit the website of the Mobility Information Service of the Nordic Region on http://www.hallonorden.org.  The website of The Directorate of Immigration is www.utl.is.  The main features of the wage agreement of the The Icelandic Society of Radiographers can be found in English on their website (www.fg.sgl.is).

For more information please contact:

Guðfinna Ingjaldsdóttir, Project Manager, Division of Human Resources

University hospital Reykjavik, Iceland.  Mailing address: LSH Eiríksgata 5, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.  Phone: 354-543-1334, Email: gudfinni@landspitali.is