In 2022, 3,394 new RESPERs were granted, an increase of 1,069 RESPERs since 2021 which is an increase of 46%. During the years 2008-14 the number of new permits was steady at around 1,000. Since then, the number of newly issued RESPERs have been increasing apart from a small decrease between 2019 and 2020.

More residence permits due to employment
The number of residence permits granted for employment reasons decreased in the year 2020 compared with previous years. However, their numbers have been increasing again in the last two years. There has been a steady increase in the number of RESPERs granted for educational purposes, excluding a 28% decrease in the years 2018 and 2019 where the number of permits decreased from 525 to 378. The number has increased in the last two years and stood at 585 in 2022.

There was an increase in new permits granted across the four different permit groups in 2022. The greatest increase was seen in permits granted for other reasons while permits granted for family formation and reunification reasons formed the second largest group.

Trivial gender difference
Overall, the gender difference in granted RESPERs in 2022 is trivial. However, if the data is broken down by reason there is a noticeable difference between the genders. Women were more likely to be granted a permit for family formation and reunification and educational purposes while men were more likely to be granted permit for employment reason.

The largest age group 20-29 years
Individuals from Asia form the largest group of RESPER recipients with people from the Americas being the second largest. The largest age group are individuals in the age group 20-29 years with people in the age group 30-39 being the second largest group.

About the data
Data on new residence permits (RESPER) granted during the years 2020-2022 have been added to previously published statistics on Statistics Iceland´s website. Furthermore, data prior to 2020 have been updated.

In this news release, Eurostat’s definition of new residence permits is used. New RESPERs are defined as RESPERs granted to foreign citizens who have either never been granted a RESPER before or if more than six months have passed since their previous permit expired. Only permits that are valid for three months or more are included in the data. Furthermore, permits are only granted to individuals who are non-EU or non-EEA citizens.

Persons enjoying temporary protections and individuals granted RESPERs due to UK’s withdrawal from the EU are not included in the data. There were 2,303 individuals that benefitted from temporary protection in 2022 because of the war in Ukraine while 1,319 individuals were granted permits due to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, almost all in 2020.

New residence permits by type, citizenship and sex 2008-2022
New residence permits by type, age and sex 2008-2022

Further Information

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