The Faroe Islands are considered to be a family-friendly society country with a safe and peaceful environment and relatively generous child and parental benefits and child care provision.
Non-Nordic nationals who have been granted a residence and work permit in the Faroe Islands have the right to be accompanied by their spouse or cohabiting partner as well as children under the age of 18.
Accompanying family members will be granted residence permit for the same period as the foreign national with a work contract in the Faroe Islands.
The foreign national must be able to support his family members and the family must live together in the Faroe Islands.
The accompanying spouse or cohabiting partner of a foreign researcher with a work permit in the Faroe Islands is free to take on any job position.
In some cases the research institutes may assist with finding a job position for the accompanying spouse.
Job vacancies can be found in the local newspapers or in the Employment Registry. Everyone with a Faroese ID-number is also free to post his or her CV in this registry.
Another option for the accompanying spouse will be to study.
Same-sex marriage was legislated by the Lagting in 2016. The Act legalising same-sex marriage is expected to be brought into force later this year.
Health services during pregnancy and childbirth are free of charge.
Pregnancy check-ups are carried out by General Practitioners and midwives. Ultrasound scans are available for free in the 19th week of pregnancy.
Childbirth takes place at the National Hospital in Tórshavn.
Employees with an employment contract have the right to leave with normal salary when having a child.
The mother is entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave prior to and 14 weeks after giving birth.
The father is entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave within the first 44 weeks after childbirth.
After the first 14 weeks the parents have the right to additional 26 weeks of paid leave which can be divided between mother and father according to their preferences.
Single mothers have the right to paid leave for 44 weeks after birth.
After the paid leave the mother or the father has the right to unpaid leave until 52 weeks after the birth of the child.
Wage-earners who do not have an employment contract providing full salary during maternity/paternity leave have the right to paid leave from the Parental Leave Fund.
The benefit from the Parental Leave Fund is based on the average salary received during the last 12 months before the leave up to a ceiling of DKK 25,000 per month.
For Nordic citizens income earned in another Nordic country counts as basis for setting the benefit from the Parental Leave Fund.
Parental Leave Fund (in Faroese)
Health services during pregnancy and childbirth and health services for children up to the end of school age (16-17 years) are free of charge.
Children’s nurses examine the children in their home regularly up to the age of 18 months. If the child or the family has special needs, the nurse´s home visits can continue up to school age.
Foreigners moving to the Faroe Islands with small children must contact the children´s nurse in order to receive home visits.
General Practitioners provide medical checks up to the age of 5 and vaccinations according to a vaccination programme.
School nurses provide regular medical checks and personal interviews as well as parental guidance and information.
Gigni (in Faroese)
The municipalities provide day care for children up to school age. Day care can be provided in private homes or in day care centres.
Children with special needs can receive specialized pedagogical assistance in the day care centres.
Parents can register their children for day care six months before they move to the Faroe Islands.
After school care is provided in most municipalities for children in the early school years.
Around 70 per cent of childcare costs are funded through the tax system.
The education system in the Faroe Islands is made up of three main levels: elementary school, secondary school, and higher education.
Education is compulsory for at least 9 years, normally beginning at the age of 7.
Faroese is the language of education in all Faroese schools. School children who move to the Faroe Islands are entitled to 20 additional lessons in Faroese.
All education in the Faroe Islands is free of charge.
The public elementary schools offer 9 years of compulsory basic education and an elective 10th year.
In Tórshavn Municipality, there are 10 public elementary schools and two private elementary schools. The municipality has in recent years engaged in considerable renovation and expansion of existing schools, as well as the construction of new very modern schools.
Some public elementary schools also offer a special primary school class for six-years old children.
There are several types of secondary schools in the Faroe Islands building on the education received in elementary school.
Secondary schools can be divided into three groups: technical, business, and general education.
The diplomas awarded by the Faroese secondary schools are equivalent to those awarded in the Danish educational system.
Diplomas from the general secondary school and diplomas after a three years´ course in technical and business schools give access to higher education.
Higher education is offered at the University of the Faroe Islands. The university has two faculties and offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in several subjects.
Vocational academic education is offered at the Business College.