Foreign citizens, except Nordic nationals, need a residence and work permit in order to work in the Faroe Islands.
Entry conditions requirements vary according to country of origin and length of stay.
Citizens of Nordic countries are free to live, work and study in the Faroe Islands. Neither visa, residence permit nor work permit is required.
Citizens of Nordic countries, i.e. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, can enter the Faroe Islands without a passport. However, they must be able to identify themselves upon request. A driving licence is valid form of identification.
Although the Faroe Islands are part of the Danish Kingdom, the Faroe Islands and Denmark are two different legal territories with different travel and immigration regulations. Furthermore, the Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union, despite Denmark´s membership of the EU.
Researchers and lecturers invited to teach or conduct similar activities in the Faroe Islands can work without a work permit, provided the duration of their stay does not exceed three consecutive months.
Passport and Visa
All non Nordic nationals, including citizens of EU countries, must have a valid passport in order to enter the Faroe Islands.
Citizens from countries with visa requirements must obtain a tourist visa for travelling to the Faroe Islands for up to 3 months. A visa to enter Denmark or another Schengen country is not valid for entry into the Faroe Islands as the country is not part of the Schengen Agreement. Citizens from countries with visa requirements will most likely need a Schengen visa and a visa to enter the Faroe Islands as travelling to the Faroe Islands normally goes through a Schengen country, such as Denmark.
For stays longer than three months researchers and PhD students must have a residence and work permit. This also applies to citizens from EU countries as the Faroe Islands are not part of the EU.
Since the Faroe Islands and Denmark are two distinct travel areas, a residence permit in Denmark does not carry with it the right to reside in the Faroe Islands.
The Faroe Islands have a general rule of only granting residence and work permit to foreign nationals with qualifications that are not available in the Faroe Islands.
Researchers must have a written job contract or job offer from a Faroese research institution specifying salary and employment conditions when applying for a permit. It is not a requirement that the applicant is employed full time as a researcher. Salary and employment conditions must correspond to Faroese standards. If the researcher wants to change employment to another research institution during his or her stay in the Faroe Islands, he or she must apply for a new residence and work permit before starting work with the new employer. A permission for sideline work can be granted if the work is relevant to the main employment.
PhD students must be enrolled in a PhD programme in the Faroe Islands. PhD students enrolled abroad doing part of their programme in the Faroe Islands must be associated with a Faroese educational institution. PhD students must have sufficient funds to support themselves during their residence in the Faroe Islands. They are allowed to work full-time at the university in which they have been enrolled or in the company affiliated to their PhD programme with work tasks that are part of their PhD programme. They are also allowed to take upp additional employment besides their full-time job as PhD students at a limited scale.
Applications for a residence and work permit in the Faroe Islands are processed by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) in consultation with the Faroese Immigration Office. The application must be filed by the researcher and his or her employer together. The application must be submitted to a Danish diplomatic mission in the country where the researcher is residing.
A residence and work permit for the Faroe Islands is normally granted with a validity of up to 1 year.
Processing time for correctly completed applications for residence and work permit is normally within 3 months.
Certain groups of employees can be granted residence and work permission according to special arrangements.
EU citizens can be granted a permit based on a special EU Scheme if the rate of unemployment in the Faroe Islands is below 3.5 per cent. EU citizens who have an employment agreement with a pre-approved employer for employment of citizens from the EU countries can start working as soon as the employment has been notified through application to SIRI.
A spouse/cohabiting partner who wishes to accompany a foreign national holding a Faroese residence and work permit to the Faroe Islands must submit a separate application. Children under the age of 18 can be included in the spouse's/cohabiting partner's application. 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 spouse or cohabiting partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period of his or her permit.
Researchers who wish to extend their work and residence permit must submit an application for an extension no later than one month before the permit expires. The applicant is allowed to stay in the Faroe Islands and continue to work until the application has been processed.
Mobility during stay
A foreign resident in the Faroe Islands will lose his residence and work permit if he leaves the Faroe Islands for an extended period of time, or if he no longer maintains a residence in the Faroe Islands.
Permanent residence permit
Foreign nationals who have held a residence and work permit in the Faroe Islands under the same conditions for seven consecutive years and have achieved a substantial attachment to the Faroese society, will normally qualify for a permanent residence permit.
In order to be granted a permanent residence permit the foreign national must still meet the requirements for a residence permit.
A permanent residence permit will not be given if the foreign national has been incarcerated or given any other form of severe criminal sentence during his or her residence in the Faroe Islands or has an overdue public debt in excess of DKK 80,651.(2019).