How to Apply for Work in Iceland via Direct Hire as a Filipino

In the pursuit of global opportunities, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) often find themselves exploring new horizons, seeking not just employment but a chance to embrace diverse cultures. Iceland, with its breathtaking landscapes and thriving economy, has become an increasingly attractive destination for those in search of career growth and a unique life experience.

One avenue for OFWs to secure employment in Iceland is through direct hire—a process that enables individuals to connect with employers directly, bypassing recruitment agencies. Navigating this route requires a clear understanding of the application process, legal requirements, and cultural nuances specific to Iceland. In this guide, we will delve into the essential steps and considerations for OFWs aspiring to work in Iceland through direct hiring, offering a roadmap to unlock the doors to professional opportunities in this Nordic paradise.

how to apply for work in Iceland

Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

How to Navigate Direct Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide for OFWs Seeking Employment in Iceland

The information presented in this article comes from a YouTube video from the channel welkieandmerry. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:

In the pursuit of employment opportunities in Iceland, a Filipino husband-and-wife duo, documented through their YouTube channel, provide valuable insights into the process of securing jobs via direct hire. The journey begins with the husband’s solo venture to Iceland in March 2016, driven by the desire for international work experience.

Specializing in hotel and tourism management, the husband initially harbored doubts about overseas employment, particularly due to concerns about potential obstacles related to wearing glasses during medical examinations. However, fate intervened when an Icelandic observer, impressed by his skills, extended an invitation to work in Iceland.

Facing uncertainty on how to proceed, the husband found support in his newfound Icelandic friend, who not only became a guide but also requested his curriculum vitae (CV) to facilitate the job application process. This marked the initiation of a complex paperwork journey, starting with the misconception that a tourist visa would pave the way for subsequent resident and working permits.

  • 1. International Work Experience: Pursuing opportunities abroad can enrich one’s professional growth and offer valuable international work experience.
  • 2. Overcoming Doubts: Even with doubts about overseas employment, taking the leap can lead to unexpected opportunities and personal development.
  • 3. Networking Matters: Building connections is crucial. The husband’s skills were recognized by an Icelandic observer, emphasizing the importance of networking in job opportunities.
  • 4. Guidance and Support: Having a mentor or guide, like the newfound Icelandic friend, can provide valuable support and insight in navigating unfamiliar processes.
  • 5. CV Importance: A well-prepared Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a powerful tool in the job application process, showcasing skills and qualifications to potential employers.
  • 6. Misconceptions about Visas: Understanding the correct visa process is crucial. In this case, the misconception about a tourist visa underscores the importance of accurate information.

Don’t apply for a Tourist Visa

  • 1. Informed Decision-Making: Acknowledge misunderstandings and actively seek accurate information to make well-informed decisions.
  • 2. Financial Planning: Adequate financial planning is crucial when applying for visas and embarking on international journeys. The couple borrowed 40,000 pesos to fund their Iceland venture.
  • 3. Visa Processing Centers: Utilize designated visa processing centers, such as VFS in Cebu, to handle visa applications efficiently and adhere to the correct procedures.
  • 4. Timely Application: Submit visa applications well in advance. The couple’s tourist visa was approved a month after application, ensuring timely processing.
  • 5. Unforeseen Hurdles: Be prepared to adapt to unforeseen challenges. The revelation about the limitations of a tourist visa highlighted the need for flexibility in plans.
  • 6. Reevaluating Strategies: When faced with unexpected obstacles, reassess and adjust strategies accordingly. The couple reconsidered their approach to direct hiring in Iceland.
  • 7. Importance of Accurate Information: Emphasize the significance of accurate and up-to-date information in navigating complex processes, particularly in international job applications.

Acknowledging their misunderstanding, the couple proceeded to apply for a tourist visa, allowing only 18 days in Iceland. To fund the journey, they borrowed 40,000 pesos. The visa application process led them to Cebu, where VFS, a visa processing center, handled their case. A month later, their tourist visa was approved, and the husband eagerly sent his passport for visa attachment.

However, a crucial revelation altered their plans. A friend informed the husband that traveling to Iceland with a tourist visa posed a significant hurdle, as subsequent work permit and residence permit processing required them to be outside the country. This unexpected obstacle prompted a reevaluation of their strategy, emphasizing the importance of accurate information in navigating the complex process of direct hiring in Iceland.

Getting Work and Residence Permits

Their initial endeavor involved applying for a tourist visa, a decision they later realized was not the optimal route. Despite securing the visa, the subsequent revelation that they needed to exit the Philippines before processing work and residence permits made the effort futile. Frustration mounted as they grappled with the realization that their time and financial investment of 40,000 pesos had gone to waste.

Undeterred, the couple regrouped for a second attempt, this time opting for a more direct approach by applying for both work and residence permits simultaneously. Completing forms and submitting all necessary requirements, they experienced a relatively smoother process. Within a month, their application was processed and granted, providing them with an entry visa that encompassed both work and residence permits upon arrival in Iceland.

Getting an Overseas Employment Certificate

However, their challenges didn’t end there. Navigating the process of exiting the Philippines as an OFW proved to be another uphill battle. Attempting to secure an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) in Manila, they faced obstacles as their contract verification proved difficult due to the absence of the Philippine embassy in Iceland. This led to a frustrating delay, forcing the husband to explore alternative avenues.

Turning to Tacloban for assistance, he addressed missing details in his contract, such as responsibilities regarding accommodation and returning to the Philippines in case of accidents. After rectifying these issues, his application was finally approved. Despite this achievement, the struggle was far from over.

Upon reaching the Philippines immigration, the husband faced no issues proceeding as a direct hire. However, his journey faced scrutiny during a layover in London. Authorities inspected his D visa attached to his passport and made inquiries, causing a delay before he was ultimately cleared to continue his journey to Iceland.

A key piece of advice surfaces for direct hires: opt for a flight with a substantial layover during transit. The recommendation stems from the potential for unexpected issues or checks during travel, allowing ample time to navigate any complications.

Getting an OEC

Before obtaining the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), the husband faced challenges in Manila. Visiting the POEA office, he underwent a bureaucratic ordeal, shuttling between directors for several days. The process demanded tying up with a money agency, emphasizing the need for agency involvement or contract verification in Norway. Contrastingly, a visit to Tacloban proved remarkably smoother, with the director affirming the adequacy of the contract and expediting the approval process.

The culmination of these efforts saw the approval of the OEC on March 6, 2016. The journey’s progression meant the wife experienced a wave of emotions, marking the end of a three-year long-distance relationship sustained through daily video calls.

Here’s a general list of steps on how to get an Overseas Employment Certificate:

  • 1. Verify Employment Contract: Ensure that your employment contract is verified. This may involve coordinating with the employer and relevant authorities.
  • 2. Complete Missing Details: Fill in any missing details in the employment contract, including responsibilities regarding accommodation and return to the Philippines in case of accidents.
  • 3. Visit the POEA Office: Go to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) office to initiate the OEC application process.
  • 4. Navigate Bureaucratic Processes: Be prepared for bureaucratic procedures. This may involve multiple visits and interactions with different directors at the POEA office.
  • 5. Tie Up with a Money Agency: Some processes may require tying up with a money agency. Ensure compliance with agency requirements for smoother processing.
  • 6. Contract Verification in Norway: Verify if your contract needs to be authenticated in Norway. This step may involve additional coordination with the employer and authorities.
  • 7. Alternative Processing in Tacloban: If faced with challenges in Manila, consider alternative processing options. The couple found a smoother process in Tacloban, where the director affirmed the adequacy of the contract.
  • 8. Await OEC Approval: Patiently await the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) approval, which signifies permission to work overseas as a Filipino worker.
  • 9. Optimal Flight Booking: When booking your flight, consider layovers to allow ample time for potential checks or issues during transit.

Arriving in Iceland

  • 1. Obtain Residence ID Card: Upon arrival in Iceland, initiate the process of obtaining a residence ID card by visiting immigration.
  • 2. Photo Session and Medical Examination: Undergo a photo session and a medical examination to ensure well-being in the colder climate.
  • 3. Acclimation to New Environment: Despite the initial shock of temperature transition, acclimate to the new environment in Iceland.
  • 4. Receive Residence and Work Permit Card: After a month, receive the residence and work permit card, solidifying legal status to work and live in Iceland.
  • 5. Initiate Cohabitation Application: Three years later, focus shifts to the wife’s journey. Initiate the application for cohabitation and family reunification visa for the spouse.
  • 6. Document Apostillation: Navigate the bureaucratic landscape by ensuring all required documents are apostilled, including marriage contract, birth certificate, NBI clearance, and non-apostilled transcript of records.
  • 7. Process Documents Through DFA: Process documents through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for authentication.
  • 8. Secure FedEx Express Delivery: Meticulously send the authenticated documents via FedEx Express for efficient and secure delivery.
  • 9. Document Arrival in Iceland: Ensure that the documents reach Iceland within 18 days to meet application deadlines.
  • 10. Comprehensive Application Submission: Submit a comprehensive application, including the contract, hiring letter, and all necessary requirements for family reunification.

Upon the husband’s arrival in Iceland, the process of obtaining a residence ID card commenced. This involved a visit to immigration for a photo session and a medical examination to ensure his well-being in the colder climate. Despite the initial shock of the temperature transition, he acclimated to his new environment.

After a month, the husband received his residence and work permit card, solidifying his legal status to work and live in Iceland. Three years later, the focus shifted to the wife’s journey. The husband initiated the application for cohabitation and the family reunification visa for his spouse.

Navigating the bureaucratic landscape, they ensured all required documents were apostilled, including the marriage contract, birth certificate, NBI clearance, and non-apostilled transcript of records, processed through the DFA. Meticulously sent via FedEx Express, the documents reached Iceland within 18 days. The couple submitted the comprehensive application, encompassing the contract, hiring letter, and all necessary requirements.

Family Reunification Visa

Continuing the saga of a Filipino couple’s journey to Iceland, the spotlight now shifts to the wife’s experience in obtaining the family reunification visa and the surprisingly hassle-free exit process from the Philippines. In a system that typically demands patience, their narrative offers a glimpse into the smoother aspects of the journey.

The wife embarked on the family reunification visa application, a meticulous process requiring six months of processing. Her perseverance paid off when her D visa, accompanied by an entry visa similar to her husband’s, was granted. As departure day approached, the couple anticipated the usual bureaucratic hurdles often associated with overseas travel. However, to their surprise, the exit process proved remarkably uncomplicated.

Unlike the standard procedures involving POEA, CFO, and other requirements, the wife exited the Philippines smoothly, identifying herself as the spouse of a worker employed in Iceland. The immigration authorities simply requested her husband’s contract and residence permit card from Iceland—no additional documents were required.

Despite her initial apprehension, being the first at the gate heightened her anxiety about potential offloading. However, as she approached immigration, confidence became her ally. Armed with truthful answers and a comprehensive understanding of her situation, she navigated the process with ease. Her advice for fellow travelers in a similar position resonates: honesty breeds confidence, and being well-informed diminishes the likelihood of encountering obstacles.

Here’s a general list of steps on how to get a Family Reunification Visa for OFWs in Iceland:

  • 1. Initiate Application: Start the process by initiating the application for a Family Reunification Visa for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Iceland.
  • 2. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including but not limited to marriage contract, birth certificate, NBI clearance, and transcript of records.
  • 3. Ensure Apostillation: Ensure that all required documents are apostilled for authentication and acceptance in the destination country.
  • 4. Process Documents Through DFA: Submit the documents to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for processing and authentication.
  • 5. Arrange Secure Delivery: Arrange secure delivery of the authenticated documents, considering reliable courier services such as FedEx Express.
  • 6. Document Arrival in Destination Country: Confirm that the documents reach the destination country within the specified timeframe to meet application deadlines.
  • 7. Complete Comprehensive Application: Compile a comprehensive application, including the authenticated documents, contract, hiring letter, and any additional requirements.
  • 8. Submit Application: Submit the complete application to the relevant authorities, ensuring adherence to specified guidelines and deadlines.
  • 9. Await Processing: Patiently await the processing of the Family Reunification Visa application, which may take several months.
  • 10. Monitor Application Status: Regularly check the status of the application and follow up with authorities if necessary.
  • 11. Prepare for Arrival: Once the visa is approved, make necessary preparations for the arrival of the family member in the destination country.

Understanding the Residence Permit

To apply for a residence permit in Iceland, you must first secure a job and sign an employment contract. Your employment contract is a key document that must accompany your application, which should be submitted before your arrival in Iceland. The process is designed to ensure that individuals moving to Iceland for work have a secured position.

Application Process

The application for a residence permit in Iceland is a collaborative effort between the Directorate of Immigration and the Directorate of Labour. When applying, submit your application and the required paperwork to the Directorate of Immigration. This authority then forwards your application, along with your employment contract, to the Directorate of Labour for processing.

Processing Time

The estimated processing time for residence permit applications is 90 days from the date of receiving adequate documentation. It’s essential to provide all necessary documents promptly to avoid delays. Incomplete or inadequate submissions may lengthen the processing time. As a proactive measure, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early, especially if they have already secured employment in Iceland.

Processing Fee

Details regarding the processing fee can be found on the website of the Directorate of Immigration in Iceland. It is advisable to review this information to ensure that you are aware of the associated costs.

Why work in Iceland

  • Stable Economy: Iceland boasts a stable and prosperous economy, providing a secure environment for employment.
  • High Employment Standards: Icelandic workplaces adhere to high employment standards, ensuring fair treatment and protection for workers.
  • Scenic Landscapes: The country’s breathtaking landscapes, including glaciers, waterfalls, and geysers, offer a unique and picturesque backdrop for daily life.
  • Low Crime Rate: Iceland is known for its low crime rate, contributing to a safe and secure living and working environment.
  • Quality Healthcare: Access to quality healthcare services ensures the well-being of residents, including expatriates.
  • Strong Social Welfare System: Iceland’s robust social welfare system provides support and assistance, promoting a high quality of life.
  • Work-Life Balance: The Icelandic culture places value on work-life balance, allowing employees to enjoy their personal lives alongside their professional pursuits.
  • Inclusive Society: Iceland is known for its inclusivity and open-mindedness, making it a welcoming place for people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Quality Education: The country offers high-quality education options, ensuring a good environment for families with children.
  • Clean Environment: Iceland is renowned for its commitment to environmental conservation, resulting in a clean and sustainable living environment.
  • Opportunities for Growth: The dynamic job market and opportunities for professional growth make Iceland an attractive destination for career advancement.
  • Cultural Richness: Experience Icelandic culture, traditions, and festivities, enriching the overall living experience.

In conclusion, the journey of Filipinos seeking employment in Iceland is a testament to the resilience, determination, and adaptability of individuals pursuing international career opportunities. As illustrated by the experiences shared by a Filipino husband-and-wife tandem in their insightful YouTube series, the process of applying for jobs in Iceland via direct hire involves navigating various challenges and complexities.

From misconceptions about visa processes to the intricacies of obtaining work and residence permits, the couple’s story sheds light on the importance of accurate information and careful planning. The lessons derived from their odyssey offer valuable insights for prospective applicants, emphasizing the significance of choosing the right visa, understanding the intricacies of the application process, and preparing for potential hurdles in exiting the Philippines.

The article also provides practical tips, such as the recommendation to opt for flights with substantial layovers during transit for direct hires, as unforeseen checks may arise. Additionally, the documentation and steps involved in securing an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) have been detailed, offering a comprehensive guide for Filipinos aspiring to work in Iceland.

As the spotlight shifts to the wife’s experience in obtaining a family reunification visa, the surprising hassle-free exit process serves as a beacon of hope for others contemplating a similar journey. The emphasis on truthfulness and being well-informed resonates as a guiding principle for fellow travelers, reinforcing the notion that knowledge is key in overcoming potential obstacles.

In essence, while the path to employment in Iceland may present challenges, the Filipino couple’s narrative underscores the importance of preparation, resilience, and a commitment to accuracy in the pursuit of international career opportunities. Aspiring OFWs can draw inspiration from these experiences, learning from the couple’s triumphs and setbacks, ultimately paving the way for a smoother and more informed application process in the vibrant and promising landscape of Iceland.