Modern Iceland is a small but reasonably prosperous nation, with strong trade in tourism and energy-intensive industries. It hasn’t always been so fortunate. Through much of its history Iceland was one of the poorest countries in Europe. The climate isn’t conducive to basic agriculture, although modern greenhouses have been successful here; there are few easily-accessible mineral resources;… Read More Days 200-210: the briny deep
I had to renew my residence permit today. As a non-Ph.D student, my residence permit is good for about six months. Renewing it means a trip to the local office of the Directorate of Immigration, Útlendingstofnun (which more or less translates to “foreigner’s office” and is often referred to just as “UTL”) again and waiting for my… Read More Day 199: a time for renewal
Each fall, Iceland hosts an international conference on issues and opportunities in the far north. The Arctic Circle Conference brings together an in impressive list of national leaders and diplomats, scientists and academics: this year’s dignitary list included the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson; the President of France, François Hollande; Prince Albert II of… Read More Days 105-110: on top of the world
Within a couple of hours’ drive from Reykjavík are three major landmarks: Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area, and the spectacular 200-foot waterfall Gullfoss. They’re part of the “Golden Circle” tour and they usually wind up on every tourist’s itinerary because they’re so easy to reach in a single day. But it’s been over… Read More Day 26: the Golden Circle
I am no longer Canadian. The procedure was quick, inexpensive, and relatively painless. I’m told there may be some lingering side effects, but they should clear up in a few days, eh? However, I am now apparently not from anywhere. Þjóðskrá Íslands lists me in the national registry, but my place of origin is “unknown.” I’m sure… Read More Day 16: No, Canada!
Anyone can make a mistake. One of my first priorities after arrival was to visit the local office of Útlendingastofnun (UTL), the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. It was a quick, painless* visit: in the door, take a number, present my US passport and my residence permit letter when called, pose for what will undoubtedly be… Read More Day four: O Canada!
The process of moving to Iceland is remarkably straightforward. You know what you need to get a permit because the Icelandic immigration directorate, Útlendingastofnun, has created checklists for all kinds of contingencies. You’re an EU citizen? There’s a checklist for that. US citizen? Got you covered. Student? Worker? Spouse? Child? Athlete? Au pair? Refugee? The first alien visitors… Read More You asked for miracles … I give you the F.B.I.