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Have you lost contact with your family?

Restoring Family Links

Every year, thousands of families are separated by conflicts, disasters or migration. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work around the world to help people locate missing family members and restore contact with them. This work includes looking for family members, restoring contact, reuniting families and seeking to clarify the fate of those who remain missing.

Icelandic Red Cross is part of this network and the focal point for this in Iceland. Please note that our services are open to all nationals and free of charge. Our service applies to adults and children.

Searching for family members

Living in uncertainty about what has happened to a missing relative can be extremely difficult.

If you have lost contact with your close relatives and exhausted your own opportunities for re-establishing contact, you can get help to search for them if:

  • You are closely related to the person you are searching for.
  • The person you are searching for is not in Iceland.
  • You lost contact as a result of war, conflict, natural disaster, displacement or migration.

How the search works

  • You can come to our Restoring Family Links (RFL) Open Hours on Tuesdays from 13.00 – 15.00. We are located in Efstaleiti 9, Reykjavík, Icelandic Red Cross Headquarters. During the appointment we will collect the information necessary to search for your family member.
  • The information is then sent on to our colleagues in the Red Cross global network, who work to search for your relative. Often the search process on site involves the Red Cross or Red Crescent representative visiting the last known address.
  • You will be contacted by us when or if we have received the results of the search.

Each search we carry out is unique and takes a different length of time. How well the search goes depends on how much information we have to go by and the local circumstances in the country where your relative is living.

Search instructions

  • You have made your own efforts to search for your relative(s) to no avail.
  • The relative(s) you are searching for must be outside Iceland.
  • You have lost contact as a result of war, conflict, natural disaster, displacement or migration.

For the Red Cross to start a search, the following needs to be fullfilled:

Search instructions for unaccompanied children

For the Red Cross to start a search, the following needs to be fullfilled:

  • The unaccompanied child expressed a wish to search for their relatives.
  • The unaccompanied child is closely related to the person(s) they are searching for.
  • The unaccompanied child has made their own efforts to search for their relatives to no avail.
  • The relative(s) the unaccompanied child is searching for must be outside Iceland.
  • The unaccompanied child has lost contact with their relative(s) as a result of war, conflict, natural disaster, displacement or migration.

What to think about before meeting with the Red Cross

You must have the following information before making the first contact with the Red Cross:

  • Which relative(s) are you looking for?
  • When were you last in contact with your relatives?
  • Where were you last in contact with your relatives?
  • In what way did you last have contact with your relatives (for example, by telephone, social media, direct contact)?
  • In what way did you lose contact with your relatives?
  • What have you done yourself to re-establish contact with your relatives?

During the conversation, the Red Cross will decide whether there is sufficient information to proceed with the case and book an appointment.

Family Reunification

The Icelandic Red Cross provides information regarding family reunification.

The Red Cross has Interview Hours on Tuesdays from 13.00-15.00 in Efstaleiti 9.

During the appointment you can get information about the process of family reunion and which documents you need to obtain in order to seek family reunification. Please note that the application and supplemented documents have to be submitted then to the Directorate of Immigration, Bæjarhraun 18, Hafnarfjörður and that the Icelandic Red Cross is only providing information.

Can my family come to join me in Iceland?

To be able to bring your family to Iceland your asylum application must first receive a positive decision. This means that only once you have been granted protection by the Directorate of Immigration you will be allowed to bring your spouse and children under the age of 18 years old. If your parents are over the age of 67 it is possible, under certain conditions, for you to apply for family reunification with them. If you are a minor you have, under certain conditions, the right to apply for family reunification with your parents and siblings under the age of 18.