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Iceland – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island nation located in the North Atlantic, known for its stunning natural beauty and unique culture. Whether visiting Iceland for tourism, work, or study, it is important to understand the visa regulations and requirements for entry. In this article, we will explore the types of visas available for entering Iceland, any exemptions that may apply, and the relationship between visas and residency.

Types of Visas for Entering Iceland

There are several types of visas available for individuals who wish to enter Iceland, including short-term visas and long-term visas. The type of visa required will depend on the individual’s reason for entering Iceland, the length of their stay, and their nationality.

Short-Term Visas

Short-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Iceland for up to 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of tourism, business, or family visits. Short-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:


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  • Schengen visa: This visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen area, which includes most of Europe. This visa is required for citizens of countries that are not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area. Citizens of some countries are exempt from the Schengen visa requirement, such as citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia.

  • National visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Iceland for up to 90 days for a specific purpose, such as work, study, or family reunion. This visa is required for citizens of non-EU or non-EEA countries who wish to enter Iceland for a specific purpose.

Long-Term Visas

Long-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Iceland for more than 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of work, study, or family reunification. Long-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:

  • Type D visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Iceland for up to 365 days for a specific purpose, such as work, study, or family reunion. This visa is required for citizens of non-EU or non-EEA countries who wish to enter Iceland for a specific purpose.

  • Residence permit: A residence permit allows the holder to reside in Iceland for an extended period of time, typically for a period of one year. This permit is required for individuals who wish to live and work in Iceland for an extended period of time.

Visa Exemptions

Citizens of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement when traveling to Iceland. These countries include members of the European Union and the European Economic Area, as well as citizens of some other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, even if a visa is not required, individuals may still need to meet certain requirements, such as having a valid passport and proof of sufficient funds.

Relationship Between Visas and Residency

It is important to note that a visa is not the same as a residency permit. While a visa allows an individual to enter Iceland for a specific period of time, a residency permit allows an individual to reside in Iceland for an extended period of time. In order to obtain a residency permit, individuals must meet certain requirements, such as having a job offer or proof of financial means to support themselves.

Reliable Information on Visas for Entry into Iceland

Individuals who are planning to travel to Iceland can find reliable information on visa requirements and regulations from the following sources:

Iceland is a part of the Schengen Area, so the requirements for entry depend on your country of origin. If you’re a citizen of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can enter Iceland with a valid passport or ID card and stay for an unlimited period. If you’re a citizen of a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may need a visa to enter Iceland.

You should apply for a visa at least 15 days before your intended arrival in Iceland. You can apply for a Schengen visa at the Icelandic embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you have legal residency.

Relevant Authorities:

The relevant authority for visa applications for Iceland is the Directorate of Immigration (http://www.utl.is/e-visitors/).

Where to Apply for a Visa for Iceland

If you’re a citizen of the US, you can apply for a visa at the Embassy of Iceland in Washington D.C. (https://www.iceland.is/iceland-abroad/us/embassy-washington-dc).

If you’re a citizen of the UK, you can apply for a visa at the Embassy of Iceland in London (https://www.iceland.is/iceland-abroad/uk/embassy-london).

Relevant Documents for Iceland

The required documents vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, but in general, you’ll need:

  • A completed and signed visa application form.
  • A valid passport or travel document with at least two blank pages and a validity of at least three months beyond your intended stay.
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Proof of travel insurance that covers medical expenses and repatriation costs throughout the Schengen area and with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
  • Proof of financial means, such as bank statements, credit card limits, or a letter of sponsorship from a person residing in Iceland.
  • Proof of the purpose of your trip, such as a letter of invitation, a hotel reservation, or a letter from your employer.
  • A fee of €80.

You can find additional information on the Directorate of Immigration website (http://www.utl.is/e-visitors/).

Translations may be necessary if the documents you provide are not in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English. The translations should be made by an authorized translator and must be certified by a notary public.

Visa Application Processing Time for Iceland

The processing time for a visa application varies depending on the time of year and the workload of the embassy or consulate where you submit your application. On average, the processing time is 15 days, but it can take longer during peak travel seasons.

Visa Application Cost for Iceland

The fee for a Schengen visa for Iceland is €80. There may be additional fees for services such as expedited processing or courier delivery of your passport.

Associated Costs

In addition to the visa fee, you may need to pay for additional services such as expedited processing or courier delivery of your passport. You should also budget for travel costs, such as airfare and accommodation, and for any incidental expenses, such as food and transportation.


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