Travel To Iceland From The US
In this post you will find important information when traveling from the US to Iceland. This post outlines the visa requirements, the COVID-19 requirements and required documents.
Are you thinking of visiting Iceland in the next few months?
Well, if you are, you'll love it!
I've traveled there a few times before and may I just tell you that it's a country like no other. My favorite destinations include Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Golden Circle, and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
From the mystical northern lights and breathtaking views to icy adventures in Jökulsárlón, some would say Iceland has it all.
Now, before you get too excited about your next trip. You first need to consider what you need to enter Iceland. And that my friend is the Iceland Schengen Visa.
If you don't know what the Iceland Schengen Visa is or how to apply for one. Don't worry. I got you.
I'll discuss everything you need to know about the Iceland Schengen Visa in this post. After this extensive guide, you'll be able to get your visa faster than you can say "Eyjafjallajokull" (it's a volcano that erupted in 2010 btw).
Let's dive right into it:
Basically, the Icelandic Schengen Visa is a travel authorization that allows entry into the country. If you don't enjoy visa-free travel to Iceland, you'll need one of these.
Moreover, the Iceland Schengen Visa is used to travel to Iceland for tourism purposes. This includes visiting friends/family, going on vacation, sightseeing, and so on.
*But, what about short business trips?"
You're allowed to use the Schengen Visa for short business trips. However, you're not allowed to work in Iceland whatsoever. Short business trips generally include attending meetings, business functions, visiting contractors, etc.
If you wish to work in Iceland, you need to apply for a work visa or another type of National Visa that allows such purposes.
Before you continue:
You'll often hear people refer to the Iceland Schengen Visa as the Tourist Visa or Short Stay Visa.
Schengen Visa, Tourist Visa, patato, potato.
All you need to know is that these visas are the same. The only difference is what you would like to call it. For the purpose of this post, I'll use the terms Schengen Visa and Tourist Visa interchangeably.
If you're currently tied up and don't have time to read through my guide, I got a quick and easy solution for you. The fastest way to apply for your Iceland Schengen Visa is through Atlys.
Not only can you complete your application within 10 minutes (actually less than that), but Atlys will guide you through the entire process. Furthermore, Atlys will generate most of your required documents for you.
To save time, frustration, and loads of uncertainty, use Atlys.
If you like reading extensive guides, please continue.
Before I jump into the visa application process and its required documents, you need to consider the following few things:
Fortunately, not everyone needs to go through the tedious application process. Some nationals enjoy something called "visa-free" travel.
Suppose you reside in a country that enjoys visa-free travel to Iceland (like the USA and Canada). In that case, you don't need to apply for a Tourist Visa to visit the country (see FAQs for a list of countries that enjoy visa-free travel).
Unfortunately, if your country of origin does not enjoy visa-free travel to Iceland, you must apply for an Icelandic Schengen Visa. Generally, most third-country nationals need to apply for a visa to enter Iceland.
Did you know: Citizens who reside in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and the Schengen Area don't need any type of visa Iceland Visa to visit Iceland.
Once your Icelandic Tourist Visa is approved, you're allowed to visit Iceland for a maximum of 90 days within every 180-day period.
"Can I extend my tourist visa?"
Yes, you can. However, you can only extend your visa under specific circumstances, and it's tough to do.
If you don't know, each Schengen Member State has its own specific financial requirements. This is only to ensure that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay.
Iceland requires you to present a minimum of €28.83/day (4,000 ISK). Consequently, you need to present around €144.13 (20,000 ISK) for entry into Iceland.
Even if you plan to stay in Iceland for 3 days, you still need to show a minimum of €144.13.
For adults, the amount payable is around €80 (EUR)
For minors (6 - 12 years old), the amount payable is around €40 (EUR)
The Iceland Schengen Visa for applicants under 6 years is free
Be mindful that these amounts can change at any time. Luckily, I've found the exact page you can check to learn the most up-to-date information about the visa fees.
Generally, you need to apply for your Iceland Tourist Visa at your local Icelandic Embassy or Consulate. However, depending on the country you're from, you may need to apply at an authorized application center.
If you're unsure where to apply for your Iceland Tourist Visa, use Atlys to apply. Atlys already knows where you need to apply.
Once you've submitted your Schengen Visa application, it usually takes around 15 business days to be processed. Nonetheless, be aware that the visa processing time may take longer under certain circumstances such as:
A sudden demand in Icelandic Schengen Visas
A global pandemic
Changes made to visa policies and regulations, etc.
I recommend starting your application at least 3 months before your intended travel date.
Yes, I know it might sound early, but this leaves you enough time to complete the application and wait for your visa to be processed. Additionally, after receiving your visa, you can spend the rest of your time getting excited about your trip instead of stressing about your application.
Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, you can visit the other Schengen States with your Icelandic Schengen/Tourist Visa.
Yup - cool, right!
The general rule:
You must enter Iceland first before traveling to the other countries of the Schengen Area.
Here's how you do it:
Within your cover letter (a required document), you can state that you plan to visit the other Schengen Member States. Be sure to include a travel itinerary to prove the purpose of your visit.
Other Schengen countries in Europe (and outside) you can visit include:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
I know this is common sense, but you need to provide a list of required documents for your visa application to be successful. I'll briefly discuss these requirements next.
Quick note: If you have any questions regarding any of the documents listed below, you can read this comprehensive guide that explains each requirement in detail..
When applying for your Icelandic Tourist Visa, you need to submit the following documents:
A copy of your valid passport or travel document valid for 3 months after leaving Iceland. In addition, your passport/travel document must have 2 blank pages available,
Proof of Financial Means (bank statements, payslips, etc.),
Proof of Accommodation (hotel booking, Airbnb reservation, etc.),
An invitation letter from a host in Iceland. You can ask your hotel, Airbnb, or friend/relative to complete this for you.
Valid Health Insurance/Medical Insurance. It must be valid for the duration of your intended stay, cover all medical expenses, and provide minimum coverage of €30,000.
I suggest adding a cover letter alongside your visa application. You can include your personal information, travel dates, and a travel itinerary within it. This helps support the purpose of your trip to Iceland.
As for COVID-19 requirements:
Unfortunately, I can't give you the exact details as requirements and restrictions change constantly. But, not to worry, I do have a solution. You can use Atlys's COVID-19 tool to check the latest Iceland covid restrictions and requirements.
I can tell you that you need to have a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Also, you need to complete the pre-registration form before your trip.
Before your trip, it's recommended that you download the Rakning C-19 app. The app includes vital information on COVID-19 and how to contact Iceland's healthcare system, should you need it.
Fill in information
Get your visa!
Now for the Iceland Tourist Visa application process. At first, it might seem like a difficult task, but if you know what you're doing, it's pretty straightforward.
Next, you'll find 5 simple steps you can follow to successfully apply for your Icelandic Tourist Visa:
To start your Iceland Tourist Visa application, you need to collect all the required documents listed above. This can take some time, so be sure to start gathering the documents well before your planned trip.
Quick tip: Make a list of the documents you need to gather. Once you've acquired a document, cross it out on your list. This way, you can track what you already have and what you still need to get.
After you've gathered your documents, you must start filling out your Schengen Visa application form. Again, ensure that the information you provide is accurate.
A small mistake like a misspelled name can lead to a denied visa. Read this guide to learn about the mistakes you should avoid when applying for a Schengen Visa.
Once you've filled out the form, print and sign it.
Quick tip: Always enter your personal details as found on your passport.
Next, you need to schedule a visa appointment at your local Icelandic Embassy. Be mindful that most appointment slots may already be booked. Meaning you probably won't find a slot that suits your exact "time frame."
Here are a few ways you can schedule your appointment:
Call the Iceland Embassy to schedule your appointment
Use Atlys's appointment tool found on the top of this page
Try finding an appointment through a Visa Application Center (like VFS global)
Remember to note down the date of your appointment. It would be horrible if you forgot to attend it.
You didn't schedule an appointment just for the fun of it. No, now you need to attend it.
Here is where you submit your documents and attend an in-person interview with an embassy official or staff member. During the interview, you'll be asked a few questions surrounding the purpose of your trip and what you plan to do in Iceland (nothing to be stressed about).
After completing the interview, your biometric information will be collected. Your biometric information includes your fingerprints and a digital photo (of yourself).
Suppose you have visited the Schengen Area in the last 59 months. In that case, you won't need to submit your biometric information.
Now that step 1 - 5 is complete, all you need to do is wait for your visa application to be processed. You can expect to wait around 10 - 15 days for your visa to be processed.
Authorities will notify you about your application status via:
or your preferred contact method
After your visa has been approved (congratulations!), you can travel back to the Embassy to collect your passport. Attached to it, you'll find your new Icelandic Tourist Visa.
Once you have your new visa, you're free to travel to Iceland and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Take loads of pictures and make as many unforgettable memories as possible!
And that concludes my guide on how to successfully apply for your next Icelandic Schengen/Tourist Visa.
If you have more questions, check our FAQ section below!
The Iceland Electronic pre resgistration speeds up your application process during the visa interview, since the visa officers can retrieve your application digitally.
The first task is to select City of Application Office - Iceland has 5 processing offices in the United States thru VFS Global:
Next enter personal and basic details such as name, email and passport information.
If you're confused about "Description of Issuer", it is just your nationality (or the issuing country of your passport).
It is worth noting that this is just a pre-registration form so you can ignore filling in optional details.
When applying for a Schengen Visa for minors, you need to submit a few additional documents alongside the standard required documents. These include:
An application form signed by both parents.
Your child's birth certificate.
Family court order – in cases where only one parent has full custody of the child.
Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
A notarized parental authorization signed by both parents/legal guardians if your child will be traveling alone.
If you have stepchildren - A letter from the mother or father that permits the children to travel with you.
Check this all-inclusive guide to learn the exact process of applying for a Schengen Visa for minors.
That depends on your country of origin. Simply put, if your home country enjoys visa-free travel to Iceland, you don't need to apply for an Icelandic Tourist Visa. On the other hand, if your country does not enjoy such benefits, you need to apply for a visa to enter Iceland.
Even though some nationals enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel, it doesn't mean they can just walk into the country without presenting anything.
While you may not need a Tourist Visa to enter Iceland, you still need to present a few documents upon entry into the country.
Typically, you need to present the following to immigration officials:
A valid passport
A return flight ticket (to prove you'll return back home after your trip)
Proof of accommodation (to prove the purpose of your trip)
Proof of financial means (to prove you can support yourself during your stay)
COVID-19 related documents
Sadly, not all applicants successfully get their Icelandic Schengen Visa. However, that doesn't mean you can't still get it. You always have the option to appeal the initial visa decision. Unfortunately, the appeal process can get tiresome and stressful. Still, if your application was denied due to a minor mistake, it's worth appealing the decision.
US citizens can submit their Iceland Visa application at the following Centre's:
Washington DC Icelandic Visa Application Centre
New York Icelandic Visa Application Centre
Chicago Icelandic Visa Application Centre
Houston Icelandic Visa Application Centre
San Francisco Icelandic Visa Application Centre
The following nationals enjoy visa-free travel to Iceland:
Albania (holders of biometric passports), Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Australia/
Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina (holders of biometric passports), Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria.
Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic.
Estonia, El Salvador.
Georgia (holders of biometric passports), Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala.
Honduras, Hong Kong (HKSAR passports), Hungary.
Ireland, Israel, Italy.
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg.
Macao (MACAOSAR passports), Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova (holders of biometric passports), Monaco, Montenegro ( holders of biometric passports).
Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia (holders of biometric passports), Norway.
Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Poland.
Samoa, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, South Korea, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Switzerland, Sweden.
Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu.
Ukraine (holders of biometric passports), United Arab, Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay.
Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela.
US citizens can apply at the following Centre's: