Knowing from close the natural beauties of Iceland, the nightlife and much more, the number of people wishing to visit their friends and relatives living in Iceland has thus increased. However, a huge share of the world population cannot just travel to Iceland with empty hands.
There are procedures that more than half of the world population needs to follow in order to enter Iceland. This means that, if you are planning to travel to Iceland for tourism you may need to apply for an Iceland Tourist Visa first.
Iceland Tourist Visa Application
The application process for an Iceland Tourist Visa requires from you to follow some exact procedures in order to be able to obtain a visa.
The steps for an Iceland Tourist Visa application are as follows:
- Make sure you need a visa to enter Iceland.
- Check if a Tourist Visa matches your purpose of entry and current situation.
- Figure out when is the right time to apply.
- Figure out where you need to file your visa application.
- Complete the application form for an Icelandic tourist visa and gather the required documents.
- Make an appointment for a visa interview.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Attend the interview.
Make sure you need a visa to enter Iceland
If you are planning to travel to Iceland for vacations, sightseeing, exploring or similar purposes, then you might be in need of a visa. You will need a Tourism Visa to Iceland if:
- You are not a national of one of the Schengen visa-exempt countries.
- Your country is visa-exempt but you have previously been rejected from entering Iceland, or any other Schengen country, without a visa.
Check if a Tourist Visa matches your purpose of entry and current situation
An Iceland Tourist Visa is a permit to enter Iceland under tourism purposes as sightseeing or vacations, for up to 90 days within a six-month period. It is part of the Schengen visa, and it allows the visa holder to travel not only to Iceland, but also through the whole Schengen territory.
On the other hand, an Iceland Visitor Visa is a permit to enter the country, for people who want to visit family members or friends residing in Iceland. It comes in the form of a visa sticker affixed in a traveler’s passport. It permits its holder to stay in Iceland for up to three months within a six-month period.
Figure out when is the right time to apply
You are highly advised to apply at least three weeks prior to your trip to Iceland in order to get your visa on time. However, the earliest you can file an application is six months before the trip, and the latest is two weeks before.
Figure out where you need to file your visa application
There are different Schengen embassies representing Iceland across the globe. Check here which embassy/consulate is in charge of Iceland visa admission in your country of residence!
Complete the application form for an Icelandic tourist visa and gather the required documents
When applying for an Iceland Tourist visa you will have to submit several documents at the embassy/consulate representing Iceland in your country of residence, to prove you meet the eligibility criteria for a visa.
First, you will need to submit some standard required documents, which are required for every visa to Iceland. These documents are as follows:
- Iceland Tourist Visa Application form. Printed twice and signed at the end.
- Two passport-size photographs. Make sure your photos comply with the rest of the Schengen Visa photo requirements.
- Your valid passport. With at least two blank pages, a minimum validity of three more months beyond the date you leave Iceland and issued within the last 10 years.
- Copy of passport pages.
- Complete travel itinerary for your trip to Iceland. This document must contain as your flight name, departure/arrival timings along with dates, your flight code and your flight reservation/booking numbers.
- Travel Medical Insurance for your entire stay in Iceland. For any health incident in Iceland and the whole Schengen area, with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
- Proof of employment status. As employment contract, bank statements, etc.
- Proof of financial means. Bank statements confirming you have a minimum of 145€ per each entry, and around 29€ per each day that you plan to spend in Iceland.
- A cover letter. In this letter you should introduce yourself, explain the purpose of your trip, as well as the intended duration of your stay in Iceland. You should also briefly explain what exactly you plan on doing while in Iceland.
- Proof of accommodation in Iceland. The authorities responsible for issuing Iceland visas want to know where you will be staying during your trip to Iceland. You can submit one of the following to fulfill this requirements:
- Hotel/hostel booking. Submit a document that confirms you have a booked room in Iceland for the entire stay. This document must contain the dates you will be staying there, as well as the address of the hotel/hostel.
- Rent Agreement with an Icelander property owner. If you will be renting a room/apartment/house, you need to submit a legal rent agreement with a property owner in Iceland. The agreement must contain the rental period and the address of the place.
- Invitation letter by a host in Iceland. If you plan on staying at a friend or a family owner residing in Iceland, you will need an Invitation Letter signed by this host.
Requirements for an Iceland Tourist Visa for Minors
Whereas, minor applicants will need to submit additional documents, as follows:
- Birth certificate.
- Iceland application form should be signed by both parents.
- Family court order, in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID / passport of both parents.
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to Iceland, signed by both parents / guardians, if the minor will be travelling alone with another person.
Additional documents required if you are visiting relatives or friends in Iceland
In addition, you will need to submit extra documents to show why you are applying for a visa to visit Iceland. The Iceland visa specific required documents are as follows:
- Cover letter. In this letter you should introduce yourself, explain the purpose of your trip, as well as the intended duration of your stay in Iceland. Give detailed information on your relation with the host, and what you are planning to do while in Iceland.
- Invitation letter from a host in Iceland. If you will be staying over at your friends’ or relatives’ house then you will need to submit an invitation letter written by them. The letter must contain the period of your stay, their address and details on their identity.
- ID of the host.
- A copy of the passport data page and residence permit of the host if they are in Iceland on the residence permit.
Make an appointment for a visa interview
In most of the countries, you will be able to schedule an appointment online. However, in some others you will need to make the appointment in person.
Pay the visa fee
The fee for an Iceland Tourist visa is €80. Depending on how the payment is regulated in your country of residence, you may have to pay the fee online when you apply, or in cash at the beginning of your visa interview.
Attend the interview
Attend the interview on the appointed date with all the required documents with you. We cannot stress it enough how important it is to be there on time. The interview lasts around ten minutes during which the interview asks you questions about you and your intended trip to Iceland.
After the interview, all it is left for you is to wait for the relevant authorities to process your visa application. After the processing, you will receive an answer on your application. If the answer is positive, you will receive the visa in the form of a sticker affixed in your passport.
How Long Will it take to Get a Tourist Visa for Iceland?
The processing of an Iceland Tourist Visa application takes at most 15 working days. Though the period may vary form one country to the other, since Iceland is represented by different embassies, most of the time a decision on your application will be given within 15 days.
Iceland Tourist Visa Validity
An Iceland Tourist Visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days within a period of six months. However, its validity depends on the decision of the visa processing body. If the consulate/embassy processing your visa decides that you only need i.e. 12 days to stay in Iceland, then your visa will be valid for only 12 days and you will not be able to stay any longer.
The embassy/consulate also decides how many times you can enter in Iceland. All this information is given in the visa sticker affixed in your passport. Learn here how to read a visa sticker!
Note that if you travel to other Schengen countries, the number of days you spend there will also be counted.
How to Extend an Iceland Visitor Visa?
If you are wondering if you can extend your stay in Iceland beyond the permitted duration of stay, then you should know an Iceland visa extension is permitted only in some very specific cases. I.e. if you show proof that you cannot leave Iceland because of force majeure or humanitarian reasons preventing your from leaving.
Quick Facts About Tourism in Iceland
Tourism in Iceland is on the rise. Currently, it is estimated that the industry of tourism contributes about 10% to the GDP of the country.
In 2017 alone, there were more than 2 million visitors to Iceland, the highest number of tourists to have ever entered the country.
In addition, with the revolution of technology especially in the 21th century, the number of people creating friendships with Icelandic people is also at its peak.
If you are passionate about nature there are countless things you could do in Iceland. You could witness the Snaefellsnes glacier and volcano, you could stroll down the beaches of the south, enjoy the natural treatments at the Blue Lagoon, explore the lake Myvatn geothermal area and much more.