Complete guide to the Iceland visas, the application process, requirements and more details.
An Iceland visa is a permission in the form of a sticker or a stamp, in the passport of a traveler. It permits its holder to enter Iceland and remain there for a limited period of time.
Is Iceland part of Schengen Area?
Yes, Iceland is a member of the Schengen Area. The island country first signed the Schengen agreement on 19 December 1996. It signed a second agreement, which replaced the first, on 18 May 1999 following the incorporation of the agreement into EU law with the Treaty of Amsterdam. Iceland finally started the implementation of the agreement on 25 March 2001.
Do I Need a Visa for Iceland?
If you wish to travel to Iceland and remain there for up to 90 days within a six-month period, you may have to apply for an Iceland Schengen visa. You will have to apply for this kind of visa if you are a passport holder of one of the countries that do not have a visa facilitation agreement with Schengen.
What Types of Visas for Iceland Can I Apply For?
The Iceland visa type you need to apply for is very important. The visa type defines which documents you should submit, and the activities you are permitted to perform while in Iceland.
To decide what visa type fits you best think about the reason why you wish to travel to Iceland, and what you plan to do there.
There are a few types of visas to Iceland depending on your purpose of entry and period of stay. These visas are categorized as follows:
- Iceland Transit Visa. If you need to land in Iceland only to catch another plane or vessel to your non-Schengen destination country.
- Iceland Tourist and Visitor Visa. If you need to travel to Iceland for a short-stay strip up to 90 days, within a six months period. It is a short-stay visa for Iceland and it permits you to travel throughout the whole Schengen territory.
- Iceland Business Visa. For business travelers to Iceland who have to attend conferences or business meetings and will not stay longer than 90 days.
- Iceland Cultural, Sports and Religious event visa.
- Iceland Medical Treatment Visa.
- Iceland Long Stay Visa.
Iceland Visa Application
Based on the information given above you must have figured out whether you need a Schengen visa or not to enter Iceland. If you do not, then you can just travel to Iceland with your valid passport and documents related to your trip, in case the border officers ask you about it.
If you need a Schengen visa to enter Iceland person then you will have to follow some procedures to get it. The application process for an Iceland Schengen Visa contains several steps, which you need to follow in the given order below:
- Find out when you need to apply for a visa to Iceland.
- Check where you need to apply for an Iceland visa.
- File the Iceland visa application form.
- Collect the required documents.
- Schedule a visa appointment.
- Attend the visa interview.
- Pay the Iceland visa fee.
Find Out When You Need to Apply for an Iceland Visa
To begin the application for an Iceland visa, you must first apply on time. Every embassy in the world has appointed a limited period within which the visa candidates can file their applications. As Iceland is a Schengen country, the process goes the same as for every member state. You can submit a visa application as follows:
- The earliest: six months prior to your intended trip
- The latest: two weeks before your trip
- Recommended: at least three weeks prior to your trip
Check Where You Need to Apply for a Visa to Iceland
The Icelandic embassies and consulates around the world do not receive visa applications. Instead, Iceland has outsourced visa admission and procession to the embassies and consulates of other Schengen states.
Here you can check where to apply for a visa to Iceland, according to your country of residence.
In addition, if you are applying for an Iceland short-stay visa, but you plan to visit other Schengen countries too, you should submit a visa application to Iceland only if:
- You will be spending more days in Iceland, compared to other Schengen countries
- You will be spending an equal amount of days in each country, but you will enter Schengen through Iceland
Fill-in the Icelandic Schengen Visa Application Form
After you figure out what visa you need, where and when to apply, you can now take concrete steps. Start by filling in the application form for an Iceland visa.
The application form for an Iceland visa contains questions about you as:
- Name and surname
- Date and place of birth
- Sex and marital status
- National Identity number
- Passport number
- Home address and email
- Purpose of trip
- Question regarding previous trips to Schengen, if any
- Intended date of arrival in Iceland, and the intended period of stay
- Cost of traveling and remaining in Iceland, who will cover them, etc.
Make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the rest of the documents. Complete the form, print it twice, and sign both copies at the end.
Collect the necessary documents
Start collecting the required documents for a Schengen visa to Iceland one by one. Make sure they all comply with the criteria set by the Schengen authorities.
Schedule a Visa Appointment
It is mandatory to schedule an appointment for an Iceland visa interview. The embassies and consulates representing Iceland do not receive walk-in applications.
In most of the countries, you can schedule the appointment online. However, in others, the applicant must make an appointment in person. For more in this regards, you should check with the diplomatic body representing Iceland in your country of residence.
Attend the Visa Interview
The visa interview is a meeting between you and the consular officer/interviewer. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer.
You should pay attention to several things before and after the interview. First, show up on time at the appointment center. Wear something comfortable, which looks a bit more serious. Try not to be nervous.
During the interview, answer each question that the interviewers ask. Do not provide extra unnecessary information to the interviewer. Smile time after time. At the end of the interview, thank the consular officer for their time.
Pay the Iceland Visa Fee
The amount of money you will have to pay for a visa to Iceland depends on a few factors. These are the purpose of entry, the period of stay, your age, etc.
If you are an adult applying for a short stay visa for Iceland, you will need to pay a fee of €80. Children under the age of 12 have to pay a reduced fee of €40. Whereas, those under the age of six are waived from paying the fee.
The fee for a long stay visa to Iceland is around €56.
You will need to pay the fee either online if you are applying through a third-party company or in person during the interview.
Iceland Schengen Visa Application Processing Time
The processing of an Iceland Schengen Visa application takes at most 15 working days. Though the period may vary from 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.
What If My Iceland Schengen Visa Is Rejected?
If you receive a negative answer in your Iceland Schengen visa application, this does not mean you cannot ever travel to Iceland. In fact, you have two options.
- File an appeal for Iceland Schengen visa rejection if you believe that the decision to deny you a visa is unjust. You should have a strong basis for your complaint. You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for an Iceland Schengen visa rejection.
- Reapply by correcting the mistakes you did in your previous application. Or improve your situation in order to comply with the eligibility criteria for an Iceland Schengen Visa.
Can My Iceland Schengen Visa Be Revoked?
Yes, your Iceland Schengen visa can be revoked, if you no longer meet the conditions for issuing the visa.
How Long Can I Stay in Iceland Valid Visa?
The validity of your visa is always indicated in the visa sticker in your passport. The validity varies depending on your case. It may be for three days, two weeks, and even 90 days. The period within which you can spend this period of days in Iceland is also mentioned in your visa.
The validity of a short-stay visa to Iceland is 90 days within 6 months, maximally. This means that you will not be permitted to remain in Iceland for more than 3 months within a period of 6 months. If you travel to the rest of the Schengen countries, those days will be counted too.
However, that does not mean that you will be issued a three-month valid visa to Iceland.
The diplomatic body representing Iceland and processing your visa application in your country of residence is the one that decides on the validity of your visa, the permitted duration of stay and the permitted number of entries. When it comes to these three, please pay attention to their differences:
- Duration of stay: this is the number of days you are permitted to remain in Iceland and the whole territory of Schengen. If it says 15 days, then you cannot stay any longer than 15 days.
- Visa Validity: This is the period within which you can stay in Iceland. I.e. if your visa is valid from 1 March to 30 March, but the duration of stay is 15 days, then this means you can spend those 15 days within this period (from 5 to 20 March, for example).
- The number of entries: This is the number that stipulates how many times you can enter Iceland with that visa. Note that if the number of entries is two, but the duration of stay is 15 days, this does not mean you can spend 15 days in Iceland each time you enter. It rather means that you can spend 15 days in total in Iceland.
All this information is given in the visa sticker affixed in your passport
see also: processing Iceland Airport Transit Visa
Can I Extend my Iceland Schengen 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 you from leaving.
Non-Schengen Countries You Can Visit With an Iceland Visa
An Iceland short-stay visa, which is a Schengen visa, is very powerful. It gives you the chance to visit all of the Schengen states plus several others. There are a few countries in the world that permit travelers to enter their territory when holding a valid Schengen Visa.
The countries you can visit with a valid Iceland visa are as follows:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
- Sao Tome and Principe
Please note that you will not be permitted to travel to these countries or the rest of the Schengen states if your Iceland visa says “LTV”. LTV stands for Limited Territorial Validity and indicates that the visa is valid only for the country it is issued for.
Visit the following article to learn about moving to Iceland permanently.
see also: processing an Iceland Airport Transit Visa
What if I Have to Stay in Iceland for Longer than 90 days?
If you want to remain in Iceland beyond 90 days and the purpose of your stay does not conform to any of the Iceland residence permit types you can apply for an Iceland long-stay visa.
While with an Iceland short-stay visa one can remain in Iceland for a maximum of 90 days, an Iceland long-term visa permits its holder to remain there up to 180 days. Note that you cannot extend your stay for more than 180 days. You can also apply only once every 12 months for an Iceland long-term visa.
The Iceland long-stay visa grants also you the right to travel within the Schengen area. However, note that a person on a long-term visa in Iceland cannot work.
Who Can Apply for an Iceland Long Stay Visa?
All those in Iceland, either in an Iceland short-stay visa or in a visa-free stay can apply for a long-term visa if they have strong reasons to remain or they belong to one of the following groups:
- Relatives, as defined in para. 1 of art. 69 of the Act on Foreigners, who wish to extend their visit to Iceland. The minimum age requirement of parents may be waived.
- Witnesses or parties to a court case who need to stay in Iceland for a court appearance.
- Foreigners who are in Iceland for a legitimate purpose, such as artists, scientists or athletes, if they do not require a residence and work permit.
How to Apply for an Iceland Long Stay Visa?
The application process for a long-term Visa to Iceland is quite simple and similar to the application for a short-stay visa. Find this process listed below step by step:
- Check if your current situation permits you to apply for an Iceland Long-stay visa.
- Fill-in the application form for an Iceland Long-Term visa.
- Pay the fee at the reception desk of the Directorate of Immigration. The fee for an Iceland Long-stay Visa is €80.
- Submit the required documents at the reception desk of the Directorate of Immigration. The documents required for an Iceland long stay visa are the same as those required for your initial Iceland visa application.
When to Apply for an Iceland Long-Stay Visa?
Please make sure to apply on time for your Iceland long-term visa. You must apply at least 14 days before the expiration date of your current visa, or your visa-free stay.
If you apply later than that, the processing of your application may be delayed and you will have to leave Iceland before you get an answer.
Iceland Long-Stay Visa Processing Time
The processing time may take as long as 14 days upon the submission of the required documents. However, if you do not submit all of the required documents this period will be extended until you submit them. The same will happen if you are required to submit additional documents.
What are the Reasons for Denial of the Iceland Long Stay Visa?
The application for an Iceland long-term visa will be rejected if:
- The reason why you wish to remain in Iceland conforms to any of the Iceland residence permits
- You are seen as a threat to public security.
- The authorities in Iceland are suspicious that you will not leave the country when the endorsement expires.
- You do not meet the requirements for a long-term visa.
- You provide incorrect information on a criminal case.
Quick facts about Iceland
Iceland is a Nordic country located in the North Atlantic. It is a very sparsely populated country since it has a population of only 348,580 and an area of 103,000km2.
Its capital Reykjavík is not only the largest city, but it is also home to more than 2/3 of the entire Icelandic population. The country is highly developed, with relatively low taxes.
Iceland is a member of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Schengen Area and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
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