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Visa to Iceland

Information and frequently asked questions about a Schengen visa

The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states, based on the Schengen Agreement, a treaty between the Member States, with the purpose of ending internal border checkpoints and controls within the area. Iceland has been a Member State of the Schengen Area since 2001.

Citizens from more than 100 countries, that have not been exempted from obtaining a Schengen visa, wishing to visit Iceland or any other Schengen Member State, must apply for a Schengen visa before entering the external borders of the Schengen Area. A Schengen visa enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen Area from any of the Schengen member states, for up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

Government Offices responsible for the issuance of Schengen visa to Iceland

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the Schengen cooperation and oversees the coordination of the category in Iceland. The Ministry of Justice has appointed the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration as the central authority with respect to the issuing of Residence Permits and short-term visas, commonly referred to as Schengen visas to Iceland. The Ministry of Justice has appointed the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a collaborator with the Directorate of Immigration, in issuing Schengen visas to Iceland in selected embassies abroad. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is also responsible in establishing and maintaining representation agreements with other Schengen Member States, on Iceland’s behalf.

The Ministry of Justice

The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration

Representation agreements

Iceland has made representation agreements with 9 other Schengen Member States on processing applications for a Schengen visa to Iceland and issuing visas in more than 100 places where Iceland does not have a Diplomatic Mission. The Nordic countries have a close cooperation in Schengen visa matters and Embassies and Consulates General of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland represent Iceland in many locations. Furthermore, Iceland is represented by Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Lithuania.

Frequently asked questions

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa allowing its holder to enter and freely travel within the Schengen Area. A Schengen visa is a permit, issued by a Schengen Member State with a view to:

  • Transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Schengen state of duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period. (“short stay visa”)
  • Transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen Member States (“airport transit visa”)

The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration has a list of countries, whose citizens need to obtain a Schengen visa to travel to Iceland.

On this webpage of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration is a list of countries whose citizens do not need a Schengen visa to travel to Iceland.

You can apply for a Schengen visa up to three months prior to your intended entry into the Schengen Area. It takes generally up to 15 days for the embassy (or consulate) to process visa applications. However, in the case when further information or documents are required, the processing time can be extended to 30 days. In extraordinary circumstances, the processing time can be extended to 60 days. Therefore, it is recommended to apply for a visa well in advance of your intended trip. 

Iceland processes applications for a Schengen visa to Iceland at the Icelandic Embassies in Russia and China. Representing States processes applications for a Schengen visa to Iceland in more than 100 places worldwide, for a list of places where you can apply for a Schengen visa to Iceland, please click here to open the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. Furthermore, you can apply for a visa at designated Visa application centers, for a list of the locations, please click here (in the column labelled Þjónustuskrifstofa) to open the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

It depends on how many times you intend to enter the Schengen Area during the validity period of the visa issued.
Please note, that Iceland issues by default a single-entry visa to tourists. Unless the intended purpose of the trip clearly states the need of the issuance of a double entry or multiple entry visa and the purpose is further supported in the submitted application documents.

A single-entry Schengen visa
• A single-entry Schengen visa holder can enter the Schengen Area only once. The applicant cannot leave the Schengen Area and re-enter it during the same trip. (Note: it does not matter if you have not used all the days you applied for. Once you go out of the Schengen Area your visa is invalid)

A double entry Schengen visa
• A double entry Schengen visa holder can enter the Schengen Area twice during the same trip. It means that if you are traveling and you intend to leave the Schengen Area and then return before completing your journey you will apply for a double entry visa.

Multiple entry visa
• Applicants with a multiple entry visa are allowed to leave and re-enter the Schengen Area multiple times for up to 90 days per every 180-day period. You can get multiple entry visa valid for one, three- or five-year period. The requirements for that type of visa are:

• 1-year multiple entry visa
All applicants must present documents showing that they are regular travelers to the Schengen Area and have been granted at least one double entry visa before. 

• 3-year multiple entry visa 
Applicants for a three-year multiple entry visa have to present documents that they travel periodically to one of the Schengen countries. 

• 5-year multiple entry visa
Applicants for a 5-year multiple entry visa have to present strong evidence that you need to travel often to any of the Schengen countries.

On this website of the European Commission you can find a Schengen visa calculator, where you can calculate how many days are remaining of the validity of your Schengen visa.


If an Icelandic citizen, a permanent resident in Iceland or a company in Iceland wishes to invite a person who needs a Schengen visa to enter Iceland, the inviting party needs to write an invitation letter as a part of the visa application.

The contents of the invitation letter must include:
• Information about the applicant, name, date of birth, passport number.
• Name of the applicant’s employer and information about the relationship between the employer and the inviting company (for a business visa).
• The intended duration in the Schengen Area, number of days in Iceland and any other Schengen countries, if applicable.
• The intended purpose of the trip.
• The dates of entry to and exit from the Schengen Area.
• Information about the inviter, the name and details of a contact person and the relationship between the inviter and the applicant.
• Information about the party that will be responsible for the costs of the trip and accommodation during the applicant’s stay in Iceland. Will the applicant bear all the costs, in part or the inviter?
• An inviter can strengthen the invitation letter by e.g. attaching documents such as photographs that demonstrate a relationship between the applicant and the inviting party.

If an inviting party declares that it will provide it’s guest(s) with the means of substance while staying in Iceland, then the inviting party would need to hand in a personal/company bank account statement in order to demonstrate that it possesses sufficient funds to provide for its visitor(s).

The number and types of supporting documents that need to be handed in with a Schengen visa application may vary depending on the applicant's country of application.
In order to get the most accurate information regarding application requirements, applicants are advised to visit the websites of the embassy/consulate where they intent to apply for the visa.

Information about requirements in China on the following websites:

Embassy of Iceland in Beijing

VFS China

Information about requirements in Russia can be found on the following websites:

Embassy of Iceland in Moscow

VFS Russia

 

For information about requirements in other countries, please click here to open the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

 

The Directorate of Immigration states that the documents that must be handed in to meet the basic requirements for an application to Iceland are:

  1. Application form, completed and signed by the applicant. If the applicant is a minor, the parents/legal guardians have to sign the form.
  2. A passport size photograph (35X45 mm).
  3. Travel document. The travel document must be valid at least three months beyond the proposed stay. The document cannot be over 10 years old and must have at least two blank pages.
  4. Proof of financial support. Either submit applicants bank statement or a guarantee form from the reference person in Iceland “Guarantee form for visits” along with the reference persons bank statements or pay stubs.
  5. Documentation showing applicants ties to home country, e.g. verification from applicant’s employer of employment upon return or confirmation from applicants’ school of continued studies upon return.
  6. Medical Insurance. The insurance coverage must be at least 30.000 Euros.
  7. Documentation confirming the purpose of travel:
  • Letter of invitation from the reference person (host) in Iceland, if the purpose of the trip is a visit to friends or family. For a family visit, documentation of the family relationship is required.
  • For a business trip, confirmation/invitation from a company in Iceland.
  • For tourists, hotel booking and tour booking, as applicable.
  • If the intention is to attend a meeting or seminar, confirmation/invitation from the applicable conference organizer/institution.

When lodging an application, the applicant shall allow the collection of his fingerprints and pay the visa fee. 

Further information can be found on the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your intended stay in the Schengen Area, or from the return date to your home country. Please note that your visa application will be refused if this condition is not met. 

Every applicant must pay a non-refundable visa fee when applying for a Schengen visa. The fee is decided by the European Commission and is equivalent to 60 euros for adults and 35 euros for minors 12-18 years old. Children younger than 12 years old do not pay a visa fee.

Please note, that applicants may have to pay a service fee, in addition to the visa fee, to the service provider receiving, processing and forwarding the application to the Embassy or Consulate General, which will be responsible for the decision on whether a visa will be issued or not.

The validity of your Schengen visa indicates that the visa can be used within the stated period. The duration is the number of days the traveler can stay within the validity period.

Example:
A Schengen visa has a validity from June 1st to August 31st, but a duration of only 30 days and a single entry. Then the traveler can enter the Schengen Area once from June 1 to August 31 and stay for a maximum period of 30 days.

The validity period of a Schengen visa cannot exceed 5 years.

A short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen Area, since the ultimate decision is made by border guards on the external border or point of entry. At the border, or during other control points, you may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in the Schengen Member State, and why you are visiting the Schengen Member State. Therefore, it is recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa. This will help you make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.

No, you are not permitted to work in the Schengen Area if you are only holding a Schengen visa. The visa only grants you a short stay permit intended for tourism, business or visiting family and friends. Applications for a work permit need to be submitted directly to the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. On the website of the Directorate of Immigration, you can find information on work permits in Iceland. 

Holders of a Schengen visa who for some reason cannot leave Iceland before the end of the validity and/or duration of their stay, can as long as they can provide a valid reason for it, apply for an extension of the visa at the offices of the Directorate of Immigration located at Dalvegur 18, 201 Kópavogur. Outside opening hours of the Directorate of Immigration, the Schengen visa holder can go the Police station located at Hverfisgata 113, 105 Reykjavík and apply for a visa extension. 

A visa holder must submit an application form, a copy of his passport, a copy of his existing visa, proof of medical insurance (travel insurance), a letter justifying the necessity for extending the visa, and a doctor‘s certificate (if applicable).

Note that these extensions only apply for emergencies. Overstaying your visa is a punishable offense and punishments may include a fine, immediate deportation and/or a ban to enter the Schengen Area for a period of time. 

Greenland and the Faroe Islands are not a part of the Schengen Area and a regular Schengen visa is not valid for Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Consequently, a separate visa is required in order to travel to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. These visas are issued by Denmark.

The United Kingdom is not a part of the Schengen Area. Therefore, a Schengen visa does not grant you access to the UK. Check with UK authorities whether you need a visa to visit the UK. 

Please note that if you hold a single-entry Schengen visa, you cannot re-enter the Schengen Area once you leave it. This means that if you intend to travel to the UK during your trip to the Schengen Area and then return back to a Schengen Member State, after your visit to the UK, you must apply for at least a double entry Schengen visa.

A UK resident, who is not a UK citizen and wishes to travel from the UK to Schengen Member States might need to apply for a Schengen visa. 

When a Schengen visa application is refused, the applicant receives a refusal letter explaining the reason behind the decision. A Schengen visa refusal does not deny the applicant the right to re-apply for a Schengen visa at another time. 

If a Schengen visa application is refused by the Directorate of Immigration in Iceland, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Icelandic Immigration Appeals Board within 15 days of receiving the refusal letter. Along with appeals, the applicant can hand in supporting documents that could help with granting the applicant the preferred outcome of the appeal.  

If a Schengen visa application is refused by one of the representing states, the appeal should be sent to the proper authority in the respective state. For example, where Denmark represents Iceland with the processing of Schengen visa applications, a refusal letter will provide the applicant with information on whether or not the refusal will be automatically appealed to the Danish Immigration Service or if the applicant should do so individually. 

The policy of the Icelandic Government is not to interfere with a decision made by representing states, since the Icelandic Government has made an agreement with the representing states, to process the applications and make decisions based on their own assessment. All the Schengen Member States base their assessment on the same regulation set by the European Commission. In addition, the representing states are more knowledgeable with regards to issues that might affect the decision made on visa applications from specific areas where Iceland does not have a Diplomatic Mission.

Travelers holding an Icelandic passport do not need a Schengen visa to enter other Schengen Member States, as long as Iceland is a Member of the Schengen Agreement. However, Icelandic citizens do need a visa to travel to a number of countries outside of the Schengen Area. For a list of countries and their visa requirements for Icelandic citizens, please click on the following link:

Visa Information for Icelandic citizens.

Iceland has made bilateral visa waiver agreements with third countries (see table below) allowing for an extension of the period of stay in accordance with Article 20(2) of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement. Citizens of the below listed countries may stay for up to three months or 90 days (depending on the respective bilateral agreement) in Iceland, regardless of their prior stay in the Schengen Area in any 180-day period.
For example, a holder of an Australian passport can stay in Schengen Member States other than Iceland, for up to 90 days and then stay in Iceland for up to three months.

 

Third country concerned[1]

Length of stay[2]

Category of passports[3]

Entry into force and expiry date[4]

Australia

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months *

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify:

Wording: valid Australian passport

Date of entry into force:

29th April 1969

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Brazil

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months *

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

Other, please specify:

Wording: valid Brazilian passport

Date of entry into force:

August 28, 1969

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Chile

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

Other, please specify: valid passport

 

Date of entry into force:

June 1st, 1967

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Israel

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months *

☒ Ordinary passports

☒ Diplomatic passports

☒ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☐ Other, please specify:

Date of entry into force:

1 April 1966

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Japan

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify:

Valid passport

Date of entry into force:

20 November 1966

Expiry date:

none

☐ date:

 

 

Canada

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

Other, please specify: three months, may be extended

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify:

Valid Canadian passport

Date of entry into force:

November 1, 1962

Expiry date:

 none

☐ date:

 

Malaysia

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☒ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify:

Valid Malayan passport

Date of entry into force:

July 1st, 1959

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Mexico

 

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

Other, please specify:

Three months

☒ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☐ Other, please specify:

Date of entry into force:

1st March 1966

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

New Zealand

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months *

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify:

Valid New Zealand passports

Date of entry into force:

1 February 1974

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Republic of Korea

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☒ Maximum 90 days *

☐ Other, please specify:

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify: valid Korean passport

Date of entry into force:

April 1 1970

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

 

Uruguay

☐ Maximum 30 days

☐ Maximum 60 days

☐ Maximum 90 days

☒ Other, please specify:

Three months *

 

☐ Ordinary passports

☐ Diplomatic passports

☐ Service/official passports

☐ Special passports

☒ Other, please specify:

Valid passport

Date of entry into force:

8 August 1991

Expiry date:

☒ none

☐ date:

*The three-month period will commence the day of entry to any Nordic State which is bound by the Convention of July 12, 1957 relative to the Passport Control Waiver between the Nordic States’ borders.  Any sojourn in any of those States during the six months preceding the entry into any of those States from a non-Nordic State shall be included in the above period of three months.


[1] Not applicable

[2] Periods indicated in months will be converted into 31 days per month for the purpose of the EES calculator.

[3] Please note that the EEA will not be able to take account of any other categories than passport categories.

[4] Not applicable

 

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