Many travellers will not need a visa to travel as a tourist to Iceland.
Although Iceland is not a member state of the EU, it is a member of the Schengen area, so for many countries, a visa is not required. Currently, citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and the UK – among around 60 others – are included under this visa-free arrangement. You are still required to meet the following criteria:
- Travel to one (or more) of Schengen's 26 partnering countries for a total or fewer than 90 days in a 6-month period.
- Have a valid passport for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure from the Schengen area.
- Have sufficient funds for your stay, and have booked either a return or onward ticket, or have enough funds to buy one.
In most cases, Schengen members are included in this visa-free arrangement with their neighbours. There are, however, around 100 countries whose citizens are required to obtain a Schengen visa to enter any country in the Schengen area. This currently includes travellers from South Africa, China and Russia.
How to apply for an Iceland visa (if you need one)
If you are a citizen of a country that requires a Schengen visa to enter Iceland:
- Make sure you qualify for a Schengen visa and work out which one suits your travel needs. If you wish to travel for leisure, you will likely qualify for the Tourist Schengen visa.
- Work out where you need to apply. Your Schengen visa application should be submitted to the consulate/embassy/visa centre of the country where you will spend the majority of your time in the Schengen area. If you are spending the same amount of time in each country, submit your application to the first country you will visit.
- Work out how much time is needed to process your application. A Tourist Schengen visa application should be submitted at least 15 calendar days before you travel, and no earlier than three months before travel.
- Collect the required documents. These documents include, but may not be limited to: a visa application, two recent passport-style photos, a valid passport, roundtrip reservation or itinerary, travel insurance, proof of accommodation, proof of financial means and proof of employment.
- Make an appointment with your destination country's consulate/embassy/visa centre, and attend the visa interview.
- Pay the visa fee and wait to hear the results of your visa application.
Exemptions to requiring a visa in Iceland
There are some exemptions to the visa requirement for Iceland, and the extended Schengen area, depending on the type of visa you wish to obtain. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your country of origin.
Click here to return to Iceland FAQs
Our tours in Iceland
Discover the unique beauty of Iceland. Visit the Gullfoss waterfall, touch the...
See Iceland on this eight-day tour that travels to Reykjavik, the Golden Circle,...
Discover Iceland’s geological wonders and welcoming people on an all-encompassing...
Tour green Iceland on a five-day trip visiting Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, Vik,...
Explore Iceland and hunt for the northern lights on a Premium adventure from Reykjavik...
Set off on a five-day circuit from Reykjavik, stay on a sustainable working farm and...
Check out Iceland’s chilly treasures on a trip through Reykjavik, Hvolsvollur,...
Cruise to three Arctic Islands – Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland – on this 15-day...
Cruise to four Arctic Islands – Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland – on this...
See all the highlights of the east, south and west coasts on this Arctic voyage around...
Discover the fjords of Southern Greenland on this nine-day expedition, flying in and...
From Helsinki, experience the wonders of Spitsbergen, East Greenland and Iceland on a...
An Arctic expedition through East Greenland and Iceland is the perfect opportunity to...
Join Intrepid on a 12-day journey along some of Greenland's most remote coastline,...
Tick Greenland off your bucket list on this 10 day cruise along the country's...