ETIAS VISA WAIVER FOR ICELAND
TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS TO VISIT ICELAND
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Visitors coming in Iceland from visa-exempt countries will soon be required to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System is planned to become a required entry requirement for Iceland shortly after its implementation in November 2023.
Visitors from non-EU countries will be pre-authorized by ETIAS, increasing safety and security across Europe. Tourists will be able to visit Iceland with more peace of mind once the new pre-authorisation is ready.
ICELAND BASIC INFORMATION
Despite not being a part of continental, mainland Europe, Iceland is called Nordic European. It is a mountainous island nation in the North Atlantic, with ice glaciers covering 10% of its surface.
Iceland, as an island, has no land boundaries; it is close to Greenland to the west and fellow Nordic states Norway and Sweden to the east.
Iceland is the least densely inhabited country in Europe, with an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi) and a population of little over 364,000 people. Reykjavik, the capital city, and its surrounding area are home to two-thirds of the population.
Iceland has a remarkably moderate temperature, despite its northern position, and there are several hot springs that both inhabitants and visitors enjoy.
The quantity of daylight that Iceland receives varies greatly depending on the season. In December, there are about 20 hours of darkness, but in June, the sun sets just quickly and it is never completely dark.
Capital city: Reykjavík
Official language: Icelandic
Currency: Icelandic króna
ICELAND AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
As a Schengen nation and member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association, Iceland is well-integrated with Europe (EFTA). However, it is not a member of the European Union.
Despite not being a member of the EU, Iceland has a strong connection with the Union: Iceland participates in various EU organisations and programmes but does not have voting rights. Iceland’s foreign policy is likewise linked with that of the EU, and the country interacts with the union on foreign policy concerns.
Iceland is a member of the Schengen Zone. The travel zone has no internal boundaries, allowing individuals to freely move across Iceland and other Schengen countries. ETIAS will be available beginning in November 2023. Soon after adoption, ETIAS will be required for travel to Iceland from countries outside the Schengen Area.
TRAVELLING TO ICELAND
International travel in Iceland has increased dramatically during the previous decade, from less than 500,000 in 2010 to more than 2 million in 2019.
The landscapes of Iceland entice visitors: glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and fjords create breathtaking beauty. Visitors to Iceland may get in touch with nature; even Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, is easily accessible by hiking a short distance off the main road.
The Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index rated Iceland the safest country in the world in 2020. Another reason to visit the island country.
Iceland’s popularity among non-Europeans is enhanced by its Schengen membership. Because Iceland is a member of the zone, passport holders from many third countries can remain in Europe without a visa for up to 90 days. The ETIAS permit will be accessible to visa-exempt travellers beginning in November 2023.
MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR ICELAND
Visitors from the EU can access medical care on the same conditions as Icelandic natives if they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Insurance is advised but not required because not all medical expenses are covered.
Non-Europeans are strongly urged to obtain medical insurance for their travel to Iceland. The type of travel authorization requested determines whether or not insurance is required.
MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR ETIAS ICELAND
Non-EU passport holders from visa-exempt countries must apply for ETIAS before visiting Iceland. Visitors do not need to submit proof of medical coverage because travel insurance is not one of the ETIAS criteria.
While not required, health insurance is suggested when travelling abroad.
HEALTH INSURANCE FOR SCHENGEN VISA FOR ICELAND
Visitors who do not qualify for ETIAS will need to get a Schengen visa in order to visit Iceland. Additional supporting papers, such as evidence of medical coverage, must be included with the visa application.
The insurance coverage must cover at least €30,000 and be valid across the Schengen Area.
GOING THROUGH ICELANDIC BORDER CONTROL
There are no border crossings between Iceland and the other 25 Schengen member countries. This implies that foreign individuals entering the border-free zone will not be stopped at checkpoints. Visitors should, however, have their travel documentation with them at all times.
Visitors from outside Europe must have a valid passport and either an ETIAS visa waiver or a Schengen visa to enter Iceland.
CROSSING THE BORDER WITH ETIAS
With ETIAS, crossing the border is quick and easy; the travel authorization is linked to the applicant’s biometric passport and validated when the passport is scanned at the border.
CROSSING THE BORDER WITH A SCHENGEN VISA
Third-country citizens who do not qualify for ETIAS must get a Schengen visa in order to enter Iceland. Additional papers sought include proof of adequate finances to support the stay in Iceland and an onward or return ticket.
Border officials make the final decision on whether to allow a foreign citizen to enter Iceland in all situations. Officials may inquire about the purpose and duration of your trip in Iceland.
ARRIVING IN ICELAND BY PLANE AND FERRY
The majority of international visitors arrive in Iceland via plane. Because it is an island, flying is the most efficient and easy method to get there.
Keflavik Airport (IATA: KEF, ICAO: BIKF) serves as Iceland’s primary international gateway. The airport is 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the city centre, which can be reached in 45 minutes by bus.
The bulk of international tourists come at Keflavik Airport, which handled over 7 million passengers in 2019.
TAKING THE FERRY TO ICELAND
Certain foreign countries may reach Iceland via boat. During the summer months, a ferry runs from Denmark to Iceland, stopping in the Faroe Islands, which are well worth visiting.
Iceland is currently a popular stop on international cruise ships, and tourists arriving on a cruise ship frequently spend a day or two to see the country.
VISITING ICELAND: TOURIST INFORMATION
Iceland’s landscapes not only give breathtaking views, but also numerous options for outdoor recreation. Ice-covered volcanoes, boiling mud pools, geothermal springs, and stunning cliffs all await adventurers.
Many visitors remain in Reykjavik and take day journeys from the city to other parts of Iceland. There are several options available, ranging from delicate to bold.
For those up for the task, Iceland’s 4,500 square kilometres of glacier allow for year-round ice climbing. The glaciers of Sólheimajökull and Svnafellsjökull in the south are the most popular.
Whale viewing in Iceland is among the greatest in the world. A wide variety of marine life may be found in the frigid coastal waters. Summer months, from April to September, are ideal for whale watching, with species such as Orcas, Minkes, Humpbacks, and Blue Whales all visible.
The Aurora Borealis, often known as the Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon and one of Iceland’s primary draws. When light interacts with the atmosphere, it produces it. It is best viewed on clear winter evenings when the chances of viewing it are greatest.
EUROPE’S VISA WAIVER FOR ICELAND
Third-country citizens planning to visit Iceland beginning in November 2023 should ensure they fulfil all ETIAS criteria. Once the European Travel Information and Authorisation System is operational, passport holders from visa-exempt countries will need to register for the visa waiver.
The ETIAS application procedure is completely online and may be performed from anywhere with an internet connection, 24 hours a day.
To register, you must have a valid passport and an email account. You must also have a credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS visa waiver payments.
Applicants must supply some basic personal information, such as their name, address, and contact information, as well as passport information. There are also some concerns about health and safety. The given information is cross-checked against worldwide security databases.
The bulk of applications will be accepted quickly. The visa waiver is affixed to the applicant’s passport’s biometric chip and is valid for three years, or until the passport expires.
Foreigners with a valid ETIAS visa waiver can enter Iceland or any other ETIAS country several times and remain for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.