The European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS, is a visa waiver program that is meant to strengthen the borders of the Schengen Zone. This will be done by screening non-EU visitors before they enter Iceland.
Currently, many non-EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Iceland or Europe in general. However, this will change starting in 2021. Those non-EU citizens who wish to travel to Iceland will need an ETIAS for Iceland.
Not to be confused with a standard travel visa, the ETIAS screens all applicants prior to their trip to the European Union. After approval, visitors are able to move freely within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days.
This is much like the system that was in place before. However, now there is an added security measure. It is important to know that this is the same for all EU countries found within the Schengen Area, not just for Iceland.
Iceland the EU and the Schengen Area
Iceland is a Nordic island nation located in Northern Europe. Iceland is integrated into both the European Union and Schengen Agreement; however, it is not actually an EU member. The country’s currency is the Icelandic krona and official language is Icelandic.
Iceland is still considered part of the Schengen Zone and currently allows for non-EU visitors to enter the country visa-free. However, as of 2021 most non-EU tourists will need an Icelandic ETIAS.
There will still be no hard borders within the Schengen Area. The only change with the ETIAS is that tourists wishing to visit the EU will go through the system. This pre-check will ensure the travelers pose no threat and are safe to enter the zone.
Who Needs ETIAS for Travel to Iceland?
Once the system is in place, citizens of non-EU countries will have to apply for ETIAS before traveling to Iceland. This is also true of any of the other Schengen countries. Even those who are currently allowed to travel to Europe visa-free will need an ETIAS as of 2021.
Currently, there are over 60 countries that will be required to apply for an ETIAS to visit Europe. The ETIAS allows people to visit the Schengen Area for tourist, business, medical, and transit reasons.
The ETIAS Iceland oversees all applicants who want to enter either Iceland or another Schengen country. After applicants are scanned and approved, they are able to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days.
Passport and Document Requirements for Iceland ETIAS
Those who need to apply for an Icelandic ETIAS have to meet the following requirements:
- Valid passport
- Issue and expiry dates
- Should be valid at least three months from arrival date
- Brief medical history
- Education and work experience
- Previous visits to war zones (if any)
- Criminal record (if applicable)
- Any deportation or rejection of citizenship history
Minors are required to have guardians complete an application for them. Those with family members who are EU citizens will have to submit proof of relationship, residence card, and/or other background details.
How Can I Apply for Icelandic ETIAS?
The ETIAS application is straightforward and inexpensive. This takes about 10 minutes and is done completely online meaning there is no time wasted making appointments or waiting in lines at a local embassy or consulate.
After the ETIAS requirements for Iceland are met, the applications process begins. Expect to answer the following to complete the application:
- Biometric information
- First and last names
- Last name at birth
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Current address
- Email address and phone number
- The name of the first EU country that you will visit
- Payment for the application fee via credit or debit card
Travel Information about Iceland
Iceland is a small island nation that is home to a unique landscape. Those interested in nature will be drawn to the various geysers, hot springs, and volcanoes.
Reykjavik is the capital city where most of Iceland’s population lives. There are several museums which display the interesting Viking history of the country. Another point of interest is Perlan. This is a rotating glass dome that offers panoramic views of the city that is a must-visit.
The city runs on geothermal power and visitors have to see the Blue Lagoon. This is a geothermal outdoor spa where one can relax and take in the sweeping views.