Do Icelandic Citizens Need a Visa to Travel to America?

The Statue of Liberty surrounded by blue sky

Traveling to the United States stands as an alluring prospect for countless adventurers, offering a plethora of experiences ranging from the bustling streets of New York City, to the serene landscapes of the Grand Canyon. With diverse attractions fitting every preference, from cultural extravaganzas in cosmopolitan cities to peaceful retreats in the country’s vast natural parks, it’s no surprise that America is high on the travel wish list. However, before you can embark on your American dream holiday, it is paramount for Icelandic citizens, like those from many other nations, to understand the visa requirements for the United States.

As an Icelandic citizen, you fall under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which means you do not need a traditional visa to visit the U.S.A for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days. Instead, what you will require is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors arriving by air or sea.

What Is an ESTA and Who Needs It?

The ESTA is a streamlined travel authorization designed for citizens of VWP VWP Countries, like Iceland. It facilitates visa-free travel to the United States and is a mandatory requirement even if you’re just passing through the U.S. en route to another destination. After approval, the ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first, and allows for multiple entries into the country.

How Can Icelandic Citizens Apply for an ESTA?

Obtaining an ESTA is a straightforward online process:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

What Are the Requirements for an ESTA?

To apply for an ESTA, you should ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • A valid electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric info.
  • Intend to stay in the United States for 90 days or less.
  • Plan to travel to the U.S. for business, pleasure, or transit purposes.
  • A return or onward ticket (if you’re arriving by air or sea).
  • Acceptance of processing fees when submitting your application.

Please note, the approval of the ESTA does not determine your admission to the United States. The final entry permission lies with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of entry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if My Passport Expires?

If your passport expires, your ESTA will no longer be valid. You will need to reapply with a new passport, so keep this in mind during your travel planning.

Can I Extend My Stay with an ESTA?

No, you cannot extend your stay beyond the stipulated 90 days under the VWP. You should plan to depart the U.S. before your ESTA authorization expires.

What If I’m Denied an ESTA?

If you are denied an ESTA, you might need to apply for a visa through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It’s essential to understand the reason for your ESTA denial before considering other travel options.

Do Children Need an ESTA?

Yes, accompanied or unaccompanied minors traveling under the VWP require their own ESTA authorization.


Icelandic citizens looking to visit America are privileged to have access to the ESTA, allowing for easy and hassle-free entry into the country for short stays. Whether it’s witnessing the dazzling lights of Times Square or exploring the historical streets of Boston, ensure that your travel is stress-free and compliant with U.S. regulations by obtaining your ESTA well ahead of your intended travel dates. Ready to start your journey? You can confidently apply here for your travel authorisation to the United States of America.

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