Travel to the USA: Visa Processing Time for Icelandic Citizens

Welcome to the majestic landscapes and vibrant cultural experiences that await you in the United States! Icelanders, like many international travelers, often find themselves enamored by the diverse attractions the US has to offer. From the bustling streets of New York City to the sweeping views of the Grand Canyon, the United States offers an array of destinations to satisfy the wanderlust of any traveler. But before packing your bags and embarking on your American adventure, you’ll need to navigate the visa process, ensuring your entry into the country is smooth and stress-free.

For Icelandic nationals looking to visit the United States for tourism, business, or transit purposes, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) offers a convenient alternative to the traditional visa. This article provides detailed insights into the US visa processing time, specifically for Icelanders, and what you can expect when you apply for your travel authorization.

Understanding ESTA for Icelandic Citizens

Before diving into processing times, let’s clear up what an ESTA is. The ESTA is not a visa but a travel authorization for citizens of countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), such as Iceland. VWP countries allow their citizens to travel to the US for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, provided they obtain an ESTA approval before their trip.

ESTA Application Process

The application process for an ESTA is straightforward and entirely online:

  • 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.

US Visa Processing Time for Icelanders

For Icelandic citizens, knowing the processing times for an ESTA is critical for planning your travel. Under normal circumstances, the ESTA application is processed within 72 hours. However, it’s recommended that you apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure to account for any potential delays.

In some cases, applications can receive an approval within minutes, although this is not guaranteed. To avoid any hiccups, apply as early as possible, even before finalizing your travel plans or purchasing airline tickets. That way, you’ll have peace of mind that your travel authorization is in order when you’re ready to depart.

If you forgot to apply ahead of time, remember that expedited services are available, ensuring you receive your authorization as quickly as possible. This is especially useful for last-minute trips or unexpected travel.

Tips for a Smooth ESTA Application

  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date from the United States.
  • Keep your employment and contact information handy, as you’ll need to fill in these details on your ESTA application.
  • Review your application for accuracy before submitting. Errors can lead to delays or even denials.
  • Check the status of your application if you haven’t received a response after 72 hours.

What if Your ESTA Application is Denied?

If your ESTA application is denied, don’t worry. You can still apply for a visitor visa, such as the B-1 or B-2 visa, at a US embassy or consulate. Note that visa processing generally takes longer and involves more stringent requirements, such as an in-person interview.

Allow for sufficient processing time when applying for a regular visa—this could range from a few days to several weeks, depending on various factors, including the specific US embassy’s workload, the time of year, and your individual circumstances.


How Long Is the ESTA Valid For?

The ESTA is valid for two years from the date of authorization or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. During this period, you can make multiple trips to the US without reapplying, as long as each stay does not exceed 90 days.

Can Icelanders Extend Their Stay in the US Beyond 90 Days with an ESTA?

No, the ESTA does not allow for extensions. If you wish to stay in the US beyond 90 days, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate visa that allows for a longer visit or residency.

Will Past Travel to Other Countries Affect My ESTA Application?

Your travel history could impact your ESTA application. Certain travels, like visits to countries deemed high-risk, might require additional scrutiny and could lead to additional questions or application denial.


As an Icelander, the ease of obtaining an ESTA makes traveling to the US a relatively simple process. By understanding the processing times and application requirements, you can ensure your journey begins without any visa-related complications. Remember to apply early, be thorough with your application, and look forward to the excitement of exploring the diverse landscapes and experiences the United States has to offer.

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