ESTA for Icelandic Citizens
In this article
Iceland became a member of the Visa Waiver Program in 1991 and as a result, citizens of Iceland are able to apply for an ESTA instead of a US visa for visits the US for tourism, business, medical or transit.
ESTA Requirements and Important Information
- Applicant requires a valid biometric passport
- Use for visits to US that are for business, tourism, medical or transit
- Every individual requires a separate ESTA (including children)
- Only valid for visits of a maximum 90 days
- Can be used for multiple US visits
- Required when travelling to US by air or sea
- Remains valid for two years, or when the linked passport expires
Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Icelandic Citizens
Being members of the VWP means that citizens of Iceland can benefit from applying for the ESTA instead of the US visa. Some of these benefits include faster processing, lower cost for application and an easier way to apply.
Citizens from countries outside of the VWP must apply for a US visa to get permission to travel to the US, which involves a long form (DS-160) to be completed in addition to attending an interview at their country’s US Embassy.
The ESTA application is all done online, with a simple form to complete before paying the application fee. This process is often very quick, with confirmation to say whether it has been approved usually coming within 24 hours.
Another reason the ESTA is so convenient is that it is valid for two years and during that period, the ESTA holder may visit the US multiple times using the ESTA , provided that they do not stay for longer than 90 days at a time.
How Icelandic Citizens Can Apply for ESTA
Citizens of Iceland just need to have a biometric passport, a valid email address and a card to make the application fee with. The online form can be completed using a mobile, laptop or desktop. Visit the ESTA application website to complete the set of questions that will determine the applicant’s eligibility to have the ESTA approved.
The questions include personal information, passport details, medical and criminal activity information. The Department of Homeland Security will screen each applicant to determine whether they are considered to be a security risk. Once the application has been submitted, a response will be sent via email and this usually takes less than 24 hours. However, to take into account any issues, travellers are advised to send their ESTA application at least 72 hours before the intended time of travel.
What to do if ESTA is Declined
If you receive an email to say that your ESTA has been declined, there could be a number of reasons for the refusal. It could be due to making an error on the ESTA application form, in which case you can send a second application. If it has been refused for another reason then the only option is to apply for a US visa.
To apply for the US visa, you will need to complete a DS-160 form and visit the US Embassy in Iceland to attend an interview.
Address for US Embassy in Iceland
U.S. Embassy Reykjavík
Benefits of ESTA for Icelandic Citizens:
- Use for business, tourism, medical and transit purposes
- Fast and easy to apply for
- Costs less than visa application
- Can be used for multiple US visits whilst valid
- Can stay in US for up to 90 days with an ESTA
- Processing time is quick