Iceland Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements & Application Process

Iceland, a land of surreal beauty and enchanting landscapes, and ranked by the Global Peace Index as the safest and best place to live in the world, welcomes digital nomads with the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa.

Launched in 2020, this special visa is known as Iceland’s long-term remote work visa serves as a temporary permit and allows remote workers, whether self-employed or under contract with a foreign employer, to live and work in the country for up to six months.

However, Iceland is notorious for its high cost of living and it may not be a financially sound and practical choice for many digital nomads, considering its income threshold requirement of $7,763/month- one of the highest in the world. But while the cost of living can be high, the overall experience of working and living in Iceland is likely to be both memorable and rewarding, such as being able to enjoy tax exemptions and other enticing benefits, as well as the assurance of safety and security in the country.

As an option, many digital nomads from the EU take advantage of the Schengen Agreement to enter Iceland visa-free as tourists for up to 90 days and then carry on with remote work. They cross borders or return to their home countries when or just before their time is up.

So, are you going to take the big step of pursuing a digital nomad lifestyle in Iceland? Let’s find out and see if this majestic Northern European island country is for you.

In this article, we delve into the details and intricacies of the Iceland digital nomad visa, how to acquire it, and navigate the application process if you want to live and work in Iceland.

What is the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa?

The Iceland Digital Nomad Visa is a specialized long-term remote work visa catering to the growing trend of digital nomadism. This visa is split into categories targeting self-employed individuals and those employed by companies outside of Iceland.

To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate a stable monthly income of no less than $7,763, highlighting Iceland’s high cost of living. This requirement ensures that digital nomads can comfortably sustain themselves during their stay. Additionally, applicants need to provide proof of health insurance, a clean criminal record, and a valid passport.

The visa allows for a stay of up to six months, providing an opportunity for digital nomads to immerse themselves in Iceland’s unique culture, breathtaking landscapes, and safe environment, while legally working remotely. The application process involves a detailed submission of documents, including a visa application form and a non-refundable fee of 12,200 ISK (approximately $94).

It’s recommended to apply from one’s home country and to plan the application well in advance due to the in-depth process and the processing time, which can vary from a few weeks to over a month​​​​​​.

The Benefits of the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa

Benefits of the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa
  • Co-Working Spaces and Connectivity: Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, boasts a range of coworking spaces catering to different needs. Spaces like Regus, Innovation House, and Hitt Húsið provide options for private offices, hot-desking, meeting rooms, and even gyms. This variety ensures a suitable working environment for different types of digital nomads, whether they are entrepreneurs or prefer a more traditional office setup​​.
  • Tax-exempt: Digital nomads working remotely in Iceland are exempted from paying local taxes from income earned for remote work or business.
  • Natural Beauty and Unique Experiences: Iceland’s natural landscapes are truly unparalleled. From witnessing the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis to exploring ice fields and volcanoes, the country offers a backdrop like no other for those who want to blend work and exploration. This aspect of Iceland is particularly enticing for digital nomads who value unique experiences and a connection with nature​​​​.
  • Safety and Infrastructure: Reputed for its crime-free environment, Iceland ranks as one of the safest countries and tops the list for the best place to live in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. This peace of mind is invaluable for digital nomads who often prioritize security when choosing a destination. Additionally, the country has a great infrastructure for remote workers, including reliable internet and plenty of cafés with free Wi-Fi​​.
  • Vibrant Culture and Nightlife: Reykjavik is not just about work; it’s a city that knows how to celebrate life. With a rich cultural scene, including music, art, and food, digital nomads can immerse themselves in the local lifestyle. The city transforms from a calm community during the week to a lively hub over the weekend, offering a balanced lifestyle for work and play​​​​.
  • High-speed internet connectivity: Iceland ranks 6th in the world with the fastest fixed access internet speed with an average of 289.17 mbps with 98% of households connected.
  • Digital Nomad Visa: Iceland offers a digital nomad visa, allowing self-employed or foreign employees to live and work in the country for up to six months. This visa is part of Iceland’s effort to attract remote workers, making it easier for digital nomads to stay and work legally. However, it’s important to note that Iceland is an expensive country, and the visa requires proof of a stable income of around $7,763 per month​​​​​​.
  • Language and Community: English is widely spoken in Iceland, especially among younger generations, making communication smooth for non-Icelandic speakers. The country has a close-knit community feel, which can be comforting for digital nomads looking to connect with locals and other international workers​​.
  • Lifestyle and Gastronomy: For those interested in gastronomy, Reykjavik’s culinary scene has evolved significantly, offering a variety of dining experiences from traditional Icelandic cuisine to modern European dishes. The city’s small size also means it’s easy to explore, and its location makes it a bridge between continents​​.

Iceland Digital Nomad Visa- Requirements, Application & Costs

Basic Requirements

Requirements of the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa

For the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must meet certain qualifications and provide a variety of documents. Here’s a detailed list of the requirements and qualifications:

  • Proof of Employment or Self-Employment: Applicants must be either self-employed or working for a company outside of Iceland. This needs to be documented through an employment contract, a confirmation letter from your employer, or proof of business ownership.
  • Minimum Income Requirement: One of the key qualifications is to show proof of a stable monthly income, which is no less than $7,763. This high threshold is set to ensure that applicants can comfortably support themselves in Iceland, given its high cost of living.
  • Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned stay in Iceland. A copy of this passport must be included in your application.
  • Application Form for Remote Work Visa: This form must be fully completed. It’s available on the official Icelandic government website or through Icelandic consulates and embassies.
  • Application Fee Payment: The application includes a non-refundable fee of 12,200 ISK (about $94). Proof of payment, such as a receipt, must be provided.
  • Passport Photo: Applicants need to provide a recent passport photo, adhering to the standard passport photo requirements (usually 35×45 mm and not older than six months).
  • Health Insurance: Valid health insurance that covers your entire stay in Iceland is required. This is to ensure that applicants have access to healthcare without burdening the local system.
  • Clean Criminal Record: A document or certificate proving that you have a clean criminal record is necessary. This is standard for many visa applications to ensure the safety and security of the host country.
  • Proof of Accommodation: While not always explicitly stated, it’s generally advisable to have proof of where you will stay in Iceland, such as a rental agreement or a hotel reservation.
  • Purpose of Stay Documentation: You may need to provide additional documentation that clarifies the purpose of your stay in Iceland. This can include a detailed itinerary, a letter of invitation from an Icelandic host, or other relevant documents.

Application Process

Application Process- Iceland Digital Nomad Visa

Getting the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa involves a clear but thorough process. Here’s a step-by-step guide tailored for digital nomads seeking this unique opportunity to live and work in Iceland:

Step 1- Determine Eligibility

Before starting the application process, ensure that you meet the basic eligibility criteria. This includes being self-employed or employed by a company outside of Iceland, and having a stable monthly income of $7,763.

Step 2- Gather Necessary Documents

Prepare all the required documents. These include a valid passport (with at least three months’ validity beyond your stay), a recent passport photo, proof of stable income, a clean criminal record, valid health insurance, and proof of employment or self-employment. Additionally, having proof of accommodation in Iceland, though not always explicitly required, is highly recommended.

Step 3- Complete the Application Form

Download and fill out the Remote Work Visa application form. This form is usually available on the official Icelandic government website or at Icelandic consulates and embassies. Ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete.

Step 4- Pay the Application Fee

The application process includes a non-refundable fee of 12,200 ISK (approximately $94). Payment details are typically available on the Icelandic government’s website. Make sure to keep the receipt as proof of payment.

Step 5- Submit the Application

Once all the documents are ready and the form is completed, submit your application along with the documents to the relevant Icelandic authority. This could be an Icelandic consulate or embassy in your country, or another designated authority.

Step 6- Wait for Processing

After submission, there is a processing period which can vary from a few weeks to over a month. During this time, your application and documents will be reviewed. It’s important to plan your travel accordingly and not book any non-refundable tickets or accommodations until your visa is approved.

Step 7- Respond to Any Follow-Up Requests

If there are any additional requests for information or documents from the Icelandic authorities, respond promptly to avoid delays in your application process.

Step 8- Receive Your Visa

Once your application is approved, you will receive your Digital Nomad Visa. It’s important to check the visa for any errors and understand its terms, such as the duration of stay and any conditions attached.

Step 9- Plan Your Journey

After obtaining your visa, you can finalize your travel and accommodation plans. Remember, living in Iceland can be expensive, so it’s advisable to budget accordingly and perhaps connect with local digital nomad communities for tips and advice.

Step 10- Arrive in Iceland

Upon arrival, you might have to register your stay with the local authorities, depending on the duration of your stay. It’s also a good time to familiarize yourself with local laws and customs.

Costs

When applying for the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa, there are several costs involved, which can be categorized as basic and incidental. Here’s a breakdown of these costs and other key considerations:

  • Application Fee: The primary cost is the application fee for the visa. This fee is 12,200 ISK, which is approximately $94 USD. This is a non-refundable fee that must be paid at the time of application.
  • Health Insurance: Applicants must have valid health insurance that covers their entire stay in Iceland. The cost of health insurance can vary widely based on coverage, duration, and the provider. It’s important to get a quote from an insurance provider for the most accurate cost.
  • Proof of Income Documentation: If you need to get official documentation or statements to prove your income, there might be incidental costs depending on your bank or financial institution. These costs can vary.
  • Criminal Record Check: Obtaining a clean criminal record certificate might involve a fee, depending on the country of issuance. This cost can vary widely based on local regulations and processes.
  • Passport Photos: Passport photos are required for the application. The cost for these can vary, but on average, you might expect to pay around 1,500 – 2,000 ISK ($12 – $16 USD) for a set of passport photos.
  • Passport Fees: If you need to renew or obtain a passport for the application, this will involve a fee that varies by country.
  • Travel Costs: While not a direct cost of the visa application, travel costs to and from Iceland should be considered. These costs include flights, transportation, and any accommodations needed during travel.
  • Accommodation in Iceland: Proof of accommodation might be required. The cost will depend on the type and duration of the accommodation. Renting an apartment, for example, can be a significant cost, especially in Reykjavik.
  • Living Expenses: While living in Iceland, you’ll incur daily living expenses, which in Iceland can be higher than in many other countries due to its high cost of living.

The cost of living in Iceland can vary significantly depending on lifestyle choices, location within the country, and personal spending habits. Here’s a breakdown to give you a clearer picture, especially if you’re considering the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa.

  • Housing: Rent is a major part of living expenses. For a furnished 85 sqm (900 sqft) accommodation, you could expect to pay about 334,968 ISK ($2,460 USD) in an expensive area and around 284,853 ISK ($2,092 USD) in a more average area per month.
  • Utilities: Monthly utilities for two people in an 85 sqm flat are around 120,000 ISK ($881 USD), and for one person in a 45 sqm studio, about 90,000 ISK ($661 USD).
  • Internet: A 216 Mbps high-speed internet connection costs approximately 8,900 ISK ($65 USD) per month.
  • Food and Groceries: For everyday food items, prices can vary. A basic lunch in the business district might cost around 3,520 ISK ($26 USD), while a combo meal at a fast-food restaurant is about 2,905 ISK ($21 USD). Grocery shopping for items like chicken, milk, eggs, and cheese will also contribute to your monthly expenses.
  • Transportation: If you rely on public transport, a monthly ticket costs about 16,713 ISK ($123 USD). The cost of a liter of gasoline is roughly 311 ISK ($2.28 USD).
  • Personal Care: Items like cold medicine, a short visit to the doctor, and hygiene products also add to monthly costs.
  • Entertainment: Dining out, movies, and other activities are part of living in Iceland. A basic dinner out for two in a neighborhood pub might cost around 10,969 ISK ($81 USD), and movie tickets for two could be approximately 5,708 ISK ($42 USD).

Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes

Iceland Immigration Office

Atlys.com

iVisa.com

World Visa Guide

Do I Need an Iceland Digital Nomad Visa?

Whether you need an Iceland Digital Nomad Visa largely depends on your nationality, the length of your stay, and the nature of your work. For digital nomads from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa is necessary if you plan to stay and work remotely in Iceland for a period exceeding the standard tourist visa allowance.

This special visa allows non-EEA nationals to live and work remotely in Iceland for up to six months, a duration that far exceeds the typical tourist visa limit of 90 days within 180 days for most non-EEA nationals.

If you are a digital nomad from an EEA country or Switzerland, you do not require this specific visa to work remotely in Iceland. However, it’s important to register your stay if you plan to live in Iceland for more than three months.

For digital nomads from countries with visa-free agreements for short stays (like the United States and Canada), you can enter Iceland without a visa for tourism or business for up to 90 days.

When prospecting in Iceland to explore and see if it is the right fit for you, you can first apply for a tourist visa or enter visa-free for nationals from the EU and other visa-exempt countries to immerse yourself in the local culture and landscape before making a decision.

However, for longer stays or to legally work remotely in Iceland, the Digital Nomad Visa is essential. This visa not only ensures compliance with local immigration laws but also provides a structured way to enjoy Iceland’s unique work-life balance, safely and legally.

Best Places to Live or Explore In Iceland for Digital Nomads

Best Places to Live or Explore In Iceland for Digital Nomads

Reykjavik

aerial view of the city showing houses and buildings- iceland digital nomad visa

The capital city and the cultural heart of Iceland, Reykjavik is an ideal spot for digital nomads. It’s home to various coworking spaces like FRAKTAL Reykjavík, MINØR Co-working, and Regus – Kalkofnsvegur 2, which cater to creative and entrepreneurial spirits.

The city is compact, making it easy to walk from one side to the other. Neighborhoods like Hlidar offer more budget-friendly accommodations, while Midborg, the downtown area, is perfect for first-time visitors seeking entertainment and a vibrant atmosphere.

Vik

white house with red roof with other houses around near the body of water - iceland digital nomad visa

This small fishing village on Iceland’s southern coast is known for its cozy and laid-back atmosphere. It’s an excellent place for digital nomads who love nature and outdoor activities.

Vik’s weather is relatively mild, and its stunning natural surroundings provide a serene backdrop for work. It’s close to Reykjavik and other popular Icelandic destinations, making it a convenient base for exploration. Check out these top spots for digital nomads; The Reynisfjara Beach stands out with its stunning black sand, towering basalt columns, and powerful waves – a perfect backdrop for inspiration and outdoor breaks. The Dyrhólaey Peninsula offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, a rich birdlife including puffins, and distinctive rock formations, ideal for nature lovers and photographers. The Vík í Mýrdal Church, perched on a hill, provides a serene spot overlooking the village and its dramatic coastal scenery, offering a tranquil environment for reflection or focused work sessions.

Hafnarfjörður

sailing boats in the body of water near ships pier

Renowned for its arts and culture, Hafnarfjörður is set in a lava field and surrounded by mountains. It’s near Reykjavik and the Keflavik International Airport, offering a good work-life balance and easy access to goods due to its port city status.

Hafnarfjörður offers unique spots for digital nomads seeking both work and exploration. The Hellisgerði Park, often referred to as the “Elf Garden,” is a peaceful haven with its lava rock formations and lush greenery, perfect for a relaxing work setting or a contemplative walk. The Hafnarfjörður Harbour is not just a scenic spot with its boats and ocean views, but also a hub for local cafes and restaurants where one can work with a view or enjoy the local cuisine. Lastly, the Víðistaðatún Park provides a spacious outdoor area for those looking to work in the fresh air or take a leisurely break amidst art installations and playgrounds.

Keflavik

blue body of water with rock formation in between

Offering a small-town feel with big-city amenities, Keflavik is ideal for expats and families. Its proximity to one of Iceland’s international airports makes it a bustling hub. Nearby attractions like the Blue Lagoon and the Reykjanes Peninsula add to its appeal.

Keflavik offers unique attractions for digital nomads. The Reykjanes Peninsula features dramatic landscapes with its geothermal areas and rugged coastline, providing stunning backdrops for those looking to combine work with exploration. The Duus Museum complex, a cultural hub, offers insights into local art and history, serving as a serene spot for inspiration or a change of scenery. The Giantess in the Cave is an enchanting installation that showcases the town’s folklore and creativity, perfect for a quirky break from work.

Akureyri

green field and mountain near body of water

In Northern Iceland, Akureyri is a charming town known for its lush parks, exciting festivals, and stunning views. It’s well-connected in terms of the Internet, making it suitable for digital nomads and contract workers.

Akureyri offers digital nomads a mix of urban culture and proximity to nature. The Akureyri Botanical Garden is not only a place of serene beauty with its collection of both Icelandic and foreign flora but also a peaceful retreat for work or relaxation. The Akureyri Art Museum, located in the heart of the city, provides a creative spark with exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, ideal for those seeking inspiration. The Hlíðarfjall Ski Area, just a short drive from the city, offers the unique opportunity for winter sports enthusiasts to blend work with skiing or snowboarding in the picturesque landscapes of Iceland.

Laugarvatn

white house green roof in the green field near body of water and mountains

A quaint village on the Golden Circle route, Laugarvatn is perfect for those seeking tranquility. It’s known for its geothermal hot springs and beautiful landscape, offering a peaceful environment for digital nomads.

Laugarvatn is a hidden gem for digital nomads seeking tranquility and natural beauty. The Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths offer a unique blend of relaxation and natural wellness, with geothermal pools and steam baths that allow for relaxation and rejuvenation, perfect for unwinding after a day of work. The Laugarvatn Lake itself, with its stunning surroundings, provides a peaceful setting for work or contemplation, as well as opportunities for outdoor activities like swimming or kayaking. The nearby Geysir Hot Spring Area, just a short drive away, offers an inspiring natural spectacle of geothermal activity, ideal for those looking to explore Iceland’s natural wonders during their downtime.

Hvolsvollur

green field and hill with waterfalls- iceland digital nomad visa

Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, Hvolsvollur is near some of Iceland’s most awe-inspiring attractions. Its focus on agriculture and tourism offers a unique living experience.

Hvolsvöllur, located in the heart of Iceland’s southern region, offers unique attractions for digital nomads seeking inspiration from nature and history. The LAVA Centre is an interactive exhibition that delves into the volcanic and seismic activity of Iceland, providing a fascinating learning experience and a break from the usual work routine. The Saga Centre in Hvolsvöllur immerses visitors in the rich saga history of Iceland, offering inspiration and a deeper understanding of Icelandic culture. The nearby Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, with its stunning beauty and the ability to walk behind the waterfall, offers a breathtaking natural setting for reflection or a refreshing break.

Siglufjörður

a body of water surrounded by houses and mountains- iceland digital nomad visa

For those who love fishing and nature, Siglufjörður is a small town in the far North of Iceland, offering a peaceful lifestyle amidst beautiful landscapes.

Siglufjörður, a picturesque town in northern Iceland, offers a unique blend of historical charm and stunning natural landscapes, making it an appealing spot for digital nomads. The Herring Era Museum provides a deep dive into the town’s herring fishing history, offering a unique glimpse into the industry that shaped Siglufjörður, perfect for those interested in cultural and historical insights. The Folk Music Center, housed in the former home of Icelandic folk music collector Rev. Bjarni Þorsteinsson, offers an intimate look at Iceland’s musical heritage, inspiring creativity and cultural appreciation. The surrounding mountains and fjords provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities, from hiking in the summer to skiing in the winter, offering a perfect balance for work and leisure in a breathtaking environment.

Each of these locations offers something unique, whether it’s the culture, stunning natural beauty, or a cozy community feel. While the cost of living in Iceland can be high, the quality of life, safety, and the sheer beauty of the country make it an attractive option for digital nomads.

Iceland Digital Nomad Visa – Summary

Iceland offers a unique blend of modern work facilities, stunning natural beauty, and a safe, supportive environment for digital nomads, remote workers, and free spirits with its Iceland Digital Nomad Visa.

However, it may not be the most viable choice for many digital nomads, especially with the high cost of living in the country, making it one of the most expensive countries to live in. But, if you prefer to take the plunge in favor of the safety, security, and high quality of life in Iceland, then consider it your best investment for a priceless nomadic lifestyle experience.

Additionally, the rich cultural vibe, from the awe-inspiring Northern Lights to the welcoming local communities, adds to the allure of working remotely from Iceland.

If you would like to explore more about other attractive countries and the intricacies of digital nomad visas, check out our posts such as;


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Iceland Digital Nomad Visa- FAQs

What is the income limit for a nomad visa in Iceland?

For the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must demonstrate a stable monthly income to ensure they can support themselves during their stay. As of the latest information, this income limit is set at a minimum of $7,763 per month.

This threshold reflects Iceland’s high cost of living and is essential for maintaining a comfortable lifestyle while residing in the country. Applicants must provide written confirmation of their income, typically through bank statements or an employment contract if working for a foreign employer.

This requirement ensures that digital nomads can contribute positively to the Icelandic economy without imposing a burden on local resources.

Can I work remotely from Iceland?

Yes, you can work remotely from Iceland under the Iceland Digital Nomad Visa or Iceland Remote Work Visa. This visa allows individuals who are either self-employed or employed by a foreign company to live and work remotely in Iceland for up to six months.

However, to qualify, you need to meet specific criteria, including the aforementioned income threshold and having a valid health insurance policy. The visa application process includes submitting additional documents to the competent authority, typically through regular mail or online portals. It’s important to note that this visa does not permit work within the Icelandic labor market or for any Icelandic employers.

Which European country is the easiest to get a Digital Nomad Visa?

The ease of obtaining a digital nomad visa varies depending on the your circumstances, including your nationality, income, and the specific requirements of each country. Iceland offers a relatively straightforward application process for its digital nomad visa, especially for those who meet the income and health insurance requirements.

Other European countries with digital nomad visas include Portugal, Estonia, and Croatia, each with its own set of criteria. Applicants should review the official governmental websites of these countries to understand the specific requirements and decide which country aligns best with their situation.

How do I get a work visa for Iceland?

To obtain a work visa for Iceland, you must first secure an employment contract with an Icelandic employer or prove that you are self-employed. The application process for a work visa typically involves submitting various supporting documents, such as a valid passport, a criminal record certificate, and possibly a health insurance policy.

If you are moving with family members, additional documents like marriage certificates or birth certificates may be required. The processing fee for the visa application is paid via bank transfer, and the payment receipt must be included in your application. The entire process can take three to four weeks, and it’s advised to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.

What are the benefits of choosing Iceland for remote working?

Choosing Iceland for remote work offers numerous benefits. The country is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, including the famous Northern Lights, providing an inspiring backdrop for digital nomads. Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, and other areas within the capital area offer a rich history and dynamic cultural scene.

For digital nomads with families, the country provides a safe environment, and if your child receives home schooling or remote instruction, Iceland offers a peaceful and conducive learning environment. Additionally, Iceland’s digital nomad visa provides legal confirmation for remote workers to reside in the country for up to six months, allowing for an extended stay to truly immerse in the Icelandic experience.

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