Western Europe

Iceland to issue long-term visas to wealthy tourists

09:45, 25 November 2020
Iceland to issue long-term visas to wealthy tourists Photo: Cover Images/Global Look Press

Iceland has expanded its long-term visa program beyond the European Schengen area, Travel, and Leisure reports.

It is also allowing other citizens, including Americans, to stay for up to six months, according to the Work in Iceland program, which acts in coordination with the government.

A year ago, tourism revenue accounted for 42 percent of Iceland’s economy, and while the country has been taking advantage of the downtime caused by the coronavirus pandemic by putting $12 million into improving roads and sites for future tourists, it is also anxious to jumpstart its tourism industry again after it has seen a 79 percent decline.

To be granted permission for an extended stay, the person in question must demonstrate an employment relationship with a foreign company (or verify self-employment in the country where they have a permanent residence) and meet the income and health insurance requirements

That income threshold is set at one million Icelandic krona monthly, which is equal to about $7,360 monthly or $88,000 annually.

I think the idea is to attract high-earning professionals from Silicon Valley or San Francisco to spend their money here, instead of there, former parliament member Asta Gudrun Helgadottir said.

NEWS.ru earlier reported that Iceland was planning to ease restrictions on international travelers.