There’s good news and bad news when it comes to Iceland’s impending reopening to travelers outside the EU and Schengen states. The good news is that Iceland is launching a remote-worker visa program that includes Americans, and allowing them to stay up to six months. The bad news is that you have to make $88,000 a year to qualify.
According to the official website Work in Iceland, “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.”
The ultimate goal is that long-term tourists will be able to stimulate the economy, and ideally these would be people who aren’t just scraping by staying at hostels. Iceland wants tourists to spend money at restaurants, take weekend trips around the country, and book Airbnbs or high-end hotels. That requires tourists with some extra cash, especially since the cost of living in Iceland is so high.
Former parliament member Asta Gudrun Helgadottir told Bloomberg, “I think the idea is to attract high-earning professionals from Silicon Valley or San Francisco to spend their money here, instead of there.”
It’s unclear when, exactly, this visa program will go into effect. The Work in Iceland website states that “more information will follow soon.”