Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), which allows the country access to the single market of the European Union. Iceland has joined the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and is also part of the Schengen Area. The island lies in the North Atlantic Ocean at high latitude just south of the polar circle. With a population of around 360,000 and an area of 103,000km² (3.5/km2) it is sparsely populated. Most settlements can be found along the coastline. The climate can be described as sub-arctic maritime and Iceland´s position atop the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge results in extensive volcanic and geothermal activity.

The following information aims at providing an overview of the most common permit types relevant for scientists travelling to and working in Iceland.

National rules and regulations are given for the following categories:

  • Cross border travel (persons, equipment, samples, chemicals),
  • Access to specific areas,
  • Permits to conduct fieldwork and collect samples,
  • Field instrumentation,
  • Safety equipment and
  • Regional/local permits.

Additional information sources relevant for conducting science in Iceland are also listed.

Disclaimer: INTERACT takes no legal responsibility for the information presented here. These pages only address the most common permit types. Certain studies may require specialist permits not covered here. New regulations may also come into force, permit conditions may change and links may become outdated or no longer work. If you encounter broken links, significant permit updates or have suggestions for additional permit types we can include, please contact us at

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