Arctic Caucus Co-Chairs introduce bill to strengthen economic relationship with Iceland

Washington, D.C. (KINY) - Currently, Icelanders are not eligible for economic visas to visit and conduct business in the United States, one of the only Arctic nations whose residents face such a barrier.

Above: “Iceland: Aurora Borealis” by Victor Montol is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Angus King (I-Maine), co-chairs of the Senate Arctic Caucus, have introduced a bill to expand and improve economic ties with Iceland.

The Nordic Trader and Investor Parity Act would expand access to trade and investment visas for Icelanders, resulting in expanded economic opportunities for both nations. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have also cosponsored the legislation.

Iceland’s largest trade partner is the United States, accounting for approximately 20% of Iceland´s total trade in goods and services.

Currently, Iceland is the only Nordic country whose nationals are not eligible for American treater trader and investor visas.

“Iceland and Alaska have many shared interests,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “It is long past time that the people of Iceland are able to share in trade and investment opportunities in the United States. Opening up economic visas for Icelanders will allow our Arctic neighbors to bring the innovations they are making in energy capture, ocean sciences, and sustainable fisheries to Alaska and the Lower 48.” 

Treaty trader (E-1) and treaty investor (E-2) visas are nonimmigrant visas for nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation. 

Treaty trader and treaty investor visas are temporary nonimmigrant visas. These visas were created to facilitate and enhance economic interaction between the United States and other countries.

  1. An E-1 visa is for individuals entering the United States to engage in substantial trade,
  2. An E-2 visa is for individuals entering the United States to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which that person has invested.