From Iceland — Icelandic Passport Not "Valid"

Icelandic Passport Not “Valid”

Published April 5, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by

A tour guide in Paris, Lea Gestsdóttir, landed in a predicament this week when trying to use her passport to enter Swaziland. Officials had not heard of Iceland, reports RÚV.

Lea had been traveling through South Africa with friends when they decided to stop by Swaziland, a sovereign state almost completely surrounded by South Africa with the exception of Mozambique to its East.

“When we tried to cross the border I ran into some trouble. My friends from France and the Netherlands got through without any issues but I had to wait,” Lea said. “The border patrol could not make head nor tail of my passport and told me it wasn’t “valid”. In the end I had to pay for a visa and was asked to go to immigration the following day.”

Lea turned up at the Immigration Office the next day where she was met by an officer who had never heard of Iceland.

“It was like a movie,” said Lea. “I was pointing Iceland out on a map but we had some trouble understanding each other. They didn’t seem to believe that Iceland even existed at all.”

In the end Lea was asked to pay for an exit visa in order to cross the border back into South Africa.

“It’s no big deal,” said Lea, who is certain she will soon look back on this and laugh. “It was just Iceland discovering Swaziland and Swaziland discovering Iceland.”

CORRECTION: The original story stated that Lea was an employee of the Icelandic Embassy. She is actually a tour guide.

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