Big Changes To The Law On Foreigners In Store

Published June 29, 2012

The Ministry of the Interior will be making sweeping changes to the law on foreigners, pertaining to both immigrants and refugees alike.
Halla Gunnarsdóttir, the chairperson of the committee which put together the bill and the assistant to Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, announced the bill formally yesterday, the ministry reports. It is expected to be submitted to parliament this fall.
Some of the proposed changes to the law focused on practical matters. For example, if the bill should pass, a single law on foreigners will be under the administration of the Ministry of the Interior. As it is now, work permits are administered by the Ministry of Welfare, while the Ministry of the Interior takes care of residence permits.
However, other changes make advances that could come as a relief to many foreigners in Iceland. Those who receive residence permits, for example, will receive a work permit automatically. Top priority will also be given to allowing foreigners in Iceland to bring their families to live with them.
Greater changes have also been proposed with regard to asylum seekers. Should the bill pass, coming to Iceland with falsified papers will no longer be a criminally punishable offence. The first interview for seeking asylum will be conducted at the Directorate of Immigration; not at the police station, as is the case now. Also, refugees will be allowed to decide where in Iceland they will live, without it affecting what level of service they receive. The bill proposes furthermore that child refugees be given special treatment.
The committee report in its entirety can be read here (.pdf file).



News
First 50 Visitors To Dunkin’ Donuts Get Free Year Of Donuts

First 50 Visitors To Dunkin’ Donuts Get Free Year Of Donuts

by

Dunkin’ Donuts is making a generous promotional offer for its opening day, perhaps in an attempt to win over locals

News
Iceland Will Continue Trade Sanctions Against Russia

Iceland Will Continue Trade Sanctions Against Russia

by

Iceland will not be changing its policy regarding trade sanctions against Russia, but not without reservations from some members of

News
MP Wants To Review Iceland’s Porn Laws

MP Wants To Review Iceland’s Porn Laws

by

An incoming MP for the Pirate Party believes Iceland’s pornography laws need to be changed, if not dropped altogether. Vísir

News
Eden To Return

Eden To Return

by

The legendary roadside attraction Eden, which burned down just four years ago, will return in a slightly newer form. Vísir

News
Split Opinions Over Supposed Media Silence In Westman Islands

Split Opinions Over Supposed Media Silence In Westman Islands

by

The Westman Islands’ police commissioner’s decision to refuse to disclose any information regarding reported acts of sexual assault during the

News
Wants To Make Feminist, Queer-Friendly Porn In Iceland, But Cannot

Wants To Make Feminist, Queer-Friendly Porn In Iceland, But Cannot

by

A Spanish director with the hopes of shooting feminist, queer-friendly porn in Iceland is up against one snag: it would

Show Me More!