A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country

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
<?php the_title(); ?>

Student Loans Beyond The Grave

by

Vísir reports that the heirs of a man who died 27 years ago —his grandchildren, more precisely— are now being charged, for a student loan that the man’s stepson took, and for which the now deceased man then signed as guarantor. The Ghost of Systems Past In recent years, some changes have been made to the Icelandic student loan system. Most notably, in 2009, the left-left Alþingi majority abolished the requirement of a third party guarantor. Until then, the requirement meant that a prospectful student needed the signature of someone with a clean financial record, who thereby assumed responsibility in

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Motion To Subtitle All Icelandic Content

by

Several members of parliament have table a motion to introduce subtitles on all visual media content, reports Vísir. Currently it is only compulsory to subtitle foreign language content in Iceland but the MP’s believe that all content, including Icelandic news, films and television programmes should be subtitled as well. The motion has been put together by MP’s from 3 different parties and aims to enhance media services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Additionally, the motion argues the subtitles would help foreigners and new residents learn Icelandic. This is the second time this motion has been put to Iceland’s

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Malaysian Airlines Did Not Fly Over Holuhraun

by

Malaysian Airlines have slammed a satirical article claiming that one of their flights was forced to make an emergency landing after flying over the Holuhraun eruption, reports RÚV. On Monday, satirical news site, World News Daily Report, published a fake article claiming that Malaysia Airlines flight MH131 was forced to make an emergency landing in Iceland after the plane’s navigation systems were damaged by heat and debris from the eruption. The article added that the pilots of the Boeing 777 aircraft were instructed to fly almost directly over the volcano despite warnings from the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Malaysia Airlines,

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Trade Unions Very Critical Of New Budget Bill

by

The Confederation of Icelandic Labour Unions (ASÍ) has released a statement saying there is “no foundation for further discussion” with the government if their new budget bill passes. The statement, posted on ASÍ’s website, calls the new budget bill “an attack on working people”, saying that the Central Committee of the labour union was “deeply disappointed” with the proposals in the budget. “[The Central Committee] believes there is no basis for continued cooperation with the government if the budget bill becomes law,” the statement reads in part. ASÍ’s criticisms are numerous. They are particularly dissatisfied of the proposed raising of

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Volcanic Pollution: Also Bad For Animals

by

While there has been considerable reporting on the effects of SO2 on humans, animals are even more at risk. RÚV reports that farmers in the Icelandic countryside are worried about what effects the gas will have on their sheep, many of whom have not yet been herded. While a great many animals in the east and the north – where the pollution has been greatest – have been rounded up, their still remain a great many behind, grazing in the mountains. Some farmers have reported that even the rounding-up itself is made more difficult by the pollution, as horses get

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Police Raid Illegal Tourist Accommodations

by

Police are already starting to crack down on black market rentals of houses and apartments for tourists. MBL reports that the Reykjavík Area Police, in conjunction with the Directorate of Internal Revenue, have closed four establishments illegally renting out accommodation to tourists. These properties, identified as “homes and apartments”, had no permit to rent out the rooms for this purpose. Authorities combed over advertisements in newspapers, social media, and sites such as AirBnB through August and September, comparing the properties advertised and seeing whether or not they had the legal right to offer guest accommodation. In addition, tax records were

Show Me More!