From Iceland — Changes Proposed to Law on Foreigners

Changes Proposed to Law on Foreigners

Published February 23, 2010

Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir has submitted two bills to parliament which would make significant changes to the Act on Foreigners.
The first bill proposes two new classes of residence permit, in light of changes made to the law regarding victims of human trafficking. The first classification would be a six month residence permit for those suspected of being victims of human trafficking. The second classification would be a renewable one-year residence permit for victims of human trafficking due to personal reasons, or because they are a part of an investigation into human trafficking.
The second bill proposes changes to the law regarding the treatment of refugees. Or rather, those who are not legally defined as refugees but who are seekign asylum – the proposed bill would outline clearer rules on the rights of asylum seekers in Iceland, and what treatment they are entitled to.
The minister has faced strong criticism from many, including those within the ruling coalition, for Iceland’s automatic deportation of nearly anyone seeking asylum in this country, often without their cases evenbeing reviewed.

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