A refugee from Colombia who was invited to Iceland by the Icelandic government now faces deportation for accepting a student loan – putting her under the income level considered acceptable for proving one can support oneself.
Jeimmy Andrea was invited to Iceland from Colombia in 2005, alongside other refugees from her home country. She has since completed secondary school and is currently taking Spanish and Icelandic for Foreigners at the University of Iceland, and is fully employed. Despite this, the Office of Immigration has rejected her application for a residence permit.
The reason for the rejection was because she accepted a student loan from Social Services in the winter of 2006-2007. This put her under the income level which, by law, is required of many foreigners to maintain in order to prove they can support themselves.
The matter has been appealed to the Ministry of Justice. If rejected, it can be further appealed to the parliamentary general committee.
Bjarni Jónsson, a member of Andrea’s host family, told Vísir he considers the rejection especially bizarre in light of the fact that it was the Icelandic government who invited her here in the first place.
(Photo: Icelanders protesting refugee law – smugan.is)
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