Immigration Official Denies Tightening Controls - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Immigration Official Denies Tightening Controls

Published January 13, 2011

An official for the Directorate of Immigration has denied claims that the office has tightened restrictions on residence permits, asserting that they have in fact been relaxed.
As reported by the Grapevine, three women are taking the Directorate of Immigration to court over what they believe was being unfairly denied residence permits when the directorate came to the conclusion that they were not in “real” marriages, but had only married to get said permits. Katrín Theódórsdóttir, a lawyer for the women, told RÚV that it is obvious that the directorate has been tightening controls on residence permits, although she would not say if she believed this was because of the current state of the job market.
Ragnheiður Böðvarsdóttir, the commissioner of the municipal sector of the directorate, told RÚV that restrictions have not been tightened. She pointed out furthermore that in 2009, 13 applications for residence permits based on marriage were rejected, while in 2010, only eight such applications were rejected.
Katrín had also contended that the directorate is becoming too intrusive into the private lives of people. To this, Ragnheiður replied that they are doing no such thing. At the very most, she said, they do have the power to send the police to the residence to make sure that the couple in question do live together.
When asked for what evidence they use to determine whether or not a marriage is real, she said that apart from looking for whether or not the couple live together, they also determine if they have a common language they can speak together, and how well they know each other.
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