Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson described an aspect of immigration law which denies residence permits to the children of students as “absurd”.
RÚV reports on a Colombian woman who has been studying Icelandic and the University of Iceland this past year. She and her friends have been fighting to get a residence permit for her young daughter, Yalíana, to live in Iceland with her. The Directorate of Immigration has repeatedly denied this request, however, solely on the basis that residence permits for the children of students are only granted to those pursuing a PhD.
Ögmundur told reports that “I am not especially pleased with this clause of the immigration law,” and believes that it needs to be reviewed.
For historic reference, prior to 2008, no foreign students in Iceland were able to get a residence permit for their children. This was changed with the idea that in so doing, the country could attract more people to pursue their doctorate degree here.
“Then the idea was to encourage people to come to Iceland to get their doctorate degree,” Ögmundur said. “And that’s why this concession was made. But I think [the clause] is obsolete and, like many aspects of immigration law, is in need of review.”