Nepalese asylum seeker Priyanka Thapa has been granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons, after about a year of fighting to stay.
As reported last year, Priyanka originally came to Iceland as an au pair. While staying with her host family, she received a letter from her relatives in Nepal that a marriage had been arranged for her.
As she told the Grapevine of her situation at the time, “A man, whom I have never even seen, I have to go and marry him, just because he’s going to help my family. That’s a deal between them. When I came here, there was no talk of this at all. If I were to go back there, my family would not allow me to say no.”
Priyanka’s lawyer, Sigurður Örn Hilmarsson, told Vísir at the time, “We believe her circumstances are so special that first of all, she deserves to get a residence permit to stay here and furthermore, that these circumstances justify her getting Icelandic citizenship.”
Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson told Morgunblaðið that Priyanka’s case underlines the need for the regulations on asylum seeking to be reviewed.
While the citizenship question is still up in the air, for the time being Priyanka does at least have legal residence in Iceland.