Wants Work Permits For Refugees - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Wants Work Permits For Refugees

Published July 3, 2012

A caretaker for refugees in Selfoss believes that issuing work permits for asylum seekers would make a tremendous difference in their lives.
As reported, Iranian asylum seeker Mohammad Askarpour has been having quite a struggle since coming to Iceland. After being deported to Greece and spending 10 months in a refugee camp there, he was allowed to return to Iceland. However, he was not given the medical attention he requested, despite having a severe sinus infection, and reporting depression and suicidal thoughts. Eventually, he was granted health care, but only after reaching the point of having to be admitted to a mental hospital.
Mohammad has left the hospital, RÚV reports, and is on his way to Selfoss to stay at the home of Ali Mobli, a caretaker of asylum seekers.
Ali, who tries to teach the asylum seekers in his care English and Icelandic, says that issuing work permits to asylum seekers would make a great difference in their lives. However, he points out that in Iceland, one cannot work without a work permit, which you cannot receive without a kennitala, which you cannot receive without being approved for a work permit. “It’s kind of a Catch-22,” Ali said. The right to work is also severely limited for refugees, by Icelandic law.
Ali says that the asylum seekers who come to him are in a poor emotional state, brought on to a large extent by the long waits of uncertainty that refugees must endure in Iceland, and the inability to do much with their lives in the interim.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Book your day tours in Iceland right here!

Next:
Previous:


Go travel with Grapevine tried and recommended tours by Grapevine. Fund Grapevine journalism by booking with us.


Show Me More!