The Interior Ministry has announced that it will after long last allow refugees to live in the capital.
Up until now, those who sought asylum in Iceland – as opposed to refugees the government has expressly invited – have been housed in Fit Hostel in Keflavík. Long waiting periods for processing asylum seeker paperwork has led to overcrowding at the facility.
RÚV now reports that the Ministry of the Interior has signed an agreement with the cities of Reykjavík and Reykjanesbær to collectively house some 150 asylum seekers.
Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir also told reporters that asylum seekers processing times must be sped up, adding that Norway was a good model on refugee issues for Iceland to follow.
She also expressed the desire to see the processing times for work and residence permits shortened, adding that Icelanders should not see bringing in foreigners as an obligation but an opportunity.