94 people have applied for asylum so far this year, and twice as many are expected before the year is out.
In an interview with Morgunblaðið, Directorate of Immigration director Kristín Völundardóttur said the increase – up from 70 at this time last year – does not come as a surprise. In fact, she expects many more people will apply for asylum in Iceland, possibly up to twice as many as have applied so far this year.
Most of this year’s asylum seekers are from Albania – 26 in all. 12 have come from Syria, six from Macedonia, and an assortment have arrived from Pakistan, Iran and Ukraine. Most of them – 55 in all – are men.
As these numbers increase, new housing for asylum seekers is being prepared. Already a new shelter on Grensásvegur in Reykjavík is in the works, and should be ready this November.
A halfway home of sorts is already being used in Hafnarfjörður, serving as a temporary dwelling for asylum seekers until it is decided whether they will go to Reykjavík or Reykjanesbær – the two municipalities in Iceland with housing specifically for asylum seekers.