The Immigration Appeals Board will examine residence permit applications from two Syrian asylum seekers who were to be deported last Tuesday.
RÚV reports that while their applications for asylum have been rejected, they have applied for residency. As such, their deportation has been delayed while the Immigration Appeals Board examines their case.
As reported, the two Syrian asylum seekers were denied asylum on the grounds that they were granted it in Bulgaria. This is despite not only the testimony of the asylum seekers that they were jailed, beaten, and forced to apply for asylum there, but also despite international condemnation for how asylum seekers are treated in that country.
The deportation announcement sparked public criticism, culminating in a protest yesterday at the Ministry of the Interior. Hjalti Hrafn Hafþórsson, one of the organisers of the event, told Grapevine that their demands were simple: that the Interior Ministry stop all deportations, including this one, and exercise its legal authority to overrule decisions of the Directorate of Immigration.
In fact, the Interior Ministry has overruled deportation decisions before.
Article 12f of the Act on Foreigners grants Icelandic authorities the right to grant a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, such as for health reasons, due to the difficult social circumstances of the applicant, or due to difficult general circumstances in the applicant’s home state.