A sudden increase in the number of asylum seekers affects the opening of permanent reception centres for them. Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal predicts that these asylum applications will only increase in the coming years.
The Ministry of the Interior announced last July that they intended to open permanent reception centres for asylum seekers by this year. Stundin reports that this year alone there were about 600 – 800 asylum seeker applications, twice as many as the year before. This has prompted her to reverse the Ministry’s previous statement.
While the Directorate of Immigration began temporarily renting housing in Hafnarfjörður for asylum seekers last summer, that location has filled up fast.
“In time we will know if we need to expand it or move it to a place that is better suitable,” she said. “Besides that, we want to create a standard procedure for asylum seekers in the future for immigrating to Iceland.”
At these reception centres, asylum seekers will be expected to follow set guidelines in order to get a permit to stay in Iceland. However, it is still not clear what these centres will specifically entail.
The asylum seeking process still takes longer than the government would like. Shortening processing periods may prove difficult if the trend of rising asylum applications continues.