Immigration Raises Support Requirement, Foreign Students Possibly At Risk

Immigration Raises Support Requirement, Foreign Students Possibly At Risk

1939803_10203029542477066_2004537775_n_opt
Photos by
Julia Staples/Art Bicnick

Published December 12, 2016

The Directorate of Immigration (UTL) has announced that they are raising the minimum income requirement for residence permits in Iceland, and this has many foreign university students in a panic, Grapevine has learned.

The announcement posted on UTL’s website states that, as of January 2017, the granting of a residence permit in Iceland or Icelandic citizenship will continue to rest in part upon a demonstration of being able to support oneself. That minimum requirement will be 180,550 ISK per month and 270,825 ISK for a couple per month, pre-tax.

This amount is well under the minimum wage for full-time work for unskilled labour. However, Chloe Jane Fisher, a student at the University of Iceland, points out that this requirement has caught a great many foreign students off guard, prompting grave concerns that these students will not be able to meet these requirements, and therefore lose their right to stay in Iceland.

“Students can’t work more than 15 hours a week,” Chloe told Grapevine. “It’s impossible to find a job that will pay a non-Icelandic speaker 163,353 kr for sixty hours of [monthly] work, so we have to supplement with our own money. But, like, we’re students. Even if you’re paying full price for a single at [the dorms], that’s only about 80k a month, and it’s possible to get your grocery budget under 30k a month, so it is possible to live far below what UTL demands if you’re conscious of budget and taking advantage of student discounts. But now we have to have EVEN MORE money in the bank that we can’t spend, that we can’t feasibly acquire working legally, and most of us were not told this.”

She adds that neither she nor any student she knows were informed of this requirement change, and that she was not informed of this when she had her permit granted last August. Chloe adds that this puts students from outside the European Union especially in a tight spot.

“This mostly affects non-EU students and it’s very hard for us to get loans,” she told us. “America won’t even let you defer payment on preexisting loans if you study here.”


News
“Keeping Up With The Kattarshians” A Great Success

“Keeping Up With The Kattarshians” A Great Success

by

Thousands of Icelanders are watching a livestream of four siblings – who happen to be kittens – living together in

News
Despite Losses, Minke Whale Quota To Increase This Year

Despite Losses, Minke Whale Quota To Increase This Year

by

Tourism is reportedly driving up the demand for minke whale meat to such an extent that this year’s quota will

News
Ricky Gervais Coming To Iceland

Ricky Gervais Coming To Iceland

by

Writer, actor and comedian Ricky Gervais (seen above, right) will be coming to Iceland to perform stand up in April.

News
Solution May Be Soon At Hand In Fishermen’s Labour Dispute

Solution May Be Soon At Hand In Fishermen’s Labour Dispute

by

The Ministry of Fisheries recently met with fishing unions and fishing company representatives in the hopes of resolving a strike

News
Instagram Account Posts Screencaps Of Sexually Harassing DMs From “Icelandic Idiots”

Instagram Account Posts Screencaps Of Sexually Harassing DMs From “Icelandic Idiots”

by

A new Instagram account encourages women to send in screenshots of unsolicited and sexually explicit direct messages they have received

News
Most Icelanders Against Private Sale Of Alcohol

Most Icelanders Against Private Sale Of Alcohol

by

A new poll shows that the majority of Icelanders are against the passage of a proposed bill that would, if

Show Me More!