Law On Foreigners Expands Police Power - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Law On Foreigners Expands Police Power

Published January 9, 2017

Photos by
Hlynz/Wikimedia Commons

Police can search homes without a warrant if they suspect someone is helping a foreigner conceal information from authorities, and foreigners are required to have a passport or other form of legal identification on them at all times.

These are amongst the changes made to the Act on Foreigners, Stundin points out. Article 14 of the law, which received the support of every parliamentary party last June, requires foreigners in Iceland to have a legally recognised form of identification on them at all times, and to present said identification if the police demand it from them, for the purpose of proving that they are in the country legally.

Failure or refusal to comply will result in the police being allowed to search the foreigner’s home. Furthermore, police are also granted the authority to search the home of anyone, without a warrant, if police believe that the person living there may be helping a foreigner conceal crucial information from authorities.

In addition, police are also given the authority to search a foreigner’s home if they believe a “fake” marriage is in play, i.e., when a citizen marries a foreigner for the sole purpose of preventing their deportation.

Not all foreigners are treated equally, however; this law does not apply to citizens of Nordic countries.

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