From Iceland — Man Denied Citizenship For Speeding Ticket Gets Verdict Overturned

Man Denied Citizenship For Speeding Ticket Gets Verdict Overturned

Published July 13, 2017

Last month, Bala Kamallakharan, who has lived in Iceland for the past eleven years, had his application for citizenship turned down due to a speeding ticket, but now the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) has reversed its decision, granting him Icelandic citizenship.

Bala, who is an Indian born startup investor, announced the reversal in a Facebook post, where he thanked all those who had supported him in the past few weeks.

“I got my Icelandic citizenship after all – it took time. I want to thank everyone who supported me and helped me in this journey, I want to thank you all from the bottom of heart,” he wrote.

Unfair decision under the limit

The original decisions by the UTL was met with much derision, especially as the 30,000 króna fine was less than the 50,000 króna fine limit specified in the citizenship requirement criteria. In a widely shared Facebook post on June 27, Bala explained his situation and how unfairly he felt he had been treated.

“My Icelandic citizenship application was rejected today because of 1 (ONE) speeding ticket in the 11 years that I have lived in this country,” he wrote. “More importantly, the speeding ticket was issued after I filed my application and I paid the fine right away as I was speeding on a highway between Selfoss and Reykjavik caught by a camera.”

Stamp of ministerial approval

One of those who took to social media to celebrate the decision was Þorsteinn Víglundsson, Minister of Social Affairs and Equality, who said that the citizenship was well deserved.

“Happy to hear that the decision has been changed. Bala has contributed greatly to our society in the time he has lived here,” Þorsteinn wrote. “He thoroughly deserves the citizenship.”

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