"Mistake" In The Law Leads To Deportation From Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

“Mistake” In The Law Leads To Deportation From Iceland

Published November 21, 2017

Photos by
Choung Lei Bui

Incomplete wording in Iceland’s immigration law means that a young Vietnamese woman learning to be a chef may be deported within days.

RÚV reports on the strange case of Choung Lei Bui, a young woman from Vietnam who has been living in Iceland for the past two years now. She has been studying chef work at a secondary school in Kópavogur, in addition to on-the-job training at the restaurant Nauthóll, and was granted a residence permit by authorities because of her studies. However, she has now received notice that she must leave the country or be deported by the end of the month.

The reason for this is because when changes were made to Iceland’s Law on Foreigners, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, residence permits based on study were afforded only to university students; not to those learning trade or industrial crafts. Even after appealing the matter to the Immigration Appeals Board, the deportation was upheld, simply because the law does not give authorities room to grant residence permits based on studies of this nature.

Sigríður Andersen, the Minister of Justice of the previous government, told RÚV that a mistake had clearly been made, and that her ministry was working on a corrected draft of the law. However, this law will not be able to go into effect until parliament reconvenes and votes on the matter – something not likely to happen before the end of the month.

As such, Choung Lei Bui faces deportation from Iceland, for no other reason than a mistake made by the elected officials who crafted legislation pertaining to immigrants like her.

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