Requirements For Icelandic Citizenship May Soon Change - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Requirements For Icelandic Citizenship May Soon Change

Published August 29, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Main photo by
Art Bicnick

One contentious part of the requirements for Icelandic citizenship may soon be a thing of the past, or at least heavily amended: traffic violations.

One of the many requirements specifies that an applicant cannot have been imprisoned or fined for any reason before applying, and this includes infractions as minor as speeding tickets. Icelandic residents have in fact been denied citizenship for speeding tickets issued even in the distant past.

Fréttablaðið now reports that this may soon change. Minister of Justice Sigríður Á Andersen says she will introduce changes to the law for Parliament’s winter session.

One of the things that will likely change is the fact that, as it stands now, the law does not distinguish what the nature of the fine entailed, so minor traffic violations may soon no longer be a hindrance to citizenship. As traffic fines have themselves increased by law, the citizenship law may also raise the upper limit for fines that deny citizenship, and there may be some kind of statute of limitations for minor offenses. However, no definitive decision has been taken as to how, exactly, the current law will be changed.

Currently, those who were automatically denied citizenship on these grounds can appeal directly to Parliament, barring the Directorate of Immigration suddenly reversing their decision and granting citizenship after all.

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