Immigration Appeals Board Overturns ÚTL Ruling Blocking Bangladeshi Students - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Immigration Appeals Board Overturns ÚTL Ruling Blocking Bangladeshi Students

Published May 21, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

The Immigration Appeals Board determined that the Directorate of Immigration (ÚTL) had no grounds to deny 50 Bangladeshi students access to attending Bífröst University. As a result, the board have overruled ÚTL’s decision.

Bífröst University began a programme in 2017 aimed at attracting international students to attend their classes taught in English, RÚV reports. As Bífröst is a respected business school, it has attracted considerable demand from students around the world, amongst them from Bangladesh.

Before last spring semester, 50 students from Bangladesh sought to attend Bífröst to take numerous business courses, which requires a student residency permit. However, it came to light that ÚTL rejected every single one of these applications based on the nationality of the students and the concern that these students would stay on in Iceland beyond the purview of the residence permit.

47 of these students consequently appealed the decision to the Immigration Appeals Board. The board, upon examining the cases, found that ÚTL’s reasoning did not hold up to examination, and that there was no evidence for ÚTL’s belief that any of the students would overstay their visas. ÚTL’s decision has therefore been struck down.

Leifur Runólfsson, who pursued the appeal on behalf of these students, told reporters he was hopeful that the students would be able to attend Bífröst for the autumn semester. ÚTL will still need to review their applications again in order to issue the student visas required for attendance.

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