From Iceland — Directorate Of Immigration Denies Venezuelans Asylum In Landmark Ruling

Directorate Of Immigration Denies Venezuelans Asylum In Landmark Ruling

Published October 10, 2023

On Wednesday, October 4, the Directorate of Immigration’s court of appeals ruled in three cases concerning Venezuelan refugees in Iceland, denying their application for asylum. The rulings are expected to set a precedent in the cases of the Venezuelan refugees who applied for asylum last fall. Approximately 1500 people are set to be deported.

Following a decision last year to revoke the Directorate’s decision to deny Venezuelan applicants, the Directorate subsequently paused all case proceedings until the country’s status was reevaluated. During that time, applications piled up whose case processing didn’t commence until last spring. In the meantime, 1.244 Venezuelans applied for international protection in Iceland.

The recent rulings rest on the Directorate’s current evaluation of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela. In its opinion, conditions have improved.

In a report by RÚV, lawyer of Venezuelan asylum seekers Helgi Þorsteinsson Silva said that the Directorate’s evaluation is based on sources from Venezuelan authorities. The decision rests on untrustworthy grounds.

Incidentally, the BBC reports that U.S. authorities have expanded the protection status for some Venezuelans due to the country’s increased instability.


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