Iceland seeks to reduce asylum intake

Migrant crisis in Europe

Published 23 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Islands president Guðni Jóhannesson.

The Icelandic government intends to reduce the number of asylum applications in order to better “prioritize” available resources. At the same time, it is reducing the processing time to 90 days and introducing what it calls “effective deportation”.

The new measures are a follow-up to immigration legislation passed earlier this year that tightened the rules for asylum seekers. The measures were taken by the Icelandic Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, the Ministry of Universities and Innovation, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Culture and Trade, and the Ministry of Education and Children.

“The authorities intend to reduce expenses and better prioritise the funds that go toward the issue,” the government press release states. “By reducing the number of applications that do not meet the criteria for protection and increasing the efficiency of processing applications, money is saved, which will partly be used to increase contributions to ensure Icelandic language teaching, increased assistance to children in schools, and social education that helps people actively participate in Icelandic society”, the Icelandic government said in a press release.

Other measures include making better use of the human resources of immigrants, including by establishing a system that better recognizes their education abroad. Meanwhile, a special team will be set up to speed up the processing of Venezuelans’ applications for international protection.

– The vast majority, almost all, of these applications will be rejected, says Justice Minister Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir.

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