Brazilian Resident in Iceland Loses Work Permit Skip to content

Brazilian Resident in Iceland Loses Work Permit

Brazilian jazz singer Jussanam da Silva had worked for two years at the after school center Hlídaskjól in Reykjavík and had signed a contract with the center for another year of employment when the Directorate of Labor deprived her of her work permit.

Da Silva worked with children at an after school center. The photo is not related to the story. By Páll Kjartansson.

“The uncertainty is the worst; I don’t know what do to,” da Silva said. The reason for the directorate’s decision is that da Silva is about to divorce her Icelandic husband and since there is so much unemployment in Iceland, individuals from the EEA area are given priority, visir.is reports.

Da Silva has become a respected musician in Iceland, having performed with the country’s foremost jazz artists, including bassist and conductor Tómas R. Einarsson and pianist Agnar Már Magnússon. She released the album Ele é Carioca one year ago.

Da Silva is discontent about not being able to work and consequently not being able to live in Iceland anymore. “Without the job I won’t earn any money and cannot pay my bills,” she said. “I always thought that when the day came that I would lose my job I would go back home. But I didn’t lose my job; it’s waiting for me.”

Da Silva’s supervisor at the after school center, Andrea Ólafsdóttir, has assisted da Silva in her struggle with the Directorate of Labor and Directorate of Immigration.

“We have written a letter to the lawyers of Reykjavík City, the Directorate of Immigration and the Directorate of Labor. She has worked here for two years and has good talents for the job,” Ólafsdóttir said, confirming that the job contract that she made with da Silva had been rejected by the Directorate of Labor.

Ólafsdóttir criticizes the directorate’s policy, saying that it sheds a light on the weak position of foreign residents who divorce their spouses. Da Silva’s divorce doesn’t go through until October, Ólafsdóttir said, yet actions have already been taken to prevent her from staying in Iceland.

Click here to watch da Silva perform with the band of Tómas R. Einarsson.

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