Case of Nepali Residence Seeker Reviewed Skip to content

Case of Nepali Residence Seeker Reviewed

By Iceland Review

After a meeting with Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson yesterday the Directorate of Immigration decided to reconsider 23-year-old Nepali woman Priyanka Thapa’s application for residency in Iceland on humanitarian grounds.


Priyanka Thapa. Source: Facebook.

“We reviewed the directorate’s policy and regulation framework when it comes to either granting or rejecting people’s applications for residency and there are obviously many things that must be improved,” the minister told Fréttabladid.

Thapa, who has lived in Iceland for one year, was not given a renewed residency permit in Iceland, even though if she returns to Nepal she will be forced to marry an older man whom she has never met, who in turn has promised to support her impoverished family.

“I shouted because I was so happy,” Thapa said of her reaction to the news that her application would be reviewed. “It is such a relief. There is hope.” More than 13,000 people have declared their support for her case on a Facebook campaign site.

Thapa said she would rather stay in Iceland and continue with her education than moving back to Nepal under such conditions.

According to Fréttabladid, she works as a babysitter for a family of eight who have invited her to continue to live with them.

She is set to graduate from the engineering and natural sciences department at the education institute Keilir next month. She would like to move on to study pharmacology or chemistry.

The Directorate of Immigration turned down her application because it was considered unproven that a forced marriage and inhumane treatment awaited her in her home country.

Her lawyer, Sigurdur Örn Hilmarsson, said they will now continue to work on the application and submit further evidence. “It is pleasing that the Directorate of Immigration decided to review this case,” he commented.

He added it will probably take less than three months for the directorate to process her renewed application for residency.

Click here to read about a Brazilian woman who is also campaigning for her right to stay in Iceland.

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