Claims Iceland is closed to workers from outside Europe Skip to content

Claims Iceland is closed to workers from outside Europe

Recent changes to the European Economic Area have led to many people from non-EEA countries being denied work and residence permits in Iceland, reports Morgunbladid today. Some residents from non-EEA countries already in the country are refused an extension of their permits when they expire, according to Gerdur Gestsdóttir, project director for Iceland’s Intercultural Centre.

Speaking at a meeting of the East Reykjavík Rotary Club yesterday, Gestsdóttir was asked how Iceland was handling immigration matters. “I replied that we were handling them well, but that it was through sheer luck. The development could go in either direction. It depends on whether authorities start to wake up and formulate a clear policy on immigration.” She points out that immigrants to Iceland are nearly all from Europe, as Iceland has virtually closed its borders to those outside the EEA.

As of last spring, citizens of eight new EEA states no longer need permits to work or live in Iceland.

Iceland has been a member of the EEA since the agreement took effect on January 1, 2004. Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland are the three EEA members who do not belong to the EU.

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