According to Margrét Steinarsdóttir, a lawyer at the Intercultural Center in Reykjavík (Althjódahús), there has never been a case of a person being granted Icelandic citizenship in only ten days, as in the case of a woman recently granted citizenship, who has close ties to the Minister for the Environment.
The woman from Central America had lived in Iceland for 15 months on a student visa before she was granted citizenship. Her permanent address is registered at the home of Jónína Bjartmarz, Iceland’s Minister for the Environment, who is her boyfriend’s mother. Ruv.is reports.
Usually foreign citizens are required to have lived in Iceland for seven years before they apply for citizenship. As the woman had only lived in the country for one and a half years, she had to apply for an exemption directly from the parliament’s General Committee.
According to ruv.is, the reason for her application was constrictions on the ability to travel. The woman, who is to begin her studies in the UK, would have had to renew her residence permit for Iceland every time she traveled from Britain to Iceland.
Apparently only ten days passed from the time the Ministry of Justice received the woman’s application until she was granted citizenship from the parliament’s General Committee.
On the website of Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration it is stated that the average processing time for an application for citizenship is five to 12 months.
According to the Icelandic parliament, 45 individuals were granted citizenship due to an exemption from conditions for citizenship in the last parliamentary session, eight of whom had lived in Iceland for less than two years.
Most applicants had personal or family-related reasons for applying for an exemption, some were granted citizenship because of their potential contribution to Icelandic society, others because of humanitarian reasons. Only five mentioned constrictions on the ability to travel.
Bjartmarz claimed in an interview on RÚV news program Kastljós on Friday that she had nothing to do with her son’s girlfriend being granted Icelandic citizenship.