Iceland’s Immigration Appeals Board has ruled that the Directorate of Immigration was not permitted to deny visas to 50 would-be students from Bangladesh. RÚV reports that the Directorate rejected all of the applications on the basis of nationality as it considered there to be a risk the individuals were applying on the wrong grounds. With its ruling, the Appeals Board has now rejected that argument.
In 2017, the University of Bifröst decided to begin offering programs taught in English and since that time has been seeking international applicants. “The school has therefore had agents in certain countries that have acted as intermediaries for potential students, including in Bangladesh,” stated Leifur Runólfsson, who represents the Bangladeshis in the case. “By doing so, the school is both strengthening itself financially and in quality. The school has very much been gaining ground on the Asian market.”
Last spring, 50 Bangladeshi nationals applied to study business at Bifröst, applying for student visas as well. “When it came to light that The Directorate of Immigration had rejected them all on the basis of nationality and the suspicion that they were going to apply for asylum in Iceland, 47 of them appealed the decision,” Leifur stated.
Leifur says the applicants are expected to be able to start studying at Bifröst this fall. “We hope so. We need to of course wait for [the decision to be processed at] the Directorate of Immigration where the applications will be reviewed again and residence permits issued.”