The number of residence permits granted to spouses of Icelandic citizens who come from outside the EEA has almost tripled since 2004. According to the Directorate of Immigration, it may indicate an increase in sham marriages.
Hildur Dungal, head of the directorate, told Fréttabladid they have seen indications that in many of these cases marriages may have only taken place so that individuals from outside the EEA could be granted residence permit in Iceland.
“But our suspicion has rarely been supported by sufficient evidence for us to reject applicants for residence permits,” Dungal said. Two individuals have been denied residence permits due to suspicion of sham marriages this year.
In fall 2005, a new law amendment took effect granting EEA citizens priority while handing out residence permits and it became more difficult for citizens from outside the EEA to be granted residence permits.
“After that we saw a considerable increase in requests for marital permits,” Dungal said. Ninety-nine percent of such permits were granted to citizens from outside the EEA this year, but 50 percent in 2004.