The Icelandic Directorate of Labour (IDC) has registered 3,327 foreign workers from the new EU member states since 1 May, when the borders were opened to the free movement of labor from those states. Of those, 2,447 registrations are new. The Directorate believes that some 2,000 registrations are still pending, in view of the number of social security numbers (kennitölur) already issued by the National Registry. Last year a total of 2,765 workers registered in Iceland from the new member states. Morgunbladid reports.
The countries in question are Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia. Gissur Pétursson, director of the IDC, feels that the influx of labor from those countries is greater than expected. He believes that all the immigrants will find work, but that it is essential to increase and strengthen the teaching of Icelandic for this group.
Meanwhile, Hildur Dungal, director of the Department of Immigration, considers this to be the right time to amend regulations regarding the movement of individuals to Iceland from countries outside the European Economic Area. She also urges a more targeted effort in the teaching of Icelandic for foreign citizens who plan to remain in Iceland for an extended period. This is reported by RÚV.