Parliamentary parties have agreed to process 25 of the 70 requests received by the Icelandic Citizenship Parliament, Vísir reports. This was one of the last points of debate before Congress closed in the summer.
The Social Democratic Alliance, the Pirate Party, and the Reform Party were dissatisfied with how government parties worked on this year’s citizenship application and were ready to postpone the closure of parliament until a decision was reached.
The parties reached an agreement this week and agreed to process 25 of the 70 applications received by Congress. The remaining 45 will be dealt with as soon as Congress is reopened in the fall. The reason for the delay is a change in the Immigration Bureau’s procedures regarding the application ordered by Minister of Justice Yong Gunnarsson.
Parliament needs to consult the Immigration Department’s application review when processing the application, but the Minister has requested that Congress’s application not take precedence over others. When the delay in Congress’s application was revealed last spring, the directorate-general was criticized for trying to change the procedure for citizenship, but it was revealed that the procedure was changed at the request of the Minister of Justice. After the debate, the Directorate was responsible for submitting a review of the application to Parliament, but due to Parliament’s summer vacation, only 25 out of 70 were submitted. As part of an agreement to postpone the processing of 45 applications until the fall, political parties will form a committee this summer to consider how best to process them in the future. Parliament usually grants citizenship twice a year, just before Christmas and summer vacations.
Of the 25 applications processed yesterday, 12 were granted Icelandic citizenship. Among the dozens of lucky ones are musician John Grant and refugee Ufunoma Osayomoa. John has been working in Iceland for a long time, but last year the case of Ufunoma, who was denied asylum by Icelandic authorities, was talked about. Last year, another well-known musician who had worked in Iceland for a long time was granted citizenship in the same process as when Damon Albarn became an Icelandic citizen.
The Post Parliament has granted Icelandic citizenship to 12 individuals and was the first to appear in the Icelandic Review.