Revocation of a residence permit
The Directorate of Immigration can revoke residence permits and permanent residence permits according to Article 16 of the Act on Foreigners, when:
- The permit holder has given wrong or misleading information in his/her application and the information is vital to the granting of a permit.
- The conditions of a residence permit or permanent residence permit are no longer met by the applicant
- It is in direct accordance with administrative procedures
Revocation of a residence permit means that a previously issued residence permit is rescinded and the permit holder is no longer allowed to stay in Iceland.
If the revocation of a residence permit is based on the applicant giving wrong or misleading information or if he/she has concealed incidents vital to the granting of a residence permit, the applicant’s legal status will be as if he had never been granted a residence permit. This means that if the individual applies again for a residence permit, it will be as if he is applying for the first time. The applicant must then leave the country and submit all documents and meet all conditions basic and specific that are required when applying for a residence permit for the first time.
The most common reason for revoking a residence permit is that the applicant no longer fulfils basic and/or specific conditions for a residence permit, for example due to a divorce or legal separation.
The Directorate of Immigration decides to cancel a temporary residence permit when the holder has lived or stayed abroad continuously for more than three months, see paragraph 4, Article 14 of The Act on Foreigners.When the foreign national’s domicile has been registered abroad for three months, the temporary residence permit shall lapse automatically.
The Directorate of Immigration decides to cancel a permanent residence permit when the holder has resided or stayed abroad for more than 18 continuous months according to, paragraph 5, Article 15 of The Act on Foreigners. When the foreign national’s domicile has been registered abroad for eighteen months, the permanent residence permit shall lapse automatically.
Exceptions can be made by The Directorate of Immigration if special considerations of fairness favour granting a permit holder the right to stay/live abroad for an extended period.
The Directorate of Immigration announces the revoking of a residence permit to the applicant. In the instances where it is certain that the applicant no longer fulfils basic and/or specific conditions, due to a divorce for example, the individual who holds the permit is notified of the revoking of his/her permit.
In other instances it may be pertinent to give the applicant a right to protest or contest the possible revocation of his/her residence permit before the final decision has been made. The permit holder is notified of a possible revocation of his/her permit and given a certain deadline, usually about 15 days, to contest the possible revocation of his/her residence permit or to apply for a new permit.
The decision to revoke a residence permit can, until the 1st of January 2015, be appealed to the Ministry of the Interior. As of 1st of January 2015, the Icelandic Immigration Appeals Board will officially handle all appeals of decisions made by the Directorate. The applicant has 15 days to appeal and the appeal suspends implementation of the decision. That is to say, if the applicant appeals the decision to revoke his/her residence permit, his legal status in Iceland will be as if the decision to deny had not been made. The applicant keeps this status until a final decision has been made of the appealed case.
Cancellation of the right to stay
If a foreigner has a right to stay in Iceland without a residence permit, he/she is granted the status “does not need a residence permit” and issued a card accordingly.
In special cases the right to stay in Iceland can be cancelled which means the individual must now have a residence permit to stay in Iceland. This most commonly occurs when an individual has been married or in cohabitation with an Icelandic citizen for some years, but the relationship is ended before the foreigner has received permanent residency or Icelandic citizenship.
By divorce or legal separation, the right to stay in Iceland without a residence permit is automatically cancelled. The Directorate of Immigration notifies the foreigner about the cancellation of the right to stay and suggests possible residence permits he/she can apply for within a certain timeframe.
As the cancellation of the right to stay is not an Administrative decision, the decision cannot be appealed.
If the foreigner has not applied for a residence permit within the allotted timeframe his/her stay is deemed illegal. Illegal stay in Iceland can result in expulsion and a re-entry ban according to Article 30 of the Act on Foreigners.