The Icelandic government has approved the Refugee Committee's proposals for responding to the emergency in Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover.
Among the proposals is that the Icelandic government will assist Afghans who have the right to family reunification or who have already obtained a residence permit in Iceland to enter the country. This applies to both individuals who have family ties here as well as individuals who intend to start studies here.
In addition, the processing of applications for family reunification with Afghans, as defined in the Act on Foreign Nationals, will be given priority.
The right to family reunification according to the Act on Foreign Nationals
A residence permit based on family reunification can be granted to the closest relative of a person who resides in Iceland and has the right to family reunification.
A right to family reunification have:
- Icelandic citizens,
- Nordic citizens,
- foreign citizens who have a permanent residence permit,
- foreign citizens who have a temporary residence permit:
- as a qualified specialist,
- as an athlete,
- as a spouse or cohabiting partner,
- as a graduate or post-graduate student (only for spouse/partner and children),
- on grounds of international protection,
- on grounds of humanitarian views or
- on grounds of special ties to Iceland.
The closest relative according to the Act on Foreign Nationals is
- a spouse,
- a cohabiting partner,
- a child under the age of 18, in the custody and provided for by the relevant permit holder, and
- a parent aged 67 or older.
Special rules apply to unaccompanied children living in Iceland on a residence permit based on international protection. They alone have the right to family reunification with the following relatives:
- parents (regardless of age) who have custody of them and intend to live with their child in this country and
- siblings under the age of 18 who are unmarried and living with their parents or guardian.
As the above shows the right to family reunification is limited to the nuclear family. Other family members or relatives such as adult siblings, nieces, nephews, or parents under the age of 67 are not entitled to a residence permit based on family reunification.
The Directorate of Immigration asks those who wish to submit applications to familiarize themselves with who may be entitled to family reunification before applying.