When an application for a residence permit does not meet the requirements for such a permit, cf. the Act on Foreigners no. 80/2016, the application may be refused. This means that an applicant does not receive the permit applied for. Refusals of applications for residence permit are written executive decisions that may be appealed to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board within 15 days from the date the decision is made known, i.e. from the date the applicant receives the notice of refusal. The reasons for refusal may be based on evaluation. The consequences of refusal are that a residence permit is not issued to the applicant, who has to leave the country if he/she is in Iceland.
If an applicant is not authorized to stay in Iceland when submitting an application, cf. Art. 51 of the Act on Foreigners, the Directorate of Immigration is obligated to refuse the application. In such an instance no evaluation is made as to whether other requirements for a residence permit are met.
The requirements for a residence permit are divided into basic requirements which all residence permits must meet and detailed requirements that are made in each category of residence permits.
If an applicant does not meet the basic requirements (for example, the requirement of reliable income) the application is refused unless an authorization for an exemption is provided for by the Act on Foreigners. Exemptions are evaluated in every case.
If an applicant does not meet the detailed requirements (for example, an applicant for a student residence permit is not enrolled in full study at university level or if an applicant for a spouse residence permit does not submit a marriage certificate), the Directorate of Immigration is authorized, and obligated in some instances, to refuse an application. Some detailed requirements are subject to evaluation by the Directorate of Immigration. An example of an evaluated requirement is when an applicant for a residence permit on grounds of au pair placement is suspected of not intending to leave the country when the residence permit expires. The Act on Foreigners allows consideration being made to the general experience of applicants in the same or similar situation.
If an applicant does not meet the requirements for a residence permit, the application will be processed by the Directorate of Immigration’s lawyers who make a written decision on refusal. The applicant is informed of the decision in a notice sent by registered mail. The general processing time by the Directorate of Immigration is about 90 days. If it is deemed clear that an application will be refused, the processing time may be longer, or up to 90 days from the date of receipt of the last documents.
The refusal of an application for a residence permit may result in an applicant who is in Iceland having to leave the country as his/her stay in this country is illegal. The applicant is always allowed a deadline for leaving Iceland at his/her own accord. In most cases, such a deadline is 30 days. If the applicant does not leave Iceland within the deadline he/she may be subject to expulsion and a refusal of re-entry.
If an applicant is not in Iceland when his/her application for a residence permit is refused, the applicant has not obtained a residence permit and is therefore not authorized to come to Iceland on such grounds.
If an applicant applying for an extension is authorized to work during the processing of his/her application is refused the authorization til work becomes invalid.
According to the Act on Foreigners, an applicant has a 15 day deadline from the date a decision is made known to him/her to appeal the refusal by the Directorate of Immigration to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board. The deadline for appealing does not start until the applicant receives the decision in his/her case. The day the applicant receives the decision is considered as being the date of disclosure of a decision.
A decision by the Directorate of Immigration that has been made known to the applicant results in certain implementation. This means that the applicant must abide by the instructions stated in the formal notice of decision. In some instances the implementation of the decision by the Directorate of Immigration may be postponed if the decision is appealed to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board.
The suspension of implementation entails that the conclusion of a decision will not be implemented until the case has undergone an appeals process by the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board.
Appealing a decision made by the Directorate of Immigration does not suspend its implementation except in circumstances where an appeal directly suspends implementation. That applies to refusals of permanent residence permits and refusal of renewal of a residence permit that was submitted before the deadline.
In any other instance the suspension of implementation of a refused decision is in accordance with Article 29 of the Administrative Procedures Act. The applicant may appeal the decision to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board.
In the cases where an appeal automatically suspends implementation, the applicant will not be required to leave the country while his case is being processed and he/she has the same legal status as if the application had not been refused.
If an appeal does not suspend implementation, an applicant who has been refused a residence permit must leave the country within the timeframe given, or when a permission to stay on grounds of a non-visa requirement expires. If the applicant does not abide by the aforementioned requirement his/her stay in Iceland will be illegal, which can result in expulsion and refusal of re-entry.
If a decision by the Directorate of Immigration is not appealed to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board or if an appeal is received after the expiry of the deadline to appeal, it is deemed that the applicant accepts the refusal by the Directorate of Immigration in which case the applicant should abide by the legal impact of the decision.
When a decision by the Directorate of Immigration has been appealed to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board, the case has been concluded by the Directorate of Immigration and is totally in the hands of the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board.