“I think this is the right outcome”

Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, says the conclusion of the Immigration Appeals Board on the issue of applicants for international protection from Venezuela is the correct conclusion in the matter and positive news.

Morg­un­blaðið reported this morning that the Appeals­ Committee had confirmed the opinion of the Directorate of Immigration that applicants for international protection from Venezuela no longer enjoy automatic protection in this country.

Close to half of those seeking international protection come from Venezuela

According to Morgunbladid, the relevant ruling was made in the case of a single individual, but Benediktsson confirms that it is a ruling in three cases out of a total of more than 400 that have been examined. The rulings have not yet been publicly published.

The cost of processing applications for international protection has been a subject of considerable discussion in recent years. According to the budget for 2024-2028, the total cost of receiving refugees is expected to be nearly 14 billion dollars. According to the Directorate of Immigration’s figures for the period from January to August this year, the total number of applications for protection in this year is nearly 3,000. The number of Venezuelan applications is 1,244. Already 475 of those applications have been rejected by the Directorate of Immigration during the year, while 49 were granted protection.

Positive news from the financial point of view

“Of course I hope that we can control these costs, it is inconceivable that we have to spend a large amount of money to handle these applications,” Benediktsson told mbl.is after a government meeting this morning.

“This is very positive news if we look at it from the cost perspective. The main thing is that I think this is the right outcome.”


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