Maria Amelie, a young Russian citizen who was deported from Norway as an illegal immigrant in January, even though she had lived there since she was a child, said she was pleasantly surprised that two Icelandic MPs suggested granting her Icelandic citizenship.
“It is good to know that there are people out there showing my cause understanding. I don’t know whether this can happen but I am grateful for it,” she told Fréttabladid in a telephone interview.
Amelie now lives in Moscow with her Norwegian boyfriend, Eivind Traedal. She said their time there has been hard but they intend to write about their experience. She has received her Russian ID but is waiting for a passport. She has also applied for a residence permit in Norway.
Once Amelie has her Russian passport she is free to travel. She said she would like to visit Iceland, although her mind is first and foremost set on moving back to Norway. “But in Norway I have to wait seven years for citizenship. The nine years that I’ve lived there don’t count.”
Amelie raised awareness of the affairs of illegal immigrants in Norway with the bestseller Ulovlig norsk (“Illegally Norwegian”) last year but at the same time she brought the authorities’ spotlight on herself.
“I wrote the book in the hope that it would change something. I thought the government would be thankful for the problem, which has continued to grow, being discussed, but instead I was arrested and that hurts,” she commented.
Jussanam Da Silva, a Brazilian citizen who came to Iceland as a legal immigrant and lived and worked here for two years, but whose residence permit was not renewed after she divorced her Icelandic husband, is campaigning for her right to stay in Iceland.
She is critical of the two MPs’ support for Maria Amelie, who has no connection with Iceland, as she herself has not received similar support from parliamentarians.
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