Nepali Asylum Seeker Allowed to Stay in Iceland

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Nepali Asylum Seeker Allowed to Stay in Iceland

Priyanka Thapa, a Nepalese citizen, was granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds last week after her request was originally denied. She said the uncertainty of whether she would be able to stay had been very hard on her.

priyankathapa_facebook

Priyanka Thapa. Source: Facebook.

“I was very sad and could have let depression and sorrow take over but I met people. I have good friends. My teachers and many others have shown me so much support, encouraging me to be who I am today,” Priyanka told ruv.is.

She added that she would like to live in Iceland indefinitely and she has already applied for citizenship.

Priyanka, who lived in poverty in her home country, first arrived in Iceland as an au pair in 2009. She applied for a residence permit for humanitarian reasons after she learned that her family had arranged a marriage between her and an older man to take place upon her return.

The Directorate of Immigration rejected Priyanka’s application last spring but later withdrew its rejection, agreeing to review her case after her lawyer sent a letter to the directorate and the Ministry of the Interior.

Since then, Priyanka has studied chemistry at the University of Iceland; she graduated at the top of her class in preparation for her university studies. Her aim is to become a well-educated Icelander so that she can contribute to society.

Priyanka hasn’t spoken with her family in Nepal since she first came to Iceland but hopes to be able to visit soon. She expects her family to be happy for her as she plans to help support them financially from Iceland.

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ESA