The alleged $5000 monthly stipend given to immigrants by the Iceland government for marrying their ladies has made Nigerians jostle for the country’s visa
By Akinwale Kasali
The Iceland Embassy at 15, Louis Solomon Close, Victoria Island, Lagos, is now a Mecca of sort, with hundreds of youths, mostly men, jostling for Visas to the Eastern European country. When the magazine visited the embassy of the Scandinavian country, the desperation on the faces of mostly young male Visa applicants was overwhelming.
The reason for this desperation has to do with the alleged $5000 monthly stipend given to immigrants by the Icelandic government for marrying their ladies. The news of the alleged $5000 monthly stipend given by the Scandinavian country spread like wildfire, as it became the next destination for Nigerians and Africans. Following the desperation by Nigerians to get the Icelandic Visa, the process has now been made rigorous.
Before now,Nigerian nationals need to produce a visa to enter any European country, no matter the duration of their stay and no matter the kind of travel document they have, except they have a valid residence permit that enables them to stay in the European country or another country of the Schengen zone. There are no border controls between any of the European countries within the Schengen Zone.
Typically, a Schengen visa will grant you access to 25 other countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Although, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country). This is no longer obtainable in Iceland, due to the high number of immigrants from Nigeria who want to make Iceland their new home, because of the $5000 monthly stipend.
As the news went viral, with the Visa application soaring to an unbelievable margin from Nigeria and other African countries, the Iceland government rescinded its decision by announcing that the alleged $5000 monthly stipend was false, and also made the Visa application process a daunting task for prospective applicants.
In a report by Reykjavik newspaper, it said the information about the $5000 monthly stipend is false. It also gave instances why the claim should be disregarded. The write-up reads; “A widely-circulated hoax article is making claims that has provoked bemusement and bewilderment on Icelandic social media.Over at least the past week now, numerous Icelandic women on Facebook have attested to being practically spammed with friend requests from non-Icelandic men that they do not know. It turns out that this may be linked to this article, which makes the following claim.
“Perhaps the most prominent of our attention is the story that it’s because of the high proportion of females than males have compelled the government of that country to grant $5,000 per month per immigrant who marries an Icelandic, and that the priority in this resolution will go to North Africa’s population. In case you were in doubt, everything about this claim is false.
“First of all, the latest population data actually shows slightly more men than women in Iceland, with 1,007 men for every 1,000 women in general; in Reykjavík, there are 985 men for every 1,000 women, but in the countryside the ratio is 1,129 men for every 1,000 women.
“Secondly, the Icelandic government absolutely does not have any kind of grant in place for immigrants who marry Icelanders, regardless of gender.As such, if you do want to marry an Icelander, you should do so without the expectation of a cash payout, because none will be forthcoming.”
A social media group in Reykjavik, the country’s capital called “Throttur Reykjavik fan” posted on its site that the $5000 stipend was false. “Let’s get on to the point and congratulations you have been fooled because this whole thing isn’t true and the proof for this is that in Iceland the total population is 320,136 and in which are 161,227 males and 158,909 females. The post that has been circulating on internet regarding this is unfortunately not true. There is no official statement or resolution passed related to this”.
An Icelandic blogger, Klara Egilson, who spoke to the magazine via skype said, “Gosh, I wish that would be true. I would be married ten times already – to foreign men, and divorced as many times – for I don’t think that any Icelandic woman in her right mind, would marry a foreigner that were to receive 5000 USD without making a deal for splitting that very same amount in half. Imagine, if that were true, priests would not even have time for lunch, for people would be flocking to the altar to get married”.
Iceland with a population size of 320,136 people, with a land mass of 307,000sq meter, was said to have come up with this idea because of the high proportion of females that made government of Iceland to look for solution on how to make the female population happy and productive.
Iceland, a mountainous island nation in the north Atlantic Ocean is located between Europe and North America, though, not part of the continental mainland, the country is considered Nordic European. The name of the country—Iceland—may not be that appropriate: although 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers, it has a surprisingly mild climate and countless geothermal hot-spots and hot springs.
Already, the magazine can confirm that despite the Iceland government distancing itself from such promise, many young men from Nigeria are still visiting miracle centers to pray for visa to Iceland.
Chinedu Ephraim, a Visa applicant laments the economic woes affecting the Nigerian citizen. “This is a failed nation. Other Countries are planning on how to make her citizenry happy and productive,opposite is the case with Nigeria.Who cares about the single Ladies in Nigeria? Iceland has a reliable data,hence was able to know the proportion of her population that are not married. Do we have such information in Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine. That is the more reason I want to leave this country”, he lamented.
For Joseph Akaruwe, he is optimistic that the Iceland embassy will give him Visa. “All this story that the Iceland government has denied it is false. Let me get my Visa and get there first, and confirm if it is true or not. Have been praying fervently for this dream to come to reality and I know nothing can stop me”, Akaruwe said with confidence.