Organisation and role

The Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board is an independent quasi-judicial body comprising seven members. The Board members have expertise in the field of immigration law, in particular refugee law and the right to asylum as well as residence permits. They are appointed for a period of five years. The Minister of Justice appoints the Chairperson of the Appeals Board and the Deputy Chairperson following a competitive selection process. The Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson shall fulfil the criteria required for the appointment of District Court Judges. Three members are appointed by the same Minister based upon nominations from the University of Iceland Institute of Human Rights and the Icelandic Human Rights Centre. Two members are appointed by the Minister without external nominations. Alternates are appointed in the same manner and shall fulfill the same requirements as the main members.

The Chairperson is responsible for the overall management of the Board and represents the Board towards external stakeholders. He or she is responsible for case management, financial matters, daily operations and its human resources. The Chairperson organises the meetings of the Board and is responsible for the Board’s research and data collection.

In deciding on appeals, the Board is the highest administrative authority in the field of immigration. The Minister of justice does  therefore not give general or specific instructions regarding conclusion of cases.

The mandate of the Board is largely limited to deciding on appeals. The Board is not responsible for the care of applicants for international protection or the social support they need and to which they are entitled. Furthermore, the Board does not have a policy role apart from what results from its decisions. The Board’s decisions are implemented by the Directorate of Immigration in conjunction with the police.