A claim that the government of Iceland is offering to pay $5,000 per month to immigrant males who marry Icelandic women went viral on multiple social networks recently, sparking a deluge of applications to the Danish embassy in Egypt in charge of Icelandic affairs.
After receiving multiple inquiries from men wishing to participate in the alleged scheme, the Danish embassy in Egypt was forced to post a message to its Facebook page denying the widely-circulated rumor.
According to the Iceland Monitor, the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs also received a rash of inquiries from men apparently anxious to take up the alleged generous offer from the Icelandic authorities.
The Reykjavik Grapevine reported that after the rumor went viral online, several Icelandic women said they were being pestered with romantic propositions on Facebook by strangers, mostly foreign or non-Icelandic men.
The rumor, according to Snopes, appears to have originated in June 2016 from The Spirit Whispers, apparently a North African blog.
In a “breaking news” report written in a bewilderingly garbled version of the English language, the blog claimed that due to a low male population, the Icelandic authorities were offering a juicy financial compensation of $5,000 per month to immigrant males — preferably of North African origin — willing to marry Icelandic women.
The largely incoherent “breaking news” report started off by commenting on Iceland’s defeat of England in the European soccer championships (Euro 2016), and then went on to state that due to a low male population the government of the country was offering to pay $5,000 per month to immigrants that marry Icelandic women. The blog also stated that “priority in this resolution will go to North Africa’s population.”
“Because of the high proportion of females than males [the Icelandic authorities] have resorted to the solution to grant $ 5,000 per month per immigrant marries Icelandic,” reads the “breaking news” message in broken English on The Spirit Whispers blog.
As the comments section indicated, many North African men were interested in moving to Iceland to marry a local girl for the juicy compensation offered.
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.
Second, the Icelandic government absolutely does not have any kind of grant in place for immigrants who marry Icelanders, regardless of gender.
The blog had posted a similar “breaking news” message that the government of UAE was offering to pay immigrant females $3,000 to marry Emirati men. This suggests that the blog editors post misleading “breaking news” messages as subterfuge to drive traffic to their website.
The Danish embassy in Egypt and Iceland’s Foreign Ministry reportedly responded to the inquiries, explaining that the information was a hoax. The government of Iceland was not paying immigrant males to marry Icelandic spinsters, the authorities explained in response to inquiries.
The Danish embassy in Egypt was forced eventually to post a message to its Facebook page denying the viral rumor.
“Information about government grants for immigrants who marry Icelandic women is NOT true.”
So, Don’t believe everything you hear or see in Facebook posts. Verify beforehand from other reliable sources.