Asylum

Asylum system in the Republic of Cyprus.

Last update : December 2016

The asylum system in the Republic of Cyprus consists of 3 institutions:

  • Asylum Service
  • Administrative Court
  • Supreme Court

You can make your applications for asylum at the Asylum Service, the Alien and Immigration Office or at any police station. It can also be made from detention or prison. For the application you need a valid address so that further information about the procedure can reach you. You will be contacted for the interview by post. The time between the application and the interview varies, mostly it takes between 6 and 12 months. Responsible for the interview is the Asylum Service. Some people tell about friendly staff, others about discriminatory practices, bad translations and insufficient time to tell their story. After the interview you will receive post from the Asylum Service about their decision. In most cases it is a rejection. The letter is in Greek language and does not tell about the reasons of the decision. When you get a rejection you have 45 days to appeal or to leave the country.

The first appeal is made at the Administrative Court. This court can ask for a second interview and give you the possibility to explain your reasons for seeking asylum again and to add information. Until now the Administrative Court has not opted for this possibility in the most cases. Cypriot refugee law forbids your detention or imprisonment before the decision of the Administrative Court.

When you get the arejection from the Administrative Court you get a letter which tells you that you have 75 days to leave the country or to make your second appeal at the Supreme Court. Attention: Some institutions consider these 75 days as part of the asylum procedure whereas others don not: It happens that people are arrested and deported before the expiration of the 75 days. An appeal at the Supreme Court is expensive and can only be made to prove that there are mistakes in the administrative procedures of the case. It is not about the substance of the case.