Republic of Cyprus
Asylum Service

Mission


The establishment of a common European asylum system which would be fair and efficient consists of an integral part of a modern and integrated policy for the management of migratory flows. A fair but a quick asylum procedure, ensures, on the one hand, that purely economic migrants would have no reason to resort to the asylum system since they would know that the rejection of their asylum claim will take place quickly, while, on the other hand, the real beneficiaries of international protection, would, in short time, enjoy the benefits provided for by international conventions and national legislation.

Cyprus, due to its geographical location in the vicinity of the near and Middle East, continues to receive disproportionate numbers of asylum applications compared to its capacity. The problems faced by Cyprus are magnified even more due to the special circumstances created by the Turkish invasion which have resulted in not being able to control its entire territory, including its northern maritime borders, which also form EU’s external borders.

The Asylum Service was established in 2004 according to an amendment of the Refugee Law of 2000, replacing the Refugee Authority. The main responsibilities of the Asylum Service, are, apart from the examination of applications for international protection at first instance, the coordination and supervision of the operation of reception centres, the implementation of the Dublin Regulation for establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State Responsible for the examination of an application for international protection, the preparation of Draft Bills, the participation in working groups of the EU and generally the coordination of the Services involved in asylum-related matters.

In general, asylum procedures in Cyprus are in a constant process of alignment with the constantly changing EU asylum acquis, aiming on the one hand, at the provision of protection to those who fear persecution in their countries of origin, and on the other hand, at the adoption of fast and efficient procedures which will prevent the abuse of the system by examining applications for international protection timely, fairly and effectively.

As mentioned above, the Asylum Service coordinates and supervises the operation and management of reception and accommodation centres for applicants of international protection and their families according to the Refugee Law. It should be noted that the Reception and Accommodation Centres play a significant role in the immediate provision of accommodation and hence of suitable reception conditions as provided by the relevant Reception Conditions Directive.


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