Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure

Cyprus

Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 08/04/22

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The Asylum Service gives priority to the examination of asylum applications in two cases: cases that are likely to be unfounded because of the country of origin of the applicant and countries that are going through a political or humanitarian crisis and are likely to be well-founded. In the first case, the Asylum Service aims to examine asylum applications from countries such as Georgia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam soon after they have been submitted. However, due to the backlog this is not always possible. In 2021, asylum applications from other countries were also prioritised such as applicants from Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.

The majority of cases being prioritised followed the regular procedure instead of the accelerated procedure; all formalities that apply to the regular procedure, will apply to these cases, including interpretation, deadlines, appeals, and legal representation. In late 2019, accelerated procedures were piloted for the first time for a specific nationality: Georgians nationals. In 2020 as well as 2021, despite announcements made by the authorities that accelerated procedures would be widely used, no significant increase in the use of the  procedure was noted.

In 2021, the main 5 nationalities interviewed by EASO were Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Congo (DR).[1]

In cases of asylum seekers from countries that are going through a political or humanitarian crisis, the examinations of their asylum applications are usually put on hold until the authorities decide the policy that will be followed in these cases. Examples of this occurred in the past with Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers. In both instances, the examination of the asylum applications was on hold for approximately two years, but once examinations resumed, priority was given to these cases.

Subsidiary protection is granted as a matter of policy to applicants from Syria; in 2019, 38 persons received refugee status and 1,074 subsidiary protection; in 2020, 21 persons received refugee status and 1,396 subsidiary protection and in 2021, 24 persons received refugee status and 1,913 subsidiary protection. Since 2015, Palestinians from Syria receive refugee status, however statistically they are registered as Syrian nationals, which indicates that among the persons receiving refugee status and registered as Syrians are actually Palestinians from Syria.[2] In early 2022, the Cyprus Refugee Council received  information on the fact that examination of cases from Syrian nationals were been put on hold: no official policy on the matter has been made public, but it was confirmed for what concerns individual cases.[3]

[1]  Information provided by EUAA, 28 February 2022.

[2] Statelessness Index, Country Profile Cyprus, available at: http://bit.ly/2TMRKH2.

[3] Information based on cases represented by the Cyprus Refugee Council.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation