Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure


Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 11/04/23


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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 included in the ‘safe countries’ list soon after they have been submitted. However, due to the backlog this is not always possible.

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 of a policy that will be followed. 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.[1]

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]

From February 2022 onwards, the Cyprus Refugee Council noted that the asylum applications of Syrian nationals were not being examined.[3] No official policy on the matter has been made public, however the annual statistics confirm that only an extremely low number of applications were decided on as 167 Syrian nationals received protection in 2022 (129 in January 2022) compared to 1,937 in 2021.[4] In early 2023, the situation remains the same.




[1] Information provided by Cyprus Refugee Council.

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

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

[4] Cyprus Asylum Service.

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