Accelerated procedure


Country Report: Accelerated procedure Last updated: 09/05/24


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General (scope, grounds for accelerated procedures, time limits)

As in the regular procedure, the Asylum Service is the authority responsible for taking decisions at first instance in accelerated procedures.

Article 12Δ of the Refugee Law provides that an application must be processed as priority and within 30 days under an accelerated procedure where the responsible officer considers that the applicant:

  • Comes from a country where there is no serious risk of persecution;[1]
  • Comes from a safe third country;[2]
  • Comes from a safe European third country;[3]
  • Comes from a safe country of origin;[4]
  • Lodges an inadmissible application;[5]
  • Comes from a first country of asylum;[6]
  • Meets one of the following criteria:[7]
    • the applicant, in submitting his/her application and presenting the facts, has only raised issues that are not relevant or of minimal relevance to the examination of whether he or she qualifies as a refugee;
    • the applicant is from a safe country of origin within the meaning of the Law;[8]
    • the applicant has misled the authorities by presenting false information or documents or by withholding relevant information or documents with respect to his or her identity and/or nationality that could have had a negative impact on the decision;
    • it is likely that, in bad faith, the applicant has destroyed or disposed of an identity or travel document that would have helped establish his or her identity or nationality;
    • the applicant has made clearly inconsistent and contradictory, clearly false or obviously improbable representations which contradict sufficiently verified country-of-origin information, thus making his or her claim clearly unconvincing in relation to whether they qualify as a BIP by virtue ofthe Law;
    • the applicant has introduced a subsequent application for international protection that is not inadmissible in accordance with Article 16Δ;
    • the applicant is making an application merely in order to delay or frustrate the enforcement of an earlier or imminent decision which would result in his or her removal;
    • the applicant entered the territory of the Republic unlawfully or prolonged his or her stay unlawfully and, without good reason, has either not presented himself or herself to the authorities or not made an application for international protection as soon as possible, given the circumstances of his or her entry;
    • the applicant may, for serious reasons, be considered a danger to the national security or public order, or has been forcibly expelled for serious reasons of public security or public order under national law;
    • the applicant refuses to comply with an obligation to have his or her fingerprints taken in accordance with the Eurodac Regulation.

The 30-day time limit to issue a decision may be extended for a period that does not exceed two months upon the recommendation of the case examiner and approval by the Head of the Asylum Service.[9]

In practice, until 2019, the accelerated procedure had never been used. In late 2019, a pilot for the accelerated procedure was initiated in the Paphos district in order to respond to the influx of cases from one country of origin,[10] namely Georgian nationals.[11] In 2022, asylum applications from countries considered safe or countries facing a humanitarian crisis were at times prioritised through a fast-track procedure. From September 2022 onwards, the use of accelerated procedures increased, focusing mostly on applications from the list of ‘safe countries’ and specifically nationalities such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Nigeria.

In 2023, accelerated procedures were again used for applicants from the same countries as in 2022. However, not all nationals from these countries are examined under the accelerated procedure, mainly due to lack of capacity on behalf of the authorities to respond to the stricter timeframes provided for accelerated procedures under the Law. It is not clear what criteria is applied to select which applicants are examined under accelerated procedures.[12]

Applicants determined as vulnerable through the vulnerability assessment procedure at Pournara are exempted from the accelerated procedure.

Cases have been identified that were initially being examined under the accelerated procedures and were transferred to the regular procedure due to the applicant raising arguments that were complex and could not be examined within the 30-day timeframe as stipulated by the Law (usually either due to submitting a lot of evidence or there being a need for multiple interviews).[13] However, as the procedure has only implemented recently, further monitoring is required to ensure that such safeguards are implemented.


Personal interview

As is the case during the regular procedure, interviews of applicants during the accelerated procedure are carried out by the Asylum Service and with the assistance of an interpreter where needed.[14] In practice, and contrary to the regular procedure, in the beginning of interviews in the accelerated procedure, case workers inform applicants that their country has been designated a safe country of origin, on the basis of the Ministerial Decree of 202/2022. Applicants are then asked to explain if there are any reasons why they believe that in their individual case the safe country of origin presumption does not apply.[15]

According to the Law, when a decision is issued under the accelerated procedure, access to the report or to the transcript of the audio/visual recording of the interview, where applicable, is provided at the same time the decision is received.[16] In practice, applicants are provided with a copy of the recommendation report of the Asylum Service but they are not provided with a copy of the interview transcript. The transcript can be received upon request for an inspection of the file at the Asylum Service or during the appeal procedure before the IPAC as is the case under the regular procedure.



An appeal can be submitted before the IPAC against a decision issued in the accelerated procedure and the time limit to appeal is 15 days[17] instead of 30 days as in the regular procedure (see Regular Procedure: Appeal).[18] In 2022, the IPAC initiated accelerated procedures for negative first-instance decisions issued on the basis of an inadmissible subsequent application [19] and safe country of origin.[20] Upon the submission of an appeal in such cases, the Asylum Service must, within 10 days, file a memorandum at the Registry of the IPAC, alongside the administrative file relating to the claim. The case is then scheduled directly for a hearing, during which the presence of the State Legal Service is not required, unless this is otherwise ordered by the IPAC. No written submissions by either the applicant or the Legal Service are envisaged in the accelerated procedure.[21]

Following the amendments to the Refugee Law in October 2020, the Asylum Service currently issues a single negative and returns decision. For cases examined under the regular procedure, a returns decision is automatically suspended once an appeal is submitted. However, for appeals relating to cases examined in the accelerated procedure and others, the appeal does not have automatic suspensive effect and a separate application must be submitted to the IPAC requesting the right to remain pending the examination of the appeal.[22]

The procedure to submit such an application was not provided for in the procedural rules, until their amendment in 2022. The amended Regulations provide that the application for the right to remain must be submitted at the same time as the appeal, and in any case within the deadline for the submission of the appeal, which is 15 days.[23] It is not clear what the consequences of late submission would be and if it would lead to automatic rejection of the application. The Court’s procedural rules also now include the application form to be used for the right to remain which is an ex parte application.[24]  However, there is no information provision at the IPAC regarding the need to submit the right to remain application alongside the appeal and although the requirement to make such an application is included in the first-instance decision issued by the Asylum Service, applicants are not adequately informed. Furthermore, the form is not readily available at the counter of the Registry of the IPAC, although according to the Court it can be obtained following request by the applicants.[25]

As the accelerated procedure was initiated for the first time in late 2019, and not widely applied until late 2022, there is scarce information on the submission of appeals and their outcome under this procedure. Based on the appeals submitted so far that fall under the accelerated procedure, these are scheduled for a hearing within 1-2 months of the appeal submission, which is the same time as in the regular procedure. However, during the first hearing, the judges usually explain to the applicant that their case does not have merits and if pursued the decision will be issued with a cost order, in most cases approximately 500 EUR which the applicant is expected to pay. In the past, these orders were rarely pursued. However, in 2022, there were a few reports of asylum seekers wanting to withdraw their appeals and return to their country of origin being requested to pay the amount in order to withdraw the appeal. As a result, in many cases applicants withdraw their appeal. In cases where the appeal is not withdrawn a decision is issued soon after the first hearing.[26] In 2023, the IPAC reported 5,383 decisions on explicit withdrawals, concerning both regular and accelerated procedures.[27]


Legal assistance

See the section on Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance.





[1] Article 12A Refugee Law.

[2] Article 12B Refugee Law.

[3] Article 12B-bis Refugee Law.

[4] Article 12B-ter Refugee Law.

[5] Article 12B-quater Refugee Law.

[6] Article 12B-quinquies Refugee Law.

[7] Article 12Δ(4) Refugee Law.

[8] Article 12B-ter Refugee Law.

[9] Article 12Δ(5)(β) Refugee Law.

[10] EASO, EASO Operational and Technical Assistance Plan to Cyprus 2020, available at:  

[11] Ministerial Decision on Safe Countries, available in Greek at:

[12] Information provided by Cyprus Refugee Council.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Article 12Δ(2) Refugee Law.

[15] Based on cases monitored by the Cyprus Refugee Council.

[16] Article 18 (2B)(γ).

[17] Article 12A IPAC Law.

[18] Article 11 IPAC Law.

[19] Article 12Βtetrakis (2)(δ), Refugee Law.

[20] Article 12Βτρις, Refugee Law.

[21] Add from IPAC regulations (Regulation 3(e).

[22] Article 8 (1A) Refugee Law.

[23] Article 13 of the IPAC’s amended Regulations (as amended in October 2022).

[24] Form no. 4 annexed to the IPAC Procedural Rules of 2019.

[25] Information provided by Cyprus Refugee Council.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Information provided by IPAC.

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