General (scope, criteria, time limits)
The Refugee Law provides that an application for international protection is inadmissible only where:
- another Member State has granted international protection;
- a country which is not a Member State is considered as a First Country of Asylum for the applicant;
- a country which is not a Member State is considered as a Safe Third Country for the applicant;
- the application is a Subsequent Application, where no new elements or findings relating to the examination of whether the applicant qualifies as a beneficiary of international protection have arisen or have been presented by the applicant; or
- a dependant of the applicant lodges an application, after he or she has consented to have his or her case be part of an application lodged on his or her behalf, and there are no facts relating to the dependant’s situation which justify a separate application.
Furthermore, where an application is considered inadmissible, the Head of the Asylum Services closes the file and stops the examination of the application by a decision which is taken and registered in the file without following the regular or accelerated procedure.
In 2020 and 2021, cases were identified where the inadmissibility ground was applied, including cases in which another Member State had granted international protection, and cases of subsequent applications where it was deemed that no new elements or findings arose or were presented. Beneficiaries of international protection, who received the status in another country are considered asylum seekers when they lodge a new application for international protection and have access to reception conditions during the first instance examination of the application; they are excluded only if, as the result of an appeal, the application is found inadmissible.
According to the law, before a decision on admissibility is taken, the Asylum Service allows the applicant to state his or her views on the application of the grounds and, for this purpose, carries out a personal interview on the admissibility of the application. In practice, a short interview will be carried out and always in the presence of an interpreter. However, in the case of subsequent applications, the Law was amended in 2020 according to which the admissibility of the new elements or findings is examined without conducting an interview. Moreover, and again according to the amendment of article 16D in 2020, when the Head of the Asylum Service is assessing new elements brought forth by the applicant in a subsequent application that was not previously provided to the Asylum Service when examining their claim at first instance, the Head can reject the application as inadmissible if they consider that the applicant has not provided new elements.
The law permits for an appeal against inadmissibility decisions before the IPAC.The appeal does not have suspensive effect and a separate application must be submitted, requesting the right to remain. The rules and procedure are the same as in the Regular Procedure.
There is no access to free legal assistance from the state before the Asylum Service during any procedure, including the admissibility procedure. However, such cases can be assisted by the free legal assistance provided for by NGOs under project funding, although the capacity of these projects is extremely limited (see Regular Procedure).For an appeal before the IPAC an application for legal aid can be submitted, however the success rate of legal aid applications in general are low.
 Article 12B-quater(2) Refugee Law.
 Article 12B-quater(1) Refugee Law.
 Based on information provided by the Cyprus Refugee Council.
 Article 12B-quater(3) Refugee Law.
 Article 16D(2) Refugee Law.
 Article 16D(2) Refugee Law.
 Article 16(D)(3)(a) Refugee law.
 Articles 12B-quater(1) Refugee Law.