Subsequent applications

Cyprus

Country Report: Subsequent applications Last updated: 30/11/20

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All subsequent applications must go through an admissibility procedure as provided for in the law.[1] Under the Refugee Law, the competent authority for the examination of a subsequent application is the Asylum Service.

 

According to the law, if an applicant submits a subsequent application or new elements or findings on their claim after a final decision was made, the competent authority does not treat these cases as a new application, but as further steps on the initial application.[2] In relation to the admissibility of the application, the Asylum Service has to conduct a preliminary examination to assess whether the submitted information constitutes new elements or findings which the Asylum Service did not take into consideration when deciding on the initial claim.[3]

 

When the Asylum Service decides that the subsequent application or new elements or findings are admissible, it will continue with the substantive examination of these. According to the law, the decision will only be considered as a new decision if the elements increase the chances of the applicant receiving international protection, and if the competent authority is satisfied that the applicant could not submit these elements in the initial examination, and especially during the stage of a recourse to the Administrative Court under Article 146 of the Constitution, due to no fault of his or her own.

 

There are no specific time limits within which the Asylum Service must issue a decision on the admissibility of the subsequent application or new elements or findings, however the applicant is considered an asylum seeker during this procedure and has access to reception conditions.

 

It should be noted that, whereas in the previous version of the Refugee Law, there was explicit provision to the Refugee Reviewing Authority (RRA) as a competent authority for the examination of a subsequent application, the Refugee Law as amended makes no reference to the RRA due to plans to abolish it (see Regular Procedure: Appeal). However, as the RRA continues to operate, the procedure regarding subsequent applications or new elements or findings initially did not change and the RRA continued to receive and examine these applications. During 2017 the RRA decided that all subsequent applications or new elements or findings on a claim must be submitted to the Asylum Service and transferred all its pending files of subsequent applications or new elements or findings on a claim to the Asylum Service to be examined at first instance. As the Asylum Service does not agree with the RRA’s position on this, it has not proceeded with the examination of these cases, including cases of Syrian nationals, leading to many subsequent applications pending for three-four years. In 2019, based on an opinion issued by the Attorney General it was determined that the Asylum Service is the competent authority to receive and examine subsequent applications or new elements or findings on a claim. Based on this, the Asylum Service set up a procedure for the submission of subsequent applications, new elements or findings and introduced a form which applicants are required to submit. The process of examining such applications initially became timelier, however due to the rise in such applications the processing time has also increased.

 

The law provides that a personal interview is to be carried out by the Asylum Service and that the procedural guarantees for asylum seekers, as applied during the initial examination, must be observed.

 

According to the law, if the Asylum Service takes a negative decision after the substantial examination, an appeal can be submitted before the IPAC, which ought to examine both points of law and substance.

 

The subsequent application procedure continues to be predominantly followed by Syrians as well as Iranians, rejected asylum seekers with long-standing (mainly irregular) residence in Cyprus and Muslim born Christian converts from different national backgrounds.

 

The following numbers of asylum seekers lodged subsequent applications in 2019:

 

Subsequent asylum applicants in Cyprus: 2019

Asylum Service

Country of origin

Number

Georgia

85

India

78

Pakistan

61

Bangladesh

55

Syria

54

Vietnam

54

Iran

51

Total

535

 

Source: Asylum Service

 



[1]           Article 16Δ Refugee Law.

[2]           Article 16Δ(2) Refugee Law.

[3]           Article 16Δ(3)(a) Refugee Law.

 

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