Access to the labour market for beneficiaries


Country Report: Access to the labour market for beneficiaries Last updated: 30/11/20


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Beneficiaries of international protection are granted full access to the labour market under the same conditions that apply for nationals, immediately upon receiving international protection.[1] Recognised refugees and subsidiary protection holders have access to the labour market under the same conditions.


Beneficiaries have the right to register at the Public Employment Service offices for purposes of seeking employment. They also have the right to participate in vocational trainings offered by the competent state institutions. Access to such vocational training is very limited due to insufficient language use, since courses are taught predominately in Greek, and a lack of information and guidance. During 2019, an increased number of job-related trainings were available to international protection beneficiaries, through EU-funding programs implemented by private organisations and NGOs. Those programs were mostly related to acquiring soft skills rather than concrete professional skills.


No official data is available regarding the participation of beneficiaries in vocational training or the level of  unemployment among international protection beneficiaries.


Employers are not adequately familiarised with beneficiaries’ rights of full access to the labour market, which places an additional obstacle for beneficiaries to find a job. In order to address this gap, the Cyprus Refugee Council in collaboration with the UNHCR Representation in Cyprus has launched a digital platform that connects employers and training providers with beneficiaries and also acts as an advocacy tool to familiarise employers with beneficiaries’ rights of full access to the labour market.[2]


According to the Refugee Law, full access of beneficiaries who are unable to present documentary evidence of their titles to appropriate programmes concerning the evaluation, ratification and certification of their previous education, needs to be facilitated by the State authorities.[3] In practice, accreditation of academic qualifications is possible through the same procedures available to nationals. Limitations, therefore, apply as persons who are not in a position to submit all required documentation cannot participate. The recast Qualification Directive provision foreseeing special measures concerning beneficiaries’ inability to meet the costs related to the recognition procedures has not been included in national legislation.


Access to professional experience certification and recognition procedures is also available for beneficiaries, however under the same conditions applying to nationals.[4] Therefore, due to the lack of information and the fact that the vast majority of those procedures are held in Greek, participation of beneficiaries is extremely limited.


[1] Article 21A Refugee Law.

[3]Article 21(1A) Refugee Law.

[4]Article 21(1)(b)(iΓ) 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