Status and rights of family members


Country Report: Status and rights of family members Last updated: 08/04/22


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Although the law does allow family members to be granted lesser rights than the sponsor,[1] in practice this was rarely, if ever, applied, which may be due to the extremely low number of family reunification requests. In practice, family members were issued the same residence permit as the sponsor, which establishes their status as refugees, so that they enjoy the same rights. In 2019, the practice started to change, as the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) ceased issuing residence permits for family members, including family members that arrived via family reunification procedures. The CRMD instructs all beneficiaries of international protection (recognised refugees and subsidiary protection) to proceed to the Asylum Service to receive a decision on whether they should receive the status of the beneficiary. The Asylum Service has set up a procedure by which they assess the protection needs of family members and if it is decided that there are protection needs a new decision is issued granting international protection, which includes the names of the family members. However, in practice such decisions have been issued only for minor children of beneficiaries of protection and not for spouses or adult children, thus leaving them without status, residence permits, and access to rights. This has led to persons who have been living for many years in the country to lose their employment and other rights. According to the CRMD, spouses will receive a humanitarian status without defining if they will have access to rights: humanitarian status as it currently stands provides a right to remain but no access to rights (exceptionally the right to labour may be provided). Throughout 2021 and at the time of publication, the issue remains unresolved.[2]



[1]  Article 25(14) Refugee Law.

[2] Based on information from the representation of beneficiaries of International Protection by the Cyprus Refugee Council.

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