C. Movement and mobility
Freedom of movement
According to the Refugee Law, residence permits for both refuges and subsidiary protection beneficiaries provide the right to remain only in the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus, therefore excluding beneficiaries from the right to remain or even visit areas in the north of the island that are not under the control of the RoC. This is even though other third-country nationals who are legally in Cyprus either as visitors or under some form of residence, employment or student permit do have the right to visit the areas in the north.
The law also permits dispersal schemes, but these have never been implemented.
Convention Travel Documents are issued to persons granted refugee status with a three-year validity. The only limitation to the areas of travel is the country of origin of the refugee. In the current form, the Convention Travel Documents issued do not meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and, although to date this has not been an obstacle for refugees to travel to the Schengen Area, which is the most common destination, there are often complaints of being stopped by various airport immigration authorities, at times for hours, due to the travel document.
Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection are issued with one-page travel documents valid for a one-journey trip (laissez passer), which are very problematic as the vast majority of countries do not accept these, including the Schengen Area.
The authorities have stated since early 2016 that they are carrying out procurement procedures in order to issue Convention Travel Documents as well as Alien travel documents for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection in line with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. However, to date there are still pending. According to the relevant department, these travel documents are expected to be issued by the end of 2019. At time of publication there was still no progress on the issue.