What are your rights in Cyprus, if you have the status of Asylum Seeker?
Asylum Seeker means that you have applied for International Protection and your application is currently being examined.
Protected against deportation. You cannot be deported to your country if your life or freedom may be in danger on account of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
If your application is rejected, in order to retain the right to remain in the country you will have to submit an appeal before the Administrative Court.
While you have the right to remain in the country, you can also enjoy the right of freedom of movement. This means that you can live and move anywhere in the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. Careful, you cannot cross the borders to any other country while your application or appeal is examined. Since Cyprus is an island, you can only cross border on foot to the area controlled by Turkish armed forces (TRNC). If you visit North Cyprus even for a short period you may not be able to return to South Cyprus and you can even face arrest and imprisonment of up to 12 months, or a fine of up to EUR 1,700.
As soon as you complete the application process and receive a document called “Confirmation Letter”, you can enjoy your right to access Healthcare Services. You are going to need a medical card in order to do that, issued from the Ministry of Health or the General Hospital in your City. We can fill the application for the medical card for you and send it to you so you can go and apply. If you are receiving social assistance from Social Welfare Services then you don’t have to pay any fees for Healthcare.
The right to education is not only a right but for children is also an obligation. Primary and secondary education are mandatory in Cyprus and public school is completely free, but all the subjects are in Greek language. Children are required by law to be in school from age 5 onwards until the age of 15 years. You can find more information from the Ministry of Education here.
You also have the right to work, after you have registered with the Labour Office, which is going to help you find a job. When you find a job, you will stop receiving any benefits you were receiving until now. Also there are only some specific sector that asylum seekers are allowed to work.
After the first 9 months from the date of the application of asylum, support from Welfare Services is dependent on proof that you are not able to work, either for health reasons or due to not being able to find work. If your health does not permit you to work, you will need a medical report, preferably from a governmental medical institution. This report must certify your inability to work, along with the reasons, as well the duration for which you are unable to work.
Right to return to your country. If at any point during the examination of your application or appeal, you decide you want to return to your country, we can ask the Asylum Services to return your passport to you and help you return to your country.
For any assistance you need, feel free to contact us. We strongly advice, before making any applications, to ask for consultation from us, so we can make sure that everything is filled properly and increase your chances of getting an approval.