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14 July, 2024
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Debate rages over Cyprus' efforts to deter migration through benefit cuts

Cyprus ponders shift in migration policy

Ioanna Kyriakou

A discussion about the benefits for asylum seekers has arisen recently due to violent and racist incidents in Chloraka and Limassol last week. The government is exploring ways to address migration by considering measures to reduce economic support for migrants and encourage voluntary returns, aiming to make Cyprus less appealing as a destination for migration.

One idea is that asylum seekers may receive benefits only if they engage in social work for municipalities or communities while their applications are under review. It's important to note that applicants do not qualify for an Early Work Card (EWC) during this period. Once their application is approved, they stop receiving these benefits and can apply for an EWC, which is available to everyone.

Regarding the amount of allowances, a single asylum seeker receives a total of €361, covering living expenses and rent allowances paid directly to the property owner. Similarly, recipients with rent allowances receive €703.

In the case of Syrians, ending material reception conditions allows access to the Unified Guarantee System (UGS) without the previous requirement of legal residency in the Republic for the past five years. As a result, the government is exploring potential modifications to avoid unequal treatment. Additionally, asylum seekers are being considered for access to the labor market nine months after submitting their application.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  benefits  |  migrants  |  immigration  |  Syrian

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