Close to 200 Vietnamese nationals were flown out of the Republic of Cyprus over the weekend, including about a dozen who had been detained at Menoyia detention center for deportation proceedings.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the interior ministry said 191 Vietnamese citizens who were in violation of their immigration status were flown back to their country on Saturday.
Knews has learned that a Dubai-bound charter flight by Vietnam Airlines carried 177 Vietnamese nationals who were stuck on the island after the loss of a job, other unforeseen circumstances, or a visa overstay.
CNA repored another 14 individuals also boarded the plane following their detention at Menoyia Immigration Detention Center.
It was not immediately known whether passengers who caught the Saturday flight had applications pending with the Cypriot government or were actively seeking new employment
The interior ministry said the 14 individuals held at Menoyia had agreed to a voluntary return, with CNA adding the entire operation was jointly overseen by members of law enforcement, migration services, and FRONTEX.
Additional sources said the Vietnamese Consulate in Italy had coordinated the effort, including setting up criteria and vouchers as well as collecting information on those who wished to fly from Larnaca to Dubai, with final destination their home country.
It was not immediately known whether passengers who caught the Saturday flight had applications pending with the Cypriot government or were actively seeking new employment.
Cyprus ended its third lockdown on Sunday, with hopes that new measures including a CoronaPass will help people and the economy get back to normality.
According to immigration regulations in the Republic of Cyprus, foreign nationals on work visas cannot stay legally if they lose their job unless they find a new employer promptly or file for a timely change of status.