News Local Tougher checks in new migration, asylum policy

Tougher checks in new migration, asylum policy


Foreign students will require bank guarantees, proof of knowledge of English and will have to sign a statement they are not at risk at home as part of a raft of new proposals to clamp down on illegal migration.

The proposals are part of a new migration and asylum policy approved by the Council of Ministers on Thursday which the government says are essential for Cyprus to cope.

Other proposals include tougher measures to root out sham weddings and better monitoring of the Green Line.

Interior Ministry seeks to shorten asylum application reviews

Emphasis will also go to speeding up the review of asylum applications, particularly those which are blatantly unfounded.

Presenting the decisions, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said there was a difference between refugees fleeing for their lives and those who fly to Cyprus to falsely register as students. Those taking advantage of the situation are straining limited resources at the expense of the genuine cases.

Cyprus has the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in the EU and currently account for 3.8% of the population, he said.

A total of 3014 students applied for asylum in recent years while some 2000 weddings were considered as sham.

A new reception centre is being built at the old installations of the Cyprus Grain Commission near Menoyia which will be ready by September.

All those applying for international protection will be housed there until a decision is taken on their application. Procedures will be set in place so that there is a decision within 50 days, he said.

The minister also spoke about returning those whose applications have been rejected. The government has already chartered one airplane and will chartering more in the near future to return those whose applications have been rejected to a safe country.

Nouris said that the government wanted to send a clear message at home and to its fellow EU members that Cyprus has reached its limits and would not tolerate abuse of a system intended for genuine asylum seekers.

Nicosia wants the EU to agree to the automatic re-installation of refugees from front line countries to other EU states, and those countries that do not participate in such schemes should receive less funding.

He added that Cyprus also wanted to see a centralised EU system to return those who applications are rejected.



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