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Asylum seekers in Cyprus face long waits for work permits

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Asylum seekers in Cyprus face long wait for work permit

Foreign Workers

    The Cypriot Ministry of the Interior issued a statement today clarifying the regulations for asylum seekers seeking employment within the country.

    A key change implemented in October 2023 requires all asylum seekers, regardless of their origin (including from countries marked as safe in Sub-Saharan Africa or unsafe countries of origin, such as Syria), to wait nine months after submitting their application before being eligible for any employment.

    This replaces the previous one-month waiting period.

    The Ministry stressed the importance of employers adhering to these regulations. Hiring an asylum seeker before the nine-month period is a violation and may result in administrative fines or even imprisonment, it said.

    Furthermore, under the Aliens and Migration Law, authorities may permanently revoke an employer&#8217 ;s right to hire foreign workers for non-compliance.

    To ensure adherence, the Ministry confirmed that the Asylum Service System is electronically linked to the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance’s database. This allows potential employers to easily verify the asylum status of prospective employees.

    Additionally, the Ministry has collaborated with the Department of Labor to intensify workplace inspections in recent months.

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