The Council of Ministers decided to amend the Minimum Guaranteed Income and Social Benefits Laws in general.
The amendment concerns, regardless of nationality, EU citizens and citizens of Third Countries who have the legal status provided for by the Refugee Law, to have exactly the same obligation for the period of 5 years of legal and continuous residence in the Republic of Cyprus that precedes the date of application for EEE.
In addition, the possibility of examination and approval for a Minimum Guaranteed Income will now be granted without the obligation of 5 years of legal and continuous residence in the Republic of Cyprus, for cases of dealing with extraordinary and urgent situations that require immediate care, as long as these are determined by a competent official of the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare .
What is valid today is that Greek Cypriots and citizens of the European Union must have, during the immediately preceding period of 5 years preceding the date of submission of the application, legal and continuous residence in the Republic of Cyprus, without the right to exceptionally examine an application. Meanwhile, the holders of international and supplementary protection have the right to apply for an EEE, regardless of the length of stay in the Republic.
The amendment was made with the aim of equality between Greek Cypriots, European citizens and citizens of Third Countries who hold legal status provided for by the Refugee Law, against the obligation for legal and continuous residence of 5 years in the Republic of Cyprus before the right to submit an EEE application on the one hand, and on the other against the right to exceptionally examine an application.
Beyond equality with regard to the law of the Minimum Guaranteed Income and ensuring that emergency situations are dealt with, this decision is part of the Government's wider immigration policy, aiming to prevent Cyprus from becoming an attractive immigration destination.
The Amending Bill in question will be submitted to the House of Representatives for a vote.