They attribute the new measures for immigration after the change of the legislation last October, after on the one hand the asylum applications decreased while on the other hand the number of applications that are examined at an unprecedented rate increased.
At the same time, according to the interior ministry, virtual students as well as virtual marriages have virtually disappeared. At the same time, the migratory flows continue with the crossings being concentrated by sea, or through remote areas in Polis Chrysochous or Troullos, instead of in the area of Peristeronas – Astromeritis due to the barbed wire that has been set up.
According to updated data from the Ministry of Interior, this year (until 30/6) after the change of the policy in the treatment of immigrants, 1,055 persons or 26.3% have arrived legally, while the illegal arrivals reached 4,500 or 73.4% . Prior to the policy change, in 2019 and 2020, 7,189 or 34.7% of legal immigrant arrivals and 13,553 or 65.3% of illegal arrivals were recorded. Regarding asylum applications, the following data are recorded: 2015: 2.253, 2016: 2.936, 2017: 4.582, 2018: 7.761, 2019: 13.648, 2020: 7.094. As of June this year, 5,555 applications had been submitted, a number that has increased due to Turkey's practice of sending migrants from its coasts to the occupied territories and from there to the free zones.
Acceleration of examination
This year, after the change of practice and the introduction of procedures for examining asylum applications – express, there is an increase in applications that are clearly considered unfounded. Prior to the policy change, the examination of asylum applications was time consuming, as shown by the data: In 2015, 1,867 applications were examined, 2016: 1,834, 2017: 2,334, 2018: 2,669, 2019: 4,372 and 2020: 4,637. Following the policy change, 6,892 have been examined this year. The Asylum Service has also rejected far fewer asylum applications in the first place before the government's policy changed.
In 2015, 473 applications were rejected, 2016: 676, 2017: 1,209, 2018: 1,260, 2019: 2,053, 2020: 1,730. This year, 5,419 applications have been rejected, record numbers due to the acceleration of procedures. Meanwhile, the numbers of virtual students and virtual marriages have been zeroed, following the introduction of criteria and the removal of permits from town halls. According to the figures of the Ministry of Interior, from 2017 – 2019 around 4,000 fictitious marriages were performed, while in 2020 – 2021 it seems that no fictitious marriages have taken place, while a large number of previous marriages that were judged as fictitious were canceled. As for the virtual students, before the policy change, 3,214 people from 2017-2019 had applied for asylum, of which 2,239 seem to have had a virtual marriage. From 2020 to 2021, there have been no reports of virtual students enrolling in colleges following the change in criteria, and the few student asylum applications may have been related to students enrolled in colleges in previous years.
Strict criteria worked
As reported to “F” by a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the new immigration policy implemented by the Government for some time is distinguished for the humane, but at the same time decisive treatment of the pathogens and the distortions of the system. The legislative procedures that have been passed by the House of Representatives aim at restraining and drastically reducing the number of immigrants who are currently in our country.
As it turns out, one of the tricks used to apply for asylum is to enroll in higher education colleges. It is typically reported that through this passage in the three years 2017 – 2019, 3,214 people applied for asylum and another 2,239 got married to European citizens who, rightly, are characterized as fictitious. Under the new policy, the decisions co-formed by the Ministries of Education and Interior, set very strict conditions and drastically limit the loopholes in the system. So now, the conditions for enrolling in a college include:
– Submission of a bank certificate for the possibility of repaying the tuition fees of the first year of study.
– Statement that he does not travel to Cyprus because his life is in danger.
– Certification of good knowledge of the English language either by presenting internationally recognized certificates or by conducting an oral examination.
– The right to work will be limited in the context of internships within the curriculum or in a related field. –
The number of enrollments in the same academic year, in total, will not exceed the maximum number of allowed positions that the Ministry of Education will grant.
The other way to claim residence in the Republic, in which the Government intervened decisively through three Laws that came into force from October 2020, is to prevent the performance of fictitious marriages. It is estimated that in the three years 2017 – 2019, almost 4,000 virtual weddings were performed, mainly by specific City Halls. The provisions of the three Laws provide that from now on the performance of a civil marriage requires, among other things, the provision of a certificate of liberty by the registrar of the Ministry of Interior. Correspondingly, the same conditions were introduced in the Law on Political Cohabitation. It is noted that for a municipality in which virtual marriages appeared to have taken place, this power has been removed, while the same will be done with other municipalities.
Full of Hospitality Centers
Today, the situation in the Hospitality Centers is gloomy as both are suffocatingly full. The First Support Center in Pournara currently houses 1057 people, of which 114 are unaccompanied minors. From 1/1 to 20/7/21 4921 persons have been admitted to Pournara, while in the same period 5043 persons have left. The Asylum Seekers Accommodation Center in Kofinou currently houses 250 people.