Return of migrants to their country of origin

Cyprus is one of the top 10 countries in the EU regarding the number of effective returns of third country nationals to their countries of origin. The return rate in Cyprus is higher than the EU average rate. Since 2020 the number of returns has increased more than 400%.

Asylum seekers whose applications for international protection are rejected have no right to remain in Cyprus. In such cases, a return decision is issued against them and they are required to depart from Cyprus. In case they continue to stay illegally on the island, a detention and deportation order is issued. In that case, if they are arrested, they are detained and returned to their country of origin.

Asylum seekers whose applications are rejected have no right to work in Cyprus, while they stay irregularly. Cyprus’ Police and the Ministry of Labour conduct regular checks in all working places. All persons found staying and working illegally, not only are arrested and eventually returned to their country, but they also may be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment.

All return decisions or deportation orders issued, may be accompanied by an entry ban of maximum 5 years. The entry ban applies not only for entering Cyprus but for entering all the EU and Schengen countries. As long as the entry ban is in force, the person concerned cannot enter Cyprus or any other EU and Schengen country for any reason, even legally (e.g. with a work permit).