You do not need a lawyer to submit an asylum application.
You have the right, however, to have a lawyer during all stages of the asylum procedure.
There is no government system in Cyprus for free legal assistance to asylum-seekers during the examination of the application by the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority.
Free legal assistance is only granted for cases before the Administrative Court, after the approval of a legal aid application.
Free legal advice and other types of assistance and support to asylum-seekers are offered by a number of NGOs and other charitable organisations in Cyprus. See our Where can I seek help section for more information.
If you have been arrested and detained you have the right to communicate with your lawyer, a relative, or any other person to inform them of your arrest and detention. The police must provide you with the means to do this. Click here for more information.
As part of the evaluation process, the Asylum Service will send you a letter inviting you to an interview. Your interview will be conducted by a competent officer of the Asylum Service in order to understand in detail and clarify the facts that led you to apply for asylum. At the interview you may choose to have a lawyer with you, although this is not a requirement. Click here for more information.
If your application for asylum is refused, you can submit an administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority. You do not need a lawyer for this process. However, you have the right to have a lawyer to examine your file, and submit the appeal letter and reasons for appeal on your behalf. Legal Aid is not offered by the state for the appeal before the Refugee Reviewing Authority. However, there are lawyers working for non-governmental organisations who can represent you and prepare your appeal free of charge. Click here for more information.
If you are submitting an appeal to the Administrative Court, you must have a registered lawyer to represent you. You will need to pay court fees and lawyer’s fees, depending on the registered lawyer. Non-governmental organisations cannot represent you before the Administrative Court, but they can provide you with advice in finding a private registered lawyer. Click here for more information.