If your application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons of your refusal. You have the right to appeal, if your application for asylum is refused, within the time limit stated in the letter. The appeal is free of charge.
If you have been granted subsidiary protection, but you believe that your case merits refugee status, you can appeal against the decision to grant you only subsidiary protection. This does not affect your subsidiary protection status.
The refusal letter states how many days you have to submit your appeal. It may be either 10 or 20 days, starting from the day you received the refusal letter. You must submit your appeal within this time limit otherwise your appeal will not be accepted and your file will be closed. Once you submit your appeal within the time limit, you have the right to stay in Cyprus legally pending the outcome of the appeal.
You can make an administrative appeal on the decision of the Asylum Service before the Refugee Reviewing Authority. The Refugee Reviewing Authority is an independent body responsible to examine, on second instance, asylum applications that have been refused by the Asylum Service. In case the decision of the Refugee Reviewing Authority is not favourable, it can be appealed to the Administrative Court.
Alternatively, you may seek an appeal of the decision of the Asylum Service directly before the Administrative Court.
Note: In order to determine the best course of action to take, based on the particulars of your case, it is recommended that you seek legal advice before making an appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority or to the Administrative Court.
Do I need a lawyer to submit an administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority?
You do not need a lawyer to submit an administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority. 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.
How do I make an administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority?
You or your lawyer must send a letter to the Refugee Reviewing Authority within the time limit specified in your refusal letter stating your wish to appeal the decision by the Asylum Service.
You or your lawyer have a right to review your file at the Asylum Service in order to prepare for the appeal. In order to access your file to review it and to understand why your application was refused you must send a letter to the Asylum Service stating your request. You must be given access to the interview transcript, final recommendation prepared by the Asylum Service, any information on your country of origin used in the decision and any opinions or certificates by the experts who reviewed your case.
Note: Interview transcripts and recommendation are in Greek and there is no provision of free interpretation or translation.
After reading your file carefully in order to understand why your application was refused, and if you believe that the decision was wrong, you can submit your appeal in person to the Refugee Reviewing Authority stating all the reasons you are appealing, and any new evidence or facts concerning your case.
There is no official form to fill out in order to make an appeal. Your appeal will be a letter, which you should deliver personally at the Refugee Reviewing Authority. If you send it by post, you must also send a copy by fax, and remember to keep the fax confirmation.
Submit your appeal in person the soonest possible to:
Refugee Reviewing Authority
10-12 Gregoris Afxentiou Avenue
Agios Dometios, 2360 Nicosia
Tel: 22 449160
Fax: 22 303809
Will I be called for another interview?
The Refugee Reviewing Authority may or may not call you for a second interview. If you are presenting any new facts or evidence concerning your case in your appeal, the Reviewing Authority should call you for a second interview.
When will my administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority be examined?
Your administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority may be examined at any time after its submission. If the total time allowed by law of 21 months for the Asylum Service and the Reviewing Authority to reach a decision passes, you have the right to be informed of the delay, of the reasons for the delay, and of the time-frame within which you can expect an answer.
What happens if my administrative appeal is accepted?
If your administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority is accepted, you will receive a recognition letter. This letter will inform you that either you will be recognised as a refugee, or that you will be given subsidiary protection.
What happens if my administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority is refused?
If your administrative appeal to the Refugee Reviewing Authority is refused, you will get a letter informing you of this decision. You will be sent a separate letter that will request you to leave Cyprus within 15 days. If you do not leave, you may be arrested and deported. At this stage you still have the right to submit an appeal before the Administrative Court within 75 days.
When should I submit an appeal to the Administrative Court?
You must submit your appeal to the Administrative Court within 75 days from the day you received the refusal letter from both the Asylum Service and the Refugee Reviewing Authority.
When you submit an appeal before the Administrative Court, you have the right to remain in the country until the Court makes a decision, unless:
- Your application is considered manifestly unfounded i.e. it is unrelated to the refugee definition;
- Your application is inadmissible i.e. you are protected in another country, or you are resubmitting your application but there are no new elements to your case, or a dependent who has previously agreed to be part of your application, and has since submitted a separate application, and there are no facts that justify a separate application;
- The reopening of your application is rejected after it has already been closed because of implicit withdrawal or abandonment of the application the first time;
- Your application is not examined or not examined fully because the competent authority has established that you are seeking to enter the country, or have entered illegally, from a safe third country.
Do I need a lawyer in order to submit an appeal to the Administrative Court?
You must have a registered lawyer to represent you before the Administrative Court. 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.
What if I do not have money for a private lawyer?
If you do not have money to pay for a registered lawyer to represent you at the Administrative Court, you can submit an application for legal aid. Recourse needs to be submitted within 75 days and not later; legal aid applications are not time-bound. If the Administrative Court accepts your legal aid application, then the State will provide you with a lawyer. The application for legal aid is available at the Administrative Court.
What do I need to include in the application for legal aid?
In your application for legal aid you must explain the reasons you believe your case was not examined properly. You must also explain any problems you had with the procedure of your case’s examination. If you have any new facts or new evidence concerning your case, you must also include them. You must also explain why you are not able to have your own lawyer. You can also request assistance to fill in the application by a non-governmental organisation.
What happens if the Administrative Court accepts the appeal?
If the Administrative Court cancels the decision of the Asylum Service or Refugee Reviewing Authority, this means your appeal has been accepted. In all cases the Court will issue a decision and you will either be recognised as a refugee, or you will be given subsidiary protection.
What happens if the Administrative Court refuses the appeal?
If the Administrative Court confirms the decision of the Asylum Service or Refugee Reviewing Authority, this means your appeal has been refused. You may appeal the decision of the Administrative Court within 42 days of the decision by submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court. This appeal must be submitted by a registered lawyer, and additional Court and lawyer’s fees will need to be paid. In case the Supreme Court refuses your appeal, you will have to leave Cyprus. If you do not, you may face the risk of being arrested and deported.
What if I have a new claim, or new elements to my initial claim?
If you have a new claim since the time your application for asylum was rejected, you will need to submit a whole new application, following the same procedures for seeking asylum.
If you have new elements to add to your initial claim, you will need to submit a letter stating the new elements, and explaining why you could not submit these elements earlier.
Where do I submit a letter with the new elements, or the application with the new claim?
If your initial application was refused before the Asylum Service and you did not submit an appeal you must send the letter with the new elements or new claim to the Asylum Service. If your initial application was refused by the Asylum Service and you submitted an appeal before the Refugee Reviewing Authority, then you must send the letter to the Refugee Reviewing Authority.
The Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority will first examine whether the new elements or new claim really are new, and that you were not in a position to submit these before. During this examination you do not have the status of an asylum-seeker. This means you do not have the rights of an asylum-seeker and can therefore be arrested, and detained or deported.
If the new elements or new claim is accepted, then the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority will examine these under the regular procedure and invite you for a new interview. During this examination you do have the status of an asylum-seeker and therefore have the rights of an asylum-seeker.