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 Administrative Court of International Protection (IPAC).
Free legal assistance is only granted for cases before the Administrative Court of International Protection (IPAC), 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 appeal the negative decision of the Asylum Service by submitting a recourse to the Administrative Court of International Protection (IPAC). 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 IPAC. 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 the Administrative Court of International Protection agrees with the decision of the Asylum Service, this means that your recourse has been refused and you will have to leave Cyprus. You may appeal the decision of the Administrative Court of International Protection within 14 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. Click here for more information.