This post was most recently updated on June 20th, 2020
“I have written this article from my personal experience, and this article is the product of my opinion. I have no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. I write for international students to help them understand Cyprus better. It’s totally your choice to read or not read this article.”
In recent news, most of us have heard that the government of Cyprus is re-analyzing the cases of asylum-seeking applicants.
If an applicant doesn’t have a valid reason for seeking help, Cyprus is planning on sending him/her back to their home.
Is it a good thing?
In my opinion, it’s an excellent thing.
Cyprus should have done that a long time ago.
But as we have heard in the news, a lot of these applicants are getting deported in a bulk, which according to me is the worst thing.
If somebody wants to go, they can go. But if somebody doesn’t want to go, they shouldn’t be forced. I guess forcing someone is against human rights.
So the government should act humanly.
Day by day number of asylum seekers in Cyprus is increasing, and a surprising fact is most of these applicants are international students.
They come to Cyprus and end up seeking asylum for various reasons. Today in this article, we will discuss about some of the major reasons on why an international student asks for asylum in Cyprus.
What is the difference between an Asylum Seeker and a Refugee?
Before we start with the article, let’s learn something new first.
I see a lot of people are getting confused between the meaning of asylum seeker and a refugee.
A refugee is someone who has been forced to cross national boundaries and cannot return home because their life is in danger in their country.
An asylum seeker is someone who is seeking international protection in another country and who is not a granted refugee in that country yet.
In simple words, you become an asylum seeker first, and upon granted the application for the right to remain in that country, you become a refugee.
When you meet people, they say “I am a refugee”, but most of the time, they are probably just asylum seekers.
I hope that information was helpful.
Now let’s talk about why so many international students are seeking asylum in Cyprus.
Fooled by agents, they get trapped in a vicious circle of unemployment
No student comes to Cyprus, thinking that they will take asylum someday.
But unfortunately, after coming to Cyprus, things don’t go as expected.
From the beginning of the visa processing, the agents keep lying to them.
Agents lie because it’s their business.
Students get fooled because they just want to come to Europe; hence they don’t really care about verifying the authenticity of the information their agents are feeding them.
Whatever agents say, they keep listening, and they keep believing.
Here are some of the things agents tell you about Cyprus, which aren’t 100% true as they claim.
You can earn 1000 Euro easily in Cyprus.
No, my friend, you can’t.
Legally international students in Cyprus are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week, and they pay 5 Euro per hour.
If I am not wrong, that amount doesn’t reach 1000 Euros easily in a month.
Now you might say, “But, my friends are earning a good amount of money in Cyprus, so why can’t I?”
To understand better and to get the answer of your question, I suggest you read the following article.
You can go to other European countries from Cyprus without having any issues.
L.O.L (Laughing Out Loud)
Isn’t that funny? People who are already in Cyprus, they understand why I am laughing.
For you who are planning on coming to Cyprus on a student visa, let me tell you something:
It’s not easy to go to other European countries from Cyprus. In most of the cases, it’s almost impossible.
Read here on “Can you visit European Countries from Cyprus if you are on a student visa” to understand better.
There are hundreds of things agents lie to you about Cyprus.
As I said earlier, it’s their business to lie. If they don’t lie, they can’t earn money. But you have to be careful.
I have explained in detail in the following article about what things agents say to you about Cyprus that are not true. Read them and don’t get fooled.
Thinking everything their agent has told them is true, students come to Cyprus.
When they reach here, they realize nothing is true.
They came here to earn a lot of money, but is there a lot of money in Cyprus for international students?
Without money, it gets hard for them to survive.
Eventually, they seek asylum.
Not getting any support from the college
Students have to bring 2000 Euro with them when they arrive for the first time in Cyprus.
Also, they have come to Cyprus by already paying the college fee for 1 year.
So for the first year, they don’t get into any financial troubles.
As they don’t have to pay the college fee and they already have some money with them to survive.
But when the second year comes the situation gets worse, cause they have to pay the college fee again.
The college fees range between 2000 Euro to 2700 Euro for the second year.
Do they have that much amount of money to pay?
If they have worked hard for the first year, they might have.
But, if they have thoroughly enjoyed the first year with the money they brought to Cyprus and didn’t even try to find some work, then they mightn’t have money to pay for the college.
If you don’t pay the college fee, your visa doesn’t get renewed.
You will ask the college to help, but they won’t.
You don’t pay the fee; they don’t renew your visa. No support at all.
Even if they help some students, they can’t help all, cause it will hamper their business.
Students get frustrated and seek other ways to stay in Cyprus.
And guess what they do?
They seek asylum.
To take free food and rent from the government
Do you know asylum seekers in Cyprus get free food coupons and room rent from the government?
Yes, they do.
Until they find a job, the government pays for their food and accommodation.
As I said earlier, seeking asylum means asking for the government to help. When someone becomes an asylum seeker, the government is obligated to help them.
Some of the students really need help, but most of them seek asylum just to get free services from the government.
If you try harder, you can easily find some part-time jobs. You really don’t need to seek asylum just for the sake of food and rent.
But what can we say? Being an asylum seeker is fun for some people.
If a close friend of yours is an asylum seeker in Cyprus, chances are you will also follow his path.
He isn’t paying the college fees.
Government is paying for his food and rent.
He is stress-free.
And, on the other hand, you have to pay all the bills by yourself.
If you have a good job, or your family can give you financial support, then you mightn’t think of being a refugee.
But, if you are all on your own and also don’t have a job, what option would you have other than seeking asylum, right?
You start thinking if my friend is doing fine being an asylum seeker, why can’t I?
Your friend would also tell you good things about being a refugee.
And, the next thing is you find yourself in the migration office filling the forms to become an asylum seeker.
Paper Marriage and a dream to become a permanent European
When I was applying for Cyprus from Nepal, I had heard that “Cyprus is a gateway to Europe”.
It’s only after coming to Cyprus I realized, “Cyprus is a gateway to Europe by doing paper marriage”.
Every 3 guys in 10 international students in Cyprus is either after paper marriage or have already done it.
Students with the frustration of not being able to go to other European countries, they seek for easy and better ways to travel.
The tourist visa is almost impossible, student visa is lengthy and tiresome, so what other ways are left?
Paper Marriage. Of course.
Now, if they have already thought of getting married and leaving Cyprus, why would they stay being a student in Cyprus, right?
Cause if they stay as a student, they need to keep paying the college fee.
So they become an asylum seeker first, and then start the paper marriage processing.
Till they are legally married, the government will be feeding them. So there is no issue.
It’s a win-win situation.
So every single person who is after paper marriage will definitely seek for asylum.
Seeking asylum and aiming at being a refugee isn’t wrong if it’s done for the right cause.
If you really are helpless and don’t have any other options, seeking asylum might be a good option for you.
But if you are seeking asylum just to get free food and rent from the government, then you are just an idiot.
If you don’t have money to pay room rent, go back to your home. Your family is in there. Your life isn’t in danger.
Refugees are those whose life is in danger in their country.
Once you are an asylum seeker, you can’t go back to your home and come back to Cyprus.
Once you go home, you aren’t allowed to come to Cyprus again at least not for 5 years.
Suppose you canceled your asylum seeker status from Cyprus and went home. From there, you wanted to go to other European countries.
Guess what will happen. You mightn’t get the visa.
The visa committee will think, “he/she was an asylum seeker in Cyprus before, so when they come to our country, they might again seek for asylum here too.”
What would you do at that time?
You are totally doomed, aren’t you?
So, before doing anything, think twice.
Think about your future. Don’t get trapped into fake promises.
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