Cyprus announces measures to curb irregular immigration
NICOSIA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus is to introduce a raft of measures to curb the flow of irregular immigrants into the eastern Mediterranean island, Interior Minister Nikos Nouris said on Thursday.
He said legislation will be introduced to reduce third-country nationals studying in Cyprus by cutting student visas and also to clamp down on sham marriages.
Additionally, a list of 21 countries whose nationals will not be considered for asylum.
Applications from nationals from those countries which do not face internal strife will be deemed manifestly unfounded unless the individual can present evidence that his or her life is in danger if they return to their county.
Nouris said that many people who obtain a visa as students go on to apply for asylum and for this reason his ministry will not issue more visas than a maximum number which will be fixed by the Education Ministry each year to reflect the capability of local high schools.
The minister said that between 2017 and 2019, some 3,214 people who came as students had filed for asylum, while another 2,239 entered into marriages with European nationals, which he said "are justifiably deemed as sham marriages."
Nouris said that around 13,000 people had asked for asylum between 2008 and 2013, but since then the number skyrocketed. Since 2014, the number of asylum seekers reached 34,000.
"It is impossible for Cyprus to receive, host and manage the existing number of migrants. The country's resources are not abundant and EU help, financial and otherwise, is also not enough," Nouris said.
He urged EU to make more as regards showing solidarity between member states on the issue of migrants and called on the Cypriot parliament to approve the legislation providing for the new measures. Enditem