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Employment of Asylum Seekers and Students from Third Countries in Cyprus

In a recent development, the Cypriot Labour Minister has accepted a request from local employers and companies to allow, under certain conditions, the employment of asylum seekers and students from third countries.

According to a recent decree (5161, 17/5/2019), which follows a European Union directive, students who are nationals of third countries may work in Cyprus, in paid economic activity, under certain conditions and for certain kinds of work.

Students of recognised universities or university programmes can work up to 20 hours per week, in specific occupations and sectors of the economic activity.

They must be full-time students of recognised universities or colleges and they must have spent at least six months of full-time study in Cyprus before the beginning of their employment.

Necessary documentation is needed such as a valid residence permit, an employment contract and a time-table of studies.

Asylum seekers will also be allowed to work in specific industries provided that they have a contract of employment with a specific employer and approved by the Department of Labour. Their salary will be paid in accordance with collective agreements.

Eligible industries

Students from third countries may seek employment in the following sectors of the Cyprus economy: gas station and car-wash attendants, caregivers for the elderly, agriculture, farming or bakery workers and food delivery drivers.

Asylum seekers are allowed to work in the agriculture and farming sector, manufacturing, waste management, gas stations, food delivery, building cleaning, and distribution of advertising material.

For more information regarding employing students from third countries and/or asylum seekers in Cyprus, you may refer to the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.

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