By Constantinos Psillides
THE Immigration Services yesterday rejected accusations they are preventing a Ghanian national from joining his wife and new born girl in Poland.
They were responding to a story run by the Cyprus Mail on Friday February 7 regarding Joseph Agyemang, who came to Cyprus in 2004. Agyemang married Zuzana Agyemang and later had a child with her. After complications arising during pregnancy, Zuzanna went back to Poland to give birth but Joseph is unable to join her as he wasn’t granted a residency permit.
Immigration claims their actions are in full compliance with national and European legislation regarding asylum and illegal immigration.
Their statement yesterday made it clear the reason Agyemang’s asylum petition was rejected was because neither he nor his wife met the residence permit criteria.
Those being that neither had a permanent residence in Cyprus, neither was working and neither had health insurance, according to the press release.
It was originally reported that Immigration Services deemed their marriage to be a sham, which was never the case, according to the press release.
The press release continues saying that the Ghana national, age 33, came to Cyprus in 2004 on a student visa but failed to show up for registration or report to Immigration Services. He filed an asylum petition that was rejected by all courts in 2012 and in the same year got married to a 19-year old Zuzanna.
“Cypriot authorities do not in any way impede the husband from joining his wife. That is up to Polish authorities,” the statement said, adding that Cyprus cannot issue him a residency permit to move freely within the EU since he doesn’t meet the residency permit criteria.
Lawyers for the couple contested Immigration Services claim that their clients didn’t meet the residency criteria, pointing out that Agyemang was properly employed and supported his wife financially until he was arrested. They also said he was released only after he filed an appeal but wasn’t given a residency permit (being married to an EU citizen) thus he is unable to travel to Poland to join his family.
The law office also reminded Immigration Services that the EU Commission is looking into possible violations of European law by governmental services not only in the case of Agyemang but also in a number of other cases.