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Cyprus

Indians top list of voluntary returns this year

larnaca airport cyprus mail cyprus business now 2022
File photo: Larnaca airport

As the number of voluntary returns of failed asylum seekers continues to rise, the interior ministry on Friday told the Cyprus Mail the country that has seen the most is India.

So far in 2023, a total of 944 Indian nationals have been returned to their country.

In second place is Pakistan, with 784 people repatriated from Cyprus so far this year.

Nigeria, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo round off the top five, with 668, 612, and 578 citizens repatriated from Cyprus respectively.

A couple of the countries on the list were somewhat closer to home, with 379 irregular migrants repatriated to Georgia and 230 repatriated to Egypt.

In addition, the interior ministry revealed the top 10 nationalities of people who claimed asylum in the first eight months of 2023.

Syrian nationals topped the list, with 2,974 asylum claims, while Nigerian nationals came in second place with 798 asylum claims.

A total of 646 Afghan nationals claimed asylum in Cyprus in the first eight months of the year, while 366 Cameroonian nationals also did so.

The remainder of the top 10 was made up of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, India, and Iraq.

It is not known how many of these asylum claims were successful.

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