The number of irregular migrant arrivals has significantly decreased following the suspension of asylum applications for Syrian nationals, according to a Philenews report.

Despite Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s call for Syrians in Lebanon to migrate en masse to Cyprus, from May 1 to 20, after the joint visit by President Nikos Christodoulides and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Lebanon, there were only 202 arrivals in Cyprus, of which 75 were Syrians, the report said.

Additionally, of the 75 Syrian nationals, ten opted for voluntary return to their country.

Since the beginning of May, 170 Syrians arrived at the reception centre in Kofinou, of which 129 declined the option to remain there, signed a relevant form, declared a residence address, and left the centre.

Police are reportedly conducting regular checks on their declared residences to ensure they are not working illegally.

Under the new regulation, Syrian migrants arriving in Cyprus are now taken to one of the migrant reception facilities to live, following a decision to cut all stipends given to them and delay examining their asylum applications.

The suspension of asylum applications also led to 29 revocations of subsidiary protection status for Syrian nationals who had made their way to the Republic via the north.

According to Philenews, the number of migrants housed in the three reception centres is also notably low at the moment.

The Pournara reception centre currently hosts 312 people, down from the average of 1300 in 2022 and 2023. The Kofinou centre at present houses 285 people, and the Limnes centre 248.

Moreover, in April 2024, the number of returns doubled compared to the same month last year, according to data released by the interior ministry.

In the first five months of last year, there were 3,423 returns, while this year, the number reached 4,197, about 800 more.