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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes

Last update: 10 April 2024
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  1. EU programmes
  2. Other Programmes
  3. Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

EU programmes

Cyprus currently participates in the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), which as of 2022 encompasses volunteering in Humanitarian Aid (former EU Aid Volunteers Programme) as well. 

Regarding the ESC, till 2023 the top-level authority in charge of organising and monitoring it is at national level was the Youth Board of Cyprus. As of 1 January 2024, the National Agency for European Solidarity Corps is the Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programmes. The National Agency monitors the participation of young people in the ESC through the applications submitted to the National Agency by the accredited organisations. Volunteers participating in the approved ESC projects attend two seminars organised by the National Agency: one on arrival training and one Mid-Term evaluation meeting. Through these seminars, the ESC National Agency comes into contact with volunteers, informs them of everything they need to know about their service and at the same time receives their own impressions, experiences and comments.

Ιn 2023,  46 Cypriot volunteers participated in ESC voluntary projects abroad, as it is recorded in the database of the European Youth Portal. They volunteered in Greece, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Poland, France, Germany, Iceland, Sweden, Czechia, Finland, Romania. According to the awarded projects of 2023, a total of 206 young people are expected to take part in volunteering and solidarity projects, which will be implemented either locally or abroad. In addition, there are approximately 2182 Cypriot youth registered through the European Youth Portal (March 2024).

There is no information about the participation of Cypriot youth in cross-border volunteering activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in third countries.

Other Programmes

There are not bilateral or multilateral programmes for youth cross-border volunteering in Cyprus.

Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

When it comes to ESC volunteers, the ESC Programme Guide, the ESC Info-kit and the agreement signed between all parties involves sets the legal framework for young volunteers coming from abroad to do volunteering in Cyprus.

Non-European ESC volunteers who will stay for a maximum period of up to 12 months are granted a residence permit for all the duration of their service.

In Cyprus, according to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, the legal framework governing foreign volunteers participating in cross-border programs is primarily defined by the legislation concerning Foreigners and Immigration (Conditions for Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals for Research, Studies, Internship, Voluntary Service, Student Exchange, or Educational Programs) Law No.7(I)/2019 (“Ο περί Αλλοδαπών και Μετανάστευσης (Προϋποθέσεις Εισόδου και Διαμονής Υπηκόων Τρίτων Χωρών με σκοπό την Έρευνα, τις Σπουδές, την Πρακτική Άσκηση, την Εθελοντική Υπηρεσία, τις Ανταλλαγές Μαθητών ή τα Εκπαιδευτικά Προγράμματα) Νόμος του 2019”). This legislation incorporates the relevant European Directive (EU)801/2016, ensuring alignment with European Union standards.

The legal framework also encompasses provisions related to residency permits or similar documentation essential for the stay of foreign young volunteers in Cyprus. These permits outline the type, duration, and conditions of residence, as well as the grounds for revocation or non-renewal.