The Αsylum (International Protection) Application

Access to the international protection procedure is unrestricted and free of charge.

An international protection applicant is any third country citizen or stateless person who submits an international protection application before the Regional Asylum Offices or Autonomous Asylum Units or Units of the Asylum Service that operate within Reception and Identification Centers. The international protection applicant requests not to be deported because he/she is in fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, participation in a particular social group or because of his/her political beliefs, or because he/she is in danger of suffering serious harm in his/her country of origin or country of previous residence, especially because he/she is in danger of facing the death penalty or execution, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or his/her life or physical integrity is in danger because of an international or civil war.

Also, any third country citizen or stateless person who is transferred to Greece from a European state which implements the “Dublin III” Regulation.

You may also submit applications for your family members, provided that they are in Greece with you and they wish to do so. They will also have to come along with you to the Asylum Service.

Please be informed that the Asylum Service is not competent receive your application if:

a) you have already submitted an application for international protection to the Hellenic Police, and that application is still pending,

b) you already have a special alien’s requesting asylum card (pink card) in your possession.

The Asylum Service may accept an application as subsequent only in case you have received a final decision rejecting the asylum application you had submitted to the Hellenic Police.

In case you are a minor and not accompanied by your parents in Greece, follow this link.

In case you are a you are detained or staying in a Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) follow this link.

The competent authorities for you to submit your application are the Regional Asylum Offices and the Asylum Units.

The Asylum Application Procedure (First Instance)

Access to the international protection procedure is unrestricted and free of charge. Any third country citizen or stateless person has the right to apply for international protection.

The application is submitted to the Receiving Authorities, which immediately perform a full registration. The authorities that are competent for receiving applications are the Regional Asylum Offices, the Autonomous Asylum Service Units and the Mobile Units of the Asylum Service. The International Protection Application is lodged by the applicant in person. However, the application may now be lodged online through the self-registration application.You may also apply for your family members, provided that they are with you in Greece and they wish to do so. They should also come along with you to the Asylum Service.

In case you have entered the country without going through the legal formalities or you are staying in Greece without meeting the legal requirements, you will be transferred to a Reception and Identification Centreand, in case you do not possess any document issued by an official authority that proves your identity and nationality, you will undergo reception and identification procedures. In that case, in order to submit an international protection application, you will be referred to the local competent Regional Asylum Service Office, an Asylum Unit of which may be operating within the Reception and Identification Centre where you are staying. It will be compulsory for you to stay within the premises of the centre for the whole duration of the examination of your application, provided that the duration of this time period does not exceed twenty five (25) days.

In certain cases (i.e. if you submit an application at the borders or in a transit zone of a port/airport of the country, if you deceive the authorities by providing false information, if you are detained, and in other cases listed in the law) your application’s examination will be prioritized.

In total, the examination of your application may last from twenty (20) days to six (6) months, depending on your personal case.

The Registration

Full registration of your application includes your identity details, your country of origin, your father’s name, your mother’s name, your spouse’s name, your children’s names, your e-mail address (if there is one), biometric identification data, a comprehensive list of the reasons why you are requesting international protection, your address of residence or stay, the language in which you wish to have your application examined and, if you wish, appointment of an authorized representative.

In case your full registration is not feasible due to any reason, a basic registration of the minimum required data, including the language in which you wish to have your case examined, must be performed within three (3) working days after you submit your application. Afterwards, the full registration of your application will be performed on a specific date you will be informed about. In that case, you will be given a document where your details and photograph will appear. You will hand over that document during your final registration and it will be replaced by an International Protection Applicant Card.

Submitting the Asylum Application

When submitting your application, there will be an interpreter available in order to assist you in a language that you understand, so that your communication with the staff members of the Asylum Service is facilitated.

When submitting your application, you must reply in full sincerity to all questions asked by the member of the staff of the Asylum Service. If you state any false information or claims, this will have a negative effect on the judgment upon your application.

In case you are a unaccompanied minor,i.e. you are under 18 years old and not accompanied by an adult who is responsible for your care, according to the Greek law, the authorities must immediately inform the competent Public Prosecutor for Minors. The Public Prosecutor will appoint a representative who will be responsible for you and will defend your interests. In case you are under fifteen (15) years old, your application for international protection must be submitted by the appointed representative. In case you are over 15 years old, you may submit your application yourself. The authority responsible for your protection is the General Secretariat for Unaccompanied Minors of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, which, in cooperation with the Authorities, will care for your protection and your accommodation in a facility suitable for minors.

When you submit your international protection application, you, as well as any members of your family that are above fourteen (14) years old, will be photographed and fingerprinted. The fingerprints will be entered into EURODAC, the European Central Database and, in case you have lodged another international protection application in another state of Europe which implements the “Dublin III” regulation, it is possible that you will be transferred there in order to have your application examined.

You will have to hand over your travel document (passport) or any other documents that you have in your possession and are relevant to the examination of your case and the verification of your identity and your family members, your country and place of origin, as well as your family situation.

You may be body searched and your personal belongings may be searched. You may undergo medical examinations.

The Asylum Service will determine a date for your interview, and you will receive your international protection applicant’s card which may be valid for up to six (6) months. You must carry this card with you at all times.

When you submit your application, you will receive a briefing, in a language that you understand, regarding the procedure, your rights and obligations while being an international protection applicant, as well as the deadlines that apply throughout the procedure.

In case you are a victim of torture, rape or any other serious act of violence, you must inform the authorities accordingly, so that they can provide assistance to you.

All information you provide within your application is confidential. All members of the Asylum Service staff have a duty of confidentiality and any information you provide to the Service throughout the examination of your application is not going to be disclosed to anybody that you indicate as the actor of persecution or serious harm.

You may request to contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or any Organization that provides legal, medical and psychological support.

Throughout the procedure you have the right to ask for the assistance of a lawyer or other counselor of your choice (without any mediation by the Asylum Service). In that case, you will have to authorize in writing (authentication of your signature required) so that he/she is able to accompany you during your interview or represent you before the Asylum Service. The fee and expenses of the lawyer or other counselor will be completely at your own cost.

In case you are vulnerable[1]  and your interview is scheduled within fifteen days after you submitted your application, you may be given some extra time (which cannot exceed three days) in order to adequately prepare for your interview and be advised by a lawyer or other counselor so as to be assisted during the procedure.

You may ask for the interview and interpretation to be performed by a person of the gender of your preference, provided that there are serious reasons for such a request. Your request will be assessed by the Asylum Service and will be satisfied if that is possible.

In case you are an unaccompanied minor, you will have to be informed by your appointed guardian regarding your interview.Your guardian will be invited and he/she may be with you during the interview. In case there is any doubt regarding your age, the authorities may conduct medical examinations in order to determine your age. Both you and your guardian must be informed regarding this procedure and you or your guardian must consent.

Those of you who express your wish to voluntarily return,will be referred for further information to the International Organization for Migration (I.O.M.)which will undertake your repatriation procedures. Let it be noted that the Hellenic Police (Aliens Division of Attica) is now also undertaking voluntary return procedures.

If your contact information changes at any stage of your application process, you must inform the Asylum Service.


[1] Minors, unaccompanied or not; direct relatives of victims of ship-wrecks; persons with a disability; the elderly; women in pregnancy; single parents with minor children; victims of human trafficking; persons suffering from a serious illness; persons with a mental or psychological disability and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or any other serious form of mental, physical or sexual violence, like victims of genital mutilation.

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