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Asylum Service was established by law 3907/2011, became operational on 7/6/2013, functions at the level of a General Directorate, and has as its strategic objectives the implementation of legislation on asylum and other forms of international protection of foreign nationals and stateless persons, the support of planning and formulation of public policy regarding granting asylum or other forms of international protection, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of its implementation.

Its mission is to apply current legislation on the provision of asylum and of other forms of international protection to citizens of third countries and stateless persons who have left their country of origin due to a well justified fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, national origin, political beliefs or membership of a particular social group , or who are at risk of serious harm in their country of origin or former habitual residence (death penalty or execution, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, personal threat due to international or civil conflict).

To this purpose, the law provides that the Asylum Service receives, examines, and decides on all applications for international protection lodged within Greece. Additionally, it cooperates with international organizations and European Union institutions in the areas of its remit.

In addition, the Asylum Service is responsible for registering and granting residence permits to beneficiaries of temporary protection, due to massive influx of displaced foreign nationals.

Asylum Service consists of 5 Directorates (Support, Returns and Withdrawals, Attica, Regional Services, Aegean Islands) while the Regional Asylum Offices (RAOs) and the Asylum Units (AUs) operate as regional services at the Departmental level.

Appeals against negative decisions on applications for international protection are examined by Appeals Authority which was also established by law 3907/2011.

Fifty percent of the annual funding needs of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority is covered by state funds, while for its remaining needs the Asylum Service is funded by European Union and European Economic Area programs and funds.

Since the end of April 2021, Marios Kaleas is the Governor of the Asylum Service. From April 2018 until April 2021, Markos Karavias was the Director of the Asylum Service.


Marios Kaleas - Director

Marios Kaleas has been an employee of the Asylum Service since 2013. He has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Macedonia and a bachelor’s degree from the Pedagogy Department of Public Education of the University of Thessaly. He received his post-graduate degree in social policy from the Department of Education and Social Policy of the University of Macedonia in Greece. He continued his post-graduate education in the School of Social Sciences of the University of Sunderland in England where he specialized in social work for individuals with special needs. He worked as a sociologist in special schools of secondary education in Greece. In August 2016 he became the Head of the Regional Asylum Office of Lesvos where he managed the immigration crisis in the island of Lesvos. On January 8, 2021, he was appointed Director of the Asylum Offices of the Aegean Islands. 

Ioannis Sfirakis - Deputy Director

Ioannis Sfirakis is the Deputy Director of the Hellenic Asylum Service from February 2020. He is a specialist in International Affairs and holds a Masters’ degree in Political and Economic studies of the Mediterranean region. He graduated from the Department of Mediterranean Studies of the Aegean University in 2007. He was a consultant of the Minister of Labor and Social Insurance from October 2008 to June 2009. Prior to this role, he served in the Organization of Insurance for the Self-Employed and was responsible for programs pertaining to pensions’ liquidations. From 2013 to 2019 he was a Human Resources consultant. In October 2019, he acted as an advisor on social insurance issues for the Undersecretary of Labor and Social Affairs. He is fluent in English and Turkish.

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 Viber Community for Issues of Migration and Asylum

The Ministry of Migration and asylum has created a Viber Community in order to provide accurate and timely information regarding issues of migration and asylum. Please click on the following link, or scan the QR code in order to connect: