Your rights in Greece

Any person who has been granted asylum or subsidiary protection status. Individuals recognised as refugees are granted a three-year residence permit. It is a card which acts as the legalising document in Greece.

Residence Permit  is issued free of charge

In order to obtain a residence permit, you should contact the Asylum Service Office, in which you belong, to submit all the relevant documents needed. You may also be informed which Police Station you will need to contact for further actions. 

It’s valid for three years and can be renewed for another three after submitting a new application.

You need to submit to the Asylum Service the following documents (original and photocopied):

A) the Asylum Service decision

B) the registration card (threefold leaflet)

C) 3 photographs

You need to make an appointment either by telephone or by going to the Asylum Service yourself. Then, you will be informed about the date that you need to present yourself for the procedure (submit the relevant documentation, get fingerprinted).

It takes some time between the procedure conducted in the Asylum Service and the delivery of the residence permit, which varies based on each government service.

You will get your permit from the Asylum Service. The Asylum Service will also inform you about the delivery date.

A fee of EUR 85 is required.

Travel documents allow you to travel - but not to settle - to another European country for up to three months. After three months, you must return to Greece for at least six months. If you want to travel to a non-European country, you need to issue a visa.

In order to obtain your travel documents, you need to submit an application (other than the application for the residence permit).

If you are granted subsidiary protection and you have a passport from your country of origin, you may keep it.

You need to submit the relevant documentation at the Asylum Service, in which you belong.

You need to submit to the Asylum Service the following documents (original and photocopied):

- A true copy of the Asylum Service decision (it’s handed to you along with the decision)

- the registration card (threefold leaflet)

- 1 biometric passport photo.

You need to make an appointment either by telephone or by going to the Asylum Service yourself. Then, you will be informed about the date that you need to present yourself in order to submit the documents needed and complete the procedure.

It takes some time between the procedure conducted in the Asylum Service and the delivery of the travel documents, which varies based on each government service.

You will be notified by the Asylum Service about the delivery of your documents.

Yes, you can. However, the Greek State is not required to find you a job.

In order to work, you need to obtain a Tax Registration Number (TRN) and a Social Security Number (SSN). These two numbers (TRN & SSN) are issued once and never change regardless of their use (employment, house rental, etc.). Also, you have the right, if you qualify, to obtain an unemployment card by registering with the Greek Manpower Employment Organization and have access to jobs, vocational and educational programs and counselling services.

For more information, please check: Employment 

You are not entitled to free housing by the Greek state. However, you can rent or buy a residence at your own expense. To rent, you need your residence permit an your Tax Registration Number.

For more information, please check: Housing

You are entitled to basic and further education as well as to training programs, same as every Greek citizen. Same applies for your children.

 

For more information, please check: Education

Yes. You and your family are entitled to free health, pharmaceutical and hospital care (clinical and medical tests, medication etc.) in public hospitals and other public medical service providers.

 

For more information, please check: Health

Yes. If you qualify, you have the right to apply for:

A) Unemployment benefit (if you have been legally employed in Greece)

B) Disability benefit

You need to apply and submit the necessary documents at the following organizations located in the area of your residence:

A) For an unemployment benefit: Greek Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED)

B) For a disability benefit: Disability Certification Committee (KEPA)

If you have worked in Greece full-time for 14 months and lose your job, then you are eligible for unemployment benefits for on 1 year

Or

If you have worked in Greece for 7 months and lose your job, then you are eligible for unemployment benefits for 5 months.

A) Your Tax Registration Number (TRN) issued by your local tax office

B) Your Social Security Number (SSN) issued by a Citizen Service Centre (KEP)

C) A copy of document verifying your international protection status

D) A declaration of residence, whether this is a hotel, a house, an apartment or an official housing facility.

You need to fill and submit the relevant application along with the necessary documentation and to be examined by the KEPA Health Committee which will then determine the degree of disability. Additionally, you will need to provide medical documents (examinations, medical reports etc.).

 

For more information please check: https://www.ika.gr/gr/infopages/kepa/home.cfm

Yes, you are entitled to family reunification with your family members (spouse and children) residing in your country of origin. 

Family Reunification - Application to be submitted within 3 months after the deliverance of the decision granting you refugee status - No prerequisites required 

If you apply for family reunification within 3 months after the deliverance of the decision granting you refugee status, then no prerequisite is required.

If you apply after this three-month time frame, you need to meet the following requirements:

A) To have a steady, regular personal income, sufficient enough to meet yours and you family’s needs which derives from your work rather than welfare benefits or other sources of welfare support. This income may not be less than the annual earnings of an unskilled labourer plus 20% for the spouse and 15% for every parent and every child.

B) To have a full social security sickness coverage by a public body which also covers the family members and dependents that rely on you.

C) To have bought or rent a house, covering your needs and the needs of your family.

If you apply within three months form the deliverance of the decision of the asylum status, you have to submit to the Asylum Service the following documents:

A) A recent family status certificate or any other document, officially translated to Greek and stamped by a competent Greek authority, proving your family relationships with your family members included in the application, as well as the age of these members.

B) A true copy of your family member/members travel documents.

 

If you are unable to submit the above mentioned documents, then the competent authorities take into consideration alternative evidence.

 

If you apply after this three-month time frame, then you have to submit the following documents:

A) Your income tax return statement issued by a tax or office or any other public document verifying your personal, annual income.

B) A public, social security entity certificate, proving that you and your family members have a full sickness coverage.

C) A stamped home purchase contract or rent agreement or any other document, verifying that you have accommodation which can cover yours and your family’s housing needs

 

You have to submit the application and all the relevant documentation to the Asylum Service, which then will have to approve the request. If your request is approved, then the Greek Consulate will issue a visa and your relative will be able to travel to Greece.

A) A passport or any other travel document officially recognized by Greece, with an over 3-month validity period from the visa expiration date.

B) A copy of the criminal record issued by the Country of origin authorities which certifies the applicant’s criminal status.

C) A medical record issued by an official private or public body, verifying that the applicant isn’t sick from a disease which, according to the International Health Organisation standards, constitutes a risk to public health, as well as from other contagious, infectious or parasitic diseases requiring measures to protect public health.

This process is time-consuming and can take quite some time.

Unaccompanied minors are children below the age of 18 who have been separated by their parents and relatives and are not being cared for by an adult who is responsible of doing so.

A) If you are a temporary camp resident, you should contact an NGO to help you and take care of your case.

B) If you live in a big city but not in a camp, you should contact the local Asylum Services and report it in order to initially refer you to a camp suitable for minors and then take care of your case individually.

C) If you don’t live within a camp nor in a big city and you are on your own, you should contact the local Asylum Service and report it in order to initially refer you to a camp for minors and then take care of your case individually.

A) If you are over 15 years old, yes you can apply yourself.

B) If you are under 15 then the Greek State should appoint you a guardian who will apply on your behalf.

The Greek State has an obligation to appoint you a guardian. This process will be carried out by the judicial authorities (namely the Prosecutor for Minors or the Public Prosecutor) which appoints your guardian. If a guardian will not be appointed, then, as determined by law, your guardian will be the Prosecutor of the Court of First Instance of the place of your residence.

A) Your guardian will take care of your accommodation arrangements, i.e will make sure you will live with either adult relatives of yours or yu will be placed in a foster family, in a camp or in another accommodation facility that’s suitable for minors.

B) He/she will make sure that you will be provided with food and other essentials (clothing, shoes, personal hygiene and cleaning products, books, toys etc.).

C) If you are under the age of 15, your guardian will apply for international protection  on your behalf to the competent authorities.

D) Your guardian will prepare you for your interview with the Asylum Services and he/she may be with you during this interview, regardless of your age.

E) He/she will take care of your education and your placement to the appropriate schooling environment, all according to your age needs.

F) He/she will look for your parents/adult siblings or other relatives residing in Greece and try to include you to the family reunification program within the Greek territory.

G) He/she will make sure to find your parents/adult siblings or other relatives who may be in a third European country and will try to include you to the family reunification program, whose success depends on the that third country regulations and not the Greek ones.

H) He/she will make sure that you have access to the healthcare system

 

Yes. The competent authorities are entitled to check in order to determine your age using scientifically acceptable medical methods. However, your consent or that of your guardian is necessary.

Yes, you can refuse it

According to the law, your refusal will not necessarily result in a rejection of your application. 

Yes. Even in such a case, your application will be examined in accordance with the legal proceedings

In such a case, you will be regarded as a minor and you will have all the rights that come with it

If it occurs while not at a hospital, you should call a doctor so that a medical certificate of death is issued.If it occurs while at a hospital, the certificate will be issued there.

You should visit the Registry Office of the Municipality where you reside, so that a death certificate is issued.

In order for a death certificate to be issued you should present:

  1. The medical certificate of death signed by a doctor with his/her signature attested for authenticity
  2. The Identity Card (ID) of the diseased (or any other proof of identity)
  3. The ID of the person who registers the death
  4. The Tax Registration Number of the deceased  
  5. The Social Security Number of the deceased

If you do not have all of the above documents it is likely that you will be asked to bring alternative documents.

The Municipality or the Municipal Community or the Local Community of your place of residence.

The burial of the deceased can only take place at the local Public Cemeteries.

You are entitled to basic education (primary school, junior high school) and to further education (secondary, tertiary, recognized certificates, scholarships). Access to the general education system as well as to programs of lifelong training/education is provided to adults who are eligible to national protection under the same regulations that are applicable for the third country legal residents of Greece.

You are entitled to access the Greek educational system under the same regulations which apply to Greek citizens.

For the enrolment of third country minors to Greek schools  all levels  the documents required are the same as the ones that should be provided by Greek nationals. By way of exception, children of citizens of a third country can enrol at public schools with incomplete documentation if:

  1. They are protected by the Greek state as international protection beneficiaries and if they are protection beneficiaries under the High Commissioner of the United Nations
  2. They come from areas where the situation is volatile
  3. They have filed an application for international protection
  4. They are thirdcountry citizens residing in Greece, even if their legal residence has not yet been regulated.

You are entitled to join educational programs in the centre you reside in, according to the requirements set by the programs.

No. The asylum application pre-registration card does not grant you the right to work. However, you still have all other rights of the asylum applicants.

Yes, you are allowed to get employed or self-employed.

Note: Asylum seekers cannot exercise an independent economic activity. 

Yes, you are allowed to get employed or self employed.

The state cannot assist you in any case as it cannot assist Greek citizens either. Occasionally, however there are employment programs for migrants or refugees run by the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (www.oaed.gr).

According to the legislation,also applicable for Greek citizens, insurance is mandatory whether it’s paid by your employer or by you in case you are self-employed.

  1. A Tax Registration Number issued by the Tax Agency
  2. A Social Security Number issued by the Security Agency

If you are an asylum applicant you also need your asylum applicant’s card

If you are a recognized refugee, you also need the residence permit.

All rights that Greek citizens are entitled to (employment contract, basic salary, annual leave, overtime, insurance, pension etc.).

If you are a recognized refugee or a subsidiary protection beneficiary, or you have a residence permit due to humanitarian reasons, then your family members have the right to work as well.

If you are a recognized refugee or a subsidiary protection beneficiary, or you have a residence permit due to humanitarian reasons, you can choose to enrolin adult educational programs that are relevant to your vocational knowledge, by presenting your residence permit.

If you are in a European country, as an international protection applicant (asylum), you may ask to be housed at the Reception Centres of that country. These centres are specially selected for the international protection applicants. At the Reception centres free housing, board and necessities are offered for free. Your request will be approved only if there are available positions.

As a recognized refugee you are entitled to housing (renting/buying) in Greece, at your own expense and in line with the regulations and requirements applicable for Greek citizens. Free housing is not offered. 

  1. The governmental body for collecting and processing the asylum applicants’ housing requests forwarded by organizations, is the National Centre for Social Solidarity of the Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity (http://www.ekka.org.gr/).
  2. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with other partners including Municipalities, provides accommodations and other social services to the registered asylum-seekers with prioritization to the vulnerable in Greece. For further information, please contact UNCHR by email: great@unhcr.org.

 

The residence permit in the specific country is a common requirement which applies to all European countries. However, there are some additional requirements that differ throughout Europe. So, you are advised to contact the relevant services of the country you reside in or you are about to do so.

Regarding Greece, a Tax Registration Number issued by the Tax Agency of your residence is also required.

As free housing provision for recognized refugees differs amongst E.U. countries, you are advised to contact the relevant services of the country where you reside or you are about to do so.

In both cases you have the right to rent a house at your own expense, following the procedures that applyin the country of our residence.

Housing-benefit cases differ amongst countries so, you are advised to contact the relevant services of the country you reside or you are about to do so.

Occasionally, housing benefit programs are implemented in Greece by Municipalities, but these are short-term programs.

The Asylum Service of the country of your residence will provide you with all the essential information. You may as well contact the welfare services and any relevant organizations (legal aid organizations, organizations dealing with free housing issues, organizations for refugees, etc.).

Asylum applicants, recognized refugees, those who reside in Greece under a residence permit regime for humanitarian or exceptional reasons as well as their families, and those who belong to vulnerable groups, have the right to free access to hospitals and medical healthcare.

The elderly, pregnant women, the disabled, prisoners, the mentally ill and victims of sexual and labour trafficking are considered “vulnerable groups” and they are entitled to free access to the Public Health Structures even if they do not reside permanently in Greece.

Hospital coverage gives you access to all services within the Greek public hospitals. Medical coverage includes medical clinical tests, diagnostic or any other type of tests carried out by public health service providers (Social Insurance Institute (IKA), Municipal Health Centers etc.) as well as provision of drugs from hospital pharmacies or from pharmacies contracted to the Government.

If you are an asylum applicant or a recognized refugee and you cannot present the documents necessary for issuing an S.S.N. you can then have access to hospital and medical healthcare by showing your asylum applicant’s card (asylum applicants) or the residence permit (recognized refugees).

If you are an asylum applicant, a recognized refugee or you possess a written declaration of postponement of the removal decision or you belong to a vulnerable group but you cannot get an S.S.N., you may then be granted a Medical Care Card for Foreigners in order to obtain free access to hospital and medical healthcare.

You can be informed about the procedure of issuing a Medical Care Card through the Protection of Rights Offices or the Hospitals Administrative Services.

Everybody, regardless of their legal regime, they have the right to access the Emergency Medical Services of the Greek Public Hospitals.

No; you can find interpreters to a few public hospitals.

The Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) and Reintegration (AVRR) measures program is implemented by the funds from the European Return Fund and the Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection an it concerns the return and reintegration of third countries’ nationals to their country of origin.

The only competent body you can contact is the International Organization for Migration (IOM) at its premises at 6 Dodekanisou Str, Alimos, Athens, Tel: +30 2109919040, or in reception centres and other places where there are IOM officers present (e-mail: iomathens@iom.int ).

It is the programme through which you can ask to return to your country of origin.

No. You can return ONLY to your country of origin.

Yes, but only if this country is included in the “safe countries” list.

Voluntary return does not apply to all countries around the world. The “safe countries” list contains all those countries where it’s safe to return voluntarily.

Yes, even if you have not applied for asylum, you can still request to return to your country of origin.

Yes, you can, regardless of the status of your application.

Yes, if you are under an international protection regime (recognized refugee) you can request to return to your country of origin if you wish.

Yes. Through this program you can obtain an international travel document for your return journey.

It is a unique number comprised of 9 digits that is given to every person and it “distinguishes” him/her based on their personal details.

All individuals who reside permanently in Greece, either Greek or foreigners, have the right to obtain a TRN.

The TRN is necessary for all transactions with public services such as filing income tax return at the Tax Agency or for any other activity relevant with taxes, such as getting employed or self-employed, for renting or buying a house or a car etc. You might also need it for Bank transactions or for transactions with other service providers.

You need to visit the Tax Agency of your residence. You can either show up in person or someone else on your behalf as long as he/she has a written authorization attested by the authentication of your signature. This declaration can be filled out at a Citizen Service Center or a Police Station.

On the same day that you will submit the necessary documents, they will be examined by an employee who will issue a TRN if your documents are found complete.

-you have to show the original proof and submit a photocopy of your residence permit in Greece (asylum applicant’s card, residence permit, passport, Identity Card, visa, etc.).

All documents proving your legal residence must be valid and not have expired.

- Tax Agency will ask you to fill in the document entitled “Tax Registration Number submission statement” (M1) as well as the “statement of taxpayer’s relationship” (M7)

You can also print these documents on the sites below:

1)      M1

http://www.gsis.gr/gsis/export/sites/default/gsis_site/Services/Polites/documents_e_entipa_2/M1.pdf

 and

2)      M7

http://www.gsis.gr/gsis/export/sites/default/gsis_site/Services/Polites/documents_e_entipa_2/M7.pdf

-you may be asked to sign a solemn declaration stating the reasons for you are applying for a TRN

It is possible that the tax office may ask for you to submit an official document, verifying your place of residence or your temporary residence or more information.

If you reside at a camp you can submit a certificate issued by your local Police Department, verifying your place of residence.

If you live in an apartment rented by an NGO on your behalf, you can submit a certificate issued by this NGO, verifying the specific address.

You may be asked to provide the postcode of your residence as well as a telephone communication number. Also, please note that you should provide the above details while filling in the M1 form at the tax office during the Tax Registration Number process.

You can contact the Hellenic Post Offices. If you live in an apartment you can get it either from the lessor or the NGO which let the apartment on your behalf. If you are staying at a hotel you can ask a hotel employee. If you reside at a camp you can ask the camp manager or a member of an NGO operating within the camp.

It is a registration number for employment and social security, it is actually the insurance identification of all citizens and it is mandatory for everybody.

All the persons who reside permanently in Greece regardless if they are Greek or foreigners, have the right to obtain SNN.

SSN is mandatory for everyone who is insured (directly or indirectly), who is employed or is about to do so, who are pensioners or who receive unemployment benefit. It is also necessary in order to have access to hospital and medical healthcare of the public health services.

You are required to visit Citizen Service Centre of your residence. You can do so in person or another person on your behalf that will have the authorization notarized by your signature. The authorization of such document can be done either at a Citizen Service Centre or a Police Station.

-you have to present the original proof and submit a photocopy of your legal residence in Greece (asylum applicant’s card, residence permit, passport, Identity Card, visa, etc.)

-if you do not have in possession any of the above documents, you may be asked to present a family status certificate translated in Greek

-a birth certificate is needed for minors that were born in Greece

On the same day that you will submit the necessary documents, they will be examined by an employee who will issue an SSN if your documents are found complete.