**NOTE** This page contains information that might have changed. Please send us a message on Facebook to confirm the below operations and procedures.
Movement restrictions in camps on the islands
The Greek Government applies to control of movement in almost all the camps. If you need to leave the camp for your basic needs, such as buying groceries or going to the pharmacy, the police will control your movement.
There are regular updates on the regulations, so it is better to ask the admin of the camp about these movement rules.
Support with your asylum application.
You can reach the Hotline of Hellenic Red Cross - Multi-Functional Center for Refugees and Migrants (MFC) for the following topics: Information on the current refugee situation and your rights, issues regarding material support, housing and medical issues, translation and interpretation, medical care information and referral, mediation and facilitation of the communication between refugees and authorities/non-governmental organizations/public services, information concerning the Cash Transfer Program, legal support, information and facilitation regarding family reunification issues.
You can send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at +302105140440 or call via Whatsapp/Viber at +306934724893 (Monday to Friday, 9 am – 8 pm).
General Info - Announcements
Asylum seekers' card renewal: Asylum seekers' cards (Tri-fold cards) that had been extended until 30/06/2021 are being renewed as of 01-07-2021 and replaced by the new smart cards. You can only pick up your renewed cards by pre-scheduled appointments. You can check your appointment to pick up your renewed international protection card (asylum card) online. If no appointment appears on the online platform, although you have an ongoing asylum procedure, please visit the camp authorities to be informed about the renewal of your asylum card.
Registrations: According to the authorities, If you are on the Greek mainland and have not been registered upon entry into the country, you cannot do so currently at the Regional Asylum Offices on the mainland. Still, two Reception and Identification Centres are pending to operate on the mainland for this purpose. If this is not the first time you have applied for international protection (subsequent application), you can pre-register yourself online via the Migration.gov.gr online platform.
Interviews: Asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia or Syria (who are not unaccompanied minors), who entered Turkey, are undergoing admissibility interviews to identify whether Turkey can be a safe third country. Admissibility interviews are limited to questions regarding circumstances faced in Turkey and the possible danger of serious harm upon return. Asylum seekers from the countries mentioned above undergo eligibility interviews (for example, interviews examining the reasons for fleeing the country of origin and possible risks upon return) only once their applications have been found admissible.
The same admissibility procedure will also be followed for all asylum seekers (regardless of origin) who irregularly entered Greece from Albania or North Macedonia. This means that their applications will not be examined regarding the grounds for requesting asylum, but rather the first assessment will concern the possibility of them being returned to the respective country (Albania or North Macedonia) based on an examination of whether this country can be considered safe for them.
Online Services: If you want to submit additional documents to your application file or change personal data such as your address, you can do so online on the new online service platform of the Ministry of Migration & Asylum. Please don't visit Asylum offices for these services that you can do online.
Movement-Exit restrictions from the camp of Mavrovouni: There are weekly announcements by the Camp management regarding exit measures and guidelines that can be found at the info points in RIC or shared through your Community Representatives.
Interviews: Lesvos Asylum office continues to conduct asylum interviews (appointment only). If an interview is scheduled for your application, you will be notified with an official invitation indicating the date and time of your interview, and you will be guided on how to arrive at the premises of the Regional Asylum Office of Lesvos (RAO), where your interview will be conducted. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, interviews at RAO Lesvos are conducted remotely using a teleconference system.
Subsequent applications: Lesvos Asylum office has started again registering subsequent asylum claims according to its capacity. You can approach the Asylum info point to express your will to do so by submitting the new elements for your case. Please note that registration on subsequent applications may delay.
Asylum seekers' cards: During the last months, the Greek Government has started the process of replacing the old format of the asylum seekers' cards (tri-folds) with the new ones that are called smart cards ( or in Greek, "Δ.Α.Δ.Π."). Particularly on Lesvos island, the process is ongoing within the RIC admin area (DADP office) upon appointment that they give to residents. However, for Lesvos camp residents who have already received it, the online platform might not work if they want to search for your card renewal date.
Lesvos: Travel documents
The issuance of travel documents is under the responsibility of the Hellenic Police. If you are eligible to receive travel documents on Lesvos, the process is different depending on your place of residence:
- If you are self-accommodated: you will need to visit the Passport Office (Aliens office) located at the police station of Mytilene. Please don't forget to bring your proof of address with you (preferably a house contract).
- If you are residing officially in Lesvos camp, you will, as a rule, be instructed to apply outside of Lesvos Exceptionally, a police unit has in the past visited to accommodate the needs of the issuance of ID and travel documents for residents of RIC Lesvos to decongest the island. If such a unit comes to Lesvos again, the Reception and Identification Service (RIS) will register your name in a list they will share with the Police Department of Mytilene. The RIS will notify the recognized international protection residents about their appointment according to the date of notification of their decision. With the support of Euro relief, RIS with disseminate the relevant tickets with the date and time of the appointment. The procedure is taking place at Rubhall 20 in the Blue Zone, and the residents should arrive at the Rubhall at the timeslots. Times operating weekdays between 8:30 am -2:00 pm. Only people with appointments will be served. People presenting ad-hoc will not be served.
❗ If your official residence is not Lesvos, you cannot apply for travel documents on the island.
Please note that appointments for the issuance of travel documents may delay.
Lesvos: Public services during COVID-19
Get support with bureaucratic steps into the Greek public services and procedures to get documents on Lesvos.
How to get your tax number?
- You can retrieve your AFM from DOY (Public Revenue Office/Tax Office) at this Address: 87 P. Kountourioti str. if you hold an asylum card or a residence permit. The tax office is booking appointments to receive AFM via email at email@example.com. Send an email explaining that you need an appointment to get a tax number with your name and last name. You will receive an answer within 2-3 days, with the date and time of your appointment. You may also schedule an appointment by calling 2251353102 daily, 08.00-15.00.
- The welcome office may also be able to support you in preparing the application form and making copies of the necessary documents. When possible, they accompany persons to the appointment at the tax office, register them to the tax system, and activate the username and password on the same day.
How to get an unemployment card?
You can find the closest OAED office to apply for an unemployment card at Address: 2. Terpandrou str. During covid-19, you should book an appointment by calling +302251 041601.
❗ This is not applied to make a sport benefits in Mytilini compared to other locations.
How to get a Social Security Registry Number (AMKA)?
You can get an AMKA by visiting the closest citizens service centre, KEP (or "ΚΕΠ," in Greek). In Mytilene, the KEP office is located at 5 Konstantinoupoleos Street. During Covid-19, you should book an appointment by calling +302251350013 and +302251350014
❗ Ιn case you have PAYYPA ("Provisional Social Security and Health Care Number"). You have been recently granted refugee status. It will be deactivated one month after you obtain your residence permit. In this case, you can apply and turn PAYYPA into ΑΜΚΑ (a permanent social security number).
Find out more about AMKA and PAYPPA.
Geographical restrictions: Those with geographical restrictions are usually not permitted to board boats. However, in the past weeks, port police have allowed individuals to board ships with a second rejection. To do that, you need to go to the port with all the necessary documentation (i.e. second rejection and proof of notification) and ask for permission to leave. Only after this permission will it be possible to buy a boat ticket and go to the mainland. This is expected to be a temporary measure that depends on the resumption of readmissions to Turkey.
Movement restrictions in Vial: Inhabitants need permission to leave the camp (even inhabitants with residence permits are required to obtain an attesttoion before leaving.
Obtaining an AMKA: You can receive an AMKA automatically when granted international protection. It takes almost a month after the decision.
Covid-19 (testing, vaccination): Outside Vial, it is possible to approach the KEP office with any ID document (for example, your passport from your home country) and request a temporary AMKA, called PAMKA, which activates between 10-21 days later, enabling you to book a Covid-19 vaccination appointment. Relatively easy process.
Renewal of white cards / smart cards: After applying for asylum, you receive a new smart card valid for two years. If you are granted Asylum seeker status, you must have already received the new smart card. Also, the new smart card will need to be renewed every month or six months, depending on what it says. Appointments for white card renewal are being given online, even when no renewal has been requested. The platform is frequently updated, and appointments can be with reasonably short notice, so checking it regularly is worthwhile. There are also boards in Vial which show the case numbers of the people whose smart cards will be renewed in the upcoming week. Some users have received renewal appointments in unexpected locations.
Interviews: Interviews at Chios RAO are conducted normally, following a scheduled appointment. According to the latest Joint Ministerial Decision from the Greek Government, those who have an interview for asylum after 7 June 2021 and are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia or Syria (and are not unaccompanied minors) are now undergoing admissibility interviews to identify whether Turkey can be a safe third country for them. Generally, GAS will not ask individuals from these countries any eligibility questions about their home country at this interview. Instead, all questions posed to asylum seekers will relate to Turkey. You can reach at A.S.s.I.s.T. or Equal Rights Beyond Borders (English, French, Somali:+30 694 553 1748; Farsi, Dari: +30 694 779 9438; Arabic: +30 694 000 8472) for legal support in your asylum application.
Find all the essential services for Asylum Seekεrs in the outskirts of Chios Town:
- Leaflet on Services provided outside the RIC in DARI
- in ENGLISH
- in SOMALI
- in FARSI
- in ARABIC
- in FRENCH
Asylum Services: Once you arrive in Greece, having fled from another country due to persecution, you will apply for asylum and are entitled to protection. The process can be challenging to navigate, so we recommend contacting UNHCR or directly an organization that provides legal assistance and can help you navigate the process.
A brief overview of the asylum procedure: When you first arrive in Chios, you will undergo registration and will be required to share your name, age, and gender with the Reception and Identification Service and with the Asylum Service. Your fingerprints and nationality will also be recorded. If you have relatives in another European Member State, it is essential to mention it already at this stage.
Chios: Public services during COVID-19
Applying for a residence permit and travel document
To receive your Residence Permit and travel document (TDV), you have to go to Reception and Identification Service at the Info Point (middle line) in the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) Vial and request to be included in the schedule of appointments at Chios police station (either you are RIC Vial resident or you live in Chios, outside RIC Vial). RIS posts a schedule on the boards in Vial, including folder ID numbers (05/000…..) and specific days and hours, so you can go to the Chios police station to apply for the issuance of a Residence Permit and TDV. Chios Police Station is located at 1, Polemidi str., 82132, Chios.
Please don't go directly to the police station without a prior appointment through Reception and Identification Service. When your Residence Permit is ready to be delivered, you will see a relevant announcement on the billboards in Vial RIC. Then, you will have to go to Chios Asylum Office to receive it. Please note that the reception of TDVs can only occur in Athens or Thessaloniki. You do not have to wait for your Residence Permit to be issued before you apply for a travel document. The two applications may be processed at the same time.
Visit the Citizens' Service Centre, called KEP in Greek, to pay the administrative fee. Address: 6, Dimokratias str., Chios, 82100 (on the ground floor, on your right). Tel: +30 22710 350888 Monday to Friday, from 08:00 am– 2:00 pm
Applying for an AFM number - Are you an asylum seeker or a beneficiary of international protection holding an Asylum Seeker's Card? You can approach with your Asylum Seeker's Card the Reception and Identification Service (middle line at the INFO POINT in Vial RIC) and request the issuance of Tax Number/"AFiMi". - Are you a beneficiary of international protection holding a valid Residence Permit (ADET)? The "AFiMi" number can be issued at the local Tax Office. Address: 66, Michail Livanou str., Chios, 82100 Tel: +30 2271 352134 (Monday to Friday, from 08:00 am – 2:00 pm) -Do you reside in an apartment under the ESTIA program on Chios? You can contact ARSIS from Monday to Friday, 09:00 am to 4:00 pm.
INSTRUCTIONS DUE TO COVID-19: You can approach UNHCR (line at the INFO POINT in Vial RIC) and request support for the issuance of AFM. You will need your Residence Permit and a telephone number. UNHCR can assist you with filling in the "M1" form and applying for AFM and TAXISnet.
When and how can you get a Social Security Registry Number (AMKA)?
Visit the Citizens' Service Centre, called KEP in Greek. Address: 6, Dimokratias str., Chios, 82100 (on the ground floor, on your right). Tel: +30 22710 350888 (Monday to Friday, from 08:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Disability Allowance If you are a beneficiary of international protection and have a serious disability, you may be eligible for a disability allowance. The amount you receive depends on the type and the severity of the disability. You can approach UNHCR at the info point to receive more information.
How to apply? - Book an appointment at the Community Center "KENTRO KOINOTITAS" in Greek of Chios Municipality and ask for the disability allowance. You can book the appointment by calling this number: +302271350059 in Greek or English. - You have to go to the appointment they will give you at the Community Centre (3-5, Vlatarias str.) with an interpreter in case you do not speak Greek or English. Upon your request, they will submit your application for the disability allowance. - The Community Centre will contact the Social Service of Chios Hospital and request to complete your medical file. - The Social Service of Chios Hospital will contact you (telephone) to inform you about the date of your appointment at Chios Hospital. - When your medical file is complete, you have to book an appointment through e-ΕΦΚΑ at the Disability Certification Centre "KEPA in Greek" by using your TAXISnet key number. You will get an appointment to submit your medical file and the application for the disability allowance at the Disability Certification Centre. (Address: 1, Panagias Letsenis str., the building of "EFKA"). In case of difficulties and upon request, the Community Centre can book the appointment for you. - The Disability Certification Centre ("KEPA" in Greek) will contact you to inform you about the date you will be assessed by the Committee of the Disability Certification Centre. You must present yourself with an interpreter if you do not speak Greek or English. Please have your Residence Permit and any relevant additional medical document you may have. - You can check the progress of your application through e-ΕΦΚΑ. - When the results are ready, you must collect them at the Disability Certification Centre.
You will Need:
- Your valid Residence Permit
- Your personal TAXISnet account
- Your "AFiMi" number
- Your "AMKA"
- Your email address
- Your mobile phone number
- A valid and active bank account number (IBAN) in which you are the sole beneficiary or co-beneficiary.
Chios: Medical care
For primary health care or emergency and COVID-19, you need to visit either the Info Point or the entrance B of the VIAL Building. If this is an emergency, medical staff will direct you to call:
- EODY Clinic (8 am – 4 pm)
- Army Doctor (9 am – 1 pm)
For primary health care or emergency, you can also directly visit Salvamento Marítimo Humanitario (4 – 8 pm).
If you want to take the COVID19 test, you must have symptoms. You need to visit EODY facilities, and if the doctors believe that the symptoms are under the criteria to be considered suspected Covid19, they will proceed with the test. Please note that there is a COVID-19 quarantine area at the camp's entrance for those who are sick with COVID-19 (suspected or confirmed).
Alternatively, kiosks in the Chios city centre offer free COVID19 tests almost regularly. And self-tests for Covid19 can be purchased in every pharmacy.
🔴 Important Note: The new Samos "hotspot" is in the hill area of Zervos, about 7km away from Vathy town. The transfer to the new camp has been completed. The new camp is open from 08.00 am to 8.00 pm.
From what we know so far:
- Despite their legal status, everybody is allowed to exit and enter (until further notice).
- Bus transportation has started operating. The ticket costs 1,60 euros (single route), and children under the age of 5 can travel for free. The bus departs from Samos to Zervou from 6.30 am to 9.30 pm. Please check the bus timetable on this phone 22730 27262 and 22730 27270.
- No spontaneous movement to another Site or Centre will be acceptable. The presence of beneficiaries at a Site or Centre other than the one determined by the Ministry will result in the termination of cash assistance.
The Ministry of Migration and Asylum aims to provide services to the residents in an organized manner. No one is going to be detained or imprisoned. However, the Greek Government hasn't clarified the measures applied at the new camp by the national authorities to keep it a 'closed and controlled' camp.
Samos: Medical Care
You can seek medical support by calling the EODY hotline 1335 or reaching the EODY Clinic in the camp.
If you want to take the COVID-19 test, you need to visit EODY facilities, and if the doctors believe that the symptoms are under the criteria to be considered suspected Covid19, they will proceed with the test.
Once a person is tested and is positive, they will be transferred to specific areas inside the camp for isolation/quarantine. The medical team will start the contact tracing of the person, and those who will be identified as close contacts (usually family members or, in some cases, cohabitants) are also transferred to a quarantine/isolation area. Usually, the isolation last 14 days. The purpose of this process is to minimize the spread of the virus. During the stay in isolation, the person is followed by medical staff daily. If someone presents severe symptoms, then is referred to the hospital for further follow-up.
Mental health support
The current situation can increase stress and anxiety, which is normal if you feel sad or scared. And mental health is equally important, especially during these hard times.
If you need help managing stress, you can reach the Psychosocial Support (PSS) helpline which provides mental health and psychosocial support services to refugees/asylum-seekers to help you look after yourself.
The helpline is operated by trained refugees/asylum-seekers and is available from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 7 pm in Arabic and Farsi.
For support in Arabic, please use this number: 6936514113. For support in Farsi, please use this number: 6936514120 (available for Whatapp and Viber calls, with the option to call you back)