If you are in Greece and want to apply for international protection, you must do so as soon as possible. As a result, you will most probably approach one of the six existing Reception and Identification Centres in Greece, in Evros, Samos, Chios, Lesvos, Leros or Kos. Nevertheless, if you travel to the mainland without previously having registered your application for asylum at the Reception and Identification Centres at the borders (Fylakio in Evros, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos), you can book an appointment to register it via an application form provided by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. An email address is necessary to log in, submit the application with your personal details and be given an appointment for registration. You can choose to be registered either at the Facility of First Reception in Diavata (close to Thessaloniki) or the one in Malakasa (“Gerakini” camp close to Athens). After submitting your application, make sure to click on “download proof” so that a pdf file with the confirmation of your appointment can be sent to your email address.
When completing the application for the registration appointment, you will also be informed that upon arrival at the registration location, you will be required to reside in the facility “until the registration is completed, for a maximum of 25 days”. Since the asylum interview might also take place during the time that you will have to reside in the First Reception camps of Malakasa or Diavata, it could be helpful to contact legal actors and have legal information about the asylum procedure before your appointment. You have the right to reschedule your appointment for registration up to 2 times, according to the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. Remember to always keep relevant documents which prove that you could not be there for your appointment (e.g. medical or other documents) and share them as soon as possible with the greek authorities.
Until you get a decision on your asylum application, you DON'T have:
- Travel documents that allow you to leave Greece
When will my Registration appointment be?
Your Registration appointment will likely be some months after you submit the application online.
If you have been arrested
If you were arrested on the Greek mainland, you can start the asylum procedure by declaring your intention to apply for asylum before the police and/or Reception and Identification Service authorities. Your request will be referred to the Asylum Office, inviting you to submit your asylum application in person.
During Registration, you will submit the following:
The application for asylum in Greece. Make sure to clarify all the details regarding your age, in case you are minor, and the whereabouts of your family members, in case you want to apply for family reunification.
At your Registration appointment:
- You will make your formal claim for asylum.
- You will briefly tell an interviewer why you are asking for asylum.
- You will give your fingerprints.
- The Asylum Service will determine if your application is for Family Reunification or asylum in Greece.
- The Asylum Service will not make a final decision on your case.
- You will be notified about the way and timeline to receive the international applicant’s card and tax identification number (AFM).
When and where
Upon booking the appointment for Registration, you will be informed about the date and place of your appointment.
Very rarely, the Asylum Service changes appointment dates. If they change your date, they will call you.
Make sure the Asylum Service always has your current address and phone number. Learn more about Updating your contact information
Don’t miss your appointment unless there is an emergency or serious health issue. If you do, immediately notify the Asylum Service and provide relevant documentation explaining why. The Asylum Service might discontinue your application, and you will have to call the Asylum Service on Skype to make a new appointment. You may have to wait several months for a new appointment to take place.
On the day of your appointment, go to the Asylum Office at 7:30 a.m. with all your family members. Make sure not to forget the form verifying your appointment.
- You can bring a lawyer, a psychologist or a social worker with you.
- If you are in Greece without your family and between 15 and 18 years old, you can lodge your application yourself in person, or the guardian the Greek authorities appointed can do it for you. If you are under 15, your guardian must lodge your application. Find here more information if you are an unaccompanied minor in Greece.
How to prepare
At Registration, you will be asked - about your and your family’s personal information - why you are claiming asylum in Greece and afraid to return to your country of origin.
If you ask to apply for Family Reunification or Relocation, the Asylum Service will determine your eligibility.
Learn more about what you’ll be asked at Registration here: Questions at Registration
What to bring to Registration
Identity documents: Bring all the official identity documents you have. These include:
- Your Registration Form issued by the Reception and Identification Service upon your arrival (if given to you upon arrival) if you have one
- The document verifying your appointment at Malakasa/Diavata camp, if you have one
- Your police note
- Your passport or any other ID card, if you have them
- Your Health Card (if given to you upon arrival) or any other documents related to your physical or mental health.
Other important documents: Bring all the documents you brought with you from home or that you got throughout your journey. Examples: Family books, Birth certificates, Marriage certificates, Military books, Educational diplomas, Language school certificates
Bring any documentation that proves you have a medical condition or other circumstance showing you are vulnerable.
If you would like to apply for Family Reunification, also bring the following:
- Copies of your family member’s documents from the country where they live, including their ID card, residence permit, refugee passport or any other documents that show their full name, birthdate and current address.
- A letter in English or Greek from your family member saying they want you to join them in the country where they live. Find an example of the letter here that you can download and edit. Make sure your family member has signed it and has put the date next to their signature
You should also bring documents that help prove your relationship, including:
- Official documents like marriage certificates and birth certificates
- Personal files like your family book, family letters and family photos
- Witness statements of lawyers or social workers
- Any contact information for your family member and their lawyers or other supporters
If you bring original documents with you, make sure to take them back after the employee takes a copy. It is preferred to bring hard copies or clear photographs or scans of your documents together with your original documents (if available).
Do not bring any family members’ original documents, either. If you bring others’ cards or documents, the Asylum Service may take them away to stop black market sales.
About the appointment
What happens to the information I provide? The information you give in the interview is confidential.
- The registration form will be read to you at the end to confirm the recorded statements.
- You should object to anything in the transcript you think is incorrect, especially personal information, as it is very difficult to change it afterwards.
What happens to my passport? If you have a passport, you have to submit it to the Greek Asylum Service. It will be kept in your file until the Greek Asylum Service is finished with your claim. In return, you will get a receipt that says your passport is with the Asylum Service.
Will there be an interpreter? You have the right to an interpreter for your Registration interview. You do not have to bring an interpreter. The interpreter may be in the room, or they may be on Skype or on a phone call.
I’m a woman. Can I ask for my interviewer and interpreter to be women, too? Yes. If you are a woman, you can ask for your interviewer and interpreter to be women, explaining the reason(s) for such a request. After you explain your reasons for requesting women, the Asylum Service will assess and decide on your request.
What if I don’t want to give my fingerprints? If you refuse to give your fingerprints to the Asylum Service, your claim will be examined under the “accelerated procedure” instead of the regular one. That means your claim will probably be rejected.
I am eligible for both Relocation and Family Reunification. Can I choose which process I want to go through? No. If you are eligible for Relocation and Family Reunification, the Asylum Service will probably choose the Family Reunification procedure. If your request for Family Reunification is rejected, the Asylum Service will ask you to apply for Relocation.
Most of the time you get the asylum seeker’s card on the day of your claim registration.
Asylum seeker’s card / Smart Card (Δ.Α.Δ.Π)
The Registration Card is also called the "International protection applicant card". It is the document that proves that a person is an asylum seeker with a case number in Greece (either waiting for their main asylum interview or waiting for the decision of their asylum application). People also referred to it as Asylum card, White card, Tri-fold, or Ausweis (svais).
During the last few months, the Greek Government has started the process to replace the old format of the asylum seekers cards with the new ones that will be like the picture below and called "smart Cards" or in Greek ", Δ.Α.Δ.Π".
It is reminded that the new Ιnternational Protection Applicant's Card, in the form of a smart card that will replace the old ones (triptychs), is issued with a built-in microprocessor and with electronic registration and renewal. They will also include a unique number (UID), which is not modifiable and is related to a fingerprint. At the same time, the competent authorities of issuance and issuance will keep an electronic file.
To check for the time and day of your scheduled appointment for the replacement or the card renewal date, visit the online platform by entering your case number.
Note: However, for camp residents who have already received it, the online platform might not work yet if they want to search for your card renewal date.
Your smart card will be like this:
Your asylum seeker’s card has the following:
- A case number
- The duration of the validity of your card (indicated in the "Issue Validity" box) so as to know when you will need to renew it.
- Social Security and Medical Care Number (ΠΑΑΥΠΑ)
- You will receive a separate document that indicates the date of your asylum interview.
- The cards indicate whether the cardholder has a geographical restriction at the bottom. For example, if you are on Lesvos and have geographical restriction, the word “Lesvos" will be mentioned in the section "Geographical restriction".
- The "Issue-Validity" section indicates how long your card is valid. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS WHEN THE CARD NEEDS TO BE RENEWED!
- Renewal every "number of months": every 6 months and sometimes every 1 month. This is mentioned on the asylum card and starts in advance the renewal application.
Your rights with asylum seeker’s smart card
- Stay legally in Greece until you get a final decision on your asylum application. Move freely throughout the country unless you have a “restriction of movement” stamp on your card.
- Get Housing
- Get cash assistance. Get healthcare
- Send your children to Greek public schools or attend a public evening school.
- Access free legal aid, usually provided by NGOs
- Find a job and work
- Get a Greek social security number (AMKA)
- Get a tax number (AFM).
Your asylum seeker’s card/smart card does not give you the right to:
- Travel outside Greece
- Bring family members to Greece
After your Registration appointment, you must stay in Greece. You must carry your asylum seeker’s card with you at all times.
Ask a legal aid organisation for advice if you have questions about your specific case.
During the interview:
Do not withhold any information or documents. At any other interviews you have, the information you provide at the Full Registration interview will be available to the person in charge of your file.
Full Registration form
The form your asylum officer will fill out during your appointment is called the “form for lodging an application for international protection.” It is reproduced below:
Form for lodging an application for international protection
Location (RAO/Asylum Unit):
Registration officer’s name:
Interpreter’s number (or name):
Language of communication:
Only in case of tele-interpretation: Do you consent in lodging your application via tele-interpretation?
Do you have a passport?
Do you have other documents proving your identity?
Do you have any kind of documents that you wish to submit?
In which language do you want the interview to be conducted?
If the application is made on behalf of dependants: Do you consent to the lodging of your application by your spouse?
Assessed nationality (-ies):
For stateless persons: Country of former habitual residence:
Ethnic origin or tribe:
Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Village or city:
Place of the last residence in the country of origin or former habitual residence:
Relationship with the primary applicant (in case the application is made on behalf of dependants):
Years of education:
Occupation in the country of origin:
In case of a married woman: Surname before marriage:
Unaccompanied minor (yes/no):
Personal details of guardian or representative in case of unaccompanied minor:
- Address in Greece:
Landline in Greece:
Mobile number in Greece:
Need for accommodation?
When did you leave your country?
Date of entry in Greece:
Do you have any medical/disability problems?
Do you receive any medical treatment?
Pregnant? How many months?
Questions concerning “Dublin III” Family Reunification
Name of spouse(s):
The surname of spouse(s):
When and where did you get married?
Where is he/she today?
If he/she is in Greece: What is her/his status?
Surname, name, gender, date of birth and location of child(ren)?
Do any of your adult children suffer from any physical or mental disability?
Your parents and sibling, where are they located today?
Do any of your relatives depend on you (pregnancy, newborn, old age, serious illness, disability)?
If they have family members in a European country: Do you wish to be reunited with any of the above relatives?
If an unaccompanied minor: Are any of your relatives (uncle, aunt, grandfather or grandmother) located in a European country?
Have you ever in the past come to Greece or another European country?
Have you ever had a visa issued by Greece or another European country? (If yes: country of issue, date of issue, date of expiry, number)
Have you applied for asylum in Greece or another European country? (If yes: in which country, when and what was the outcome)
Do you currently have a Residence Permit issued in Greece or another European country or in the past?
In case of Family Reunification under “Dublin III”: name and surname of family member present in a member state:
Date of birth:
Address in the member state:
Useful information (e.g., phone number of the relative present in the member state):
International protection application Information
State in a few words the reasons for which you do not wish to return to your country (if there are more than one reasons, please briefly mention them):
In case of SUBSEQUENT APPLICATION: Have you stated the aforementioned facts in your first application? If not, why?
Have you ever been convicted or accused of any crime? [If yes]: for which crime? In which country?
Have you been convicted?)
Do you have reasons for preferring the interview to be conducted by a male or female caseworker and interpreter of the same sex, if that is possible?
Do you have anything to add or correct?
Do you consent to the communication of information and documents you have submitted concerning your medical data to the competent authorities of other member-state for the purposes of completion of your application’s examination?
Do you consent to the communication of the decision concerning your asylum application to UNHCR?
I certify that the form was read back to me, that I agree with its content and that I was informed about my rights and obligations as well as the next steps of the procedure.
In case of registration by an EASO expert: I certify that the answers of the application to the above questions were accurately interpreted and registered.
ATTENTION: Before signing the registration form, please ensure that your personal information is written correctly because it is difficult to correct them later.