Access to international protection (asylum) procedure system is free of charge.
You must submit your application in person to one of the Regional Asylum Offices or Asylum Units. You may also submit applications for members of your family, provided that they are also in Greece and that they wish to do so. They will also have to come to the Asylum Service with you. Due the large number of persons who wishes to submit an application you may not be able to actually submit you application if you present yourself to the Asylum Service. Therefore, you might book an appointment for the submission of your application (full registration) via Skype (how to book an appointment via Skype). During your skype call your photograph will be taken and you will be asked to provide some personal information (e.g. name, surname, etc) in order for the Asylum Service to be able to identify you the day you present yourself to receive your applicant’s card or the day of your appointment to submit your application.
In case you cannot communicate with the Asylum Service staff, during the procedure of submitting your application, an interpreter will be present in order to assist you. When submitting your application, you will have to answer to all questions the Asylum Service staff asks you with absolute truthfulness. If you provide false evidence or make false claims, this is going to have a negative effect on the decision of your application.
If you are an unaccompanied minor, i.e. if you are under 18 years old and you are not accompanied by an adult person who is responsible of looking after you, according to the Greek law, the Authorities must immediately notify the competent Public Prosecutor (District Attorney). The Public Prosecutor will appoint a representative (guardian) who will be responsible for you and will act in your best interest. If you are under 15 years old your application for international protection must be submitted by the appointed representative. If you are over 15 years old, you may submit your application yourself. The authorities will care for your protection and your accommodation in a facility suitable for minors. When you submit your application for international protection, you will be photographed and you will be fingerprinted. Any members of your family who are over 14 years old, will also be fingerprinted. Your fingerprints will be entered into the European Central Database EURODAC and, in case you have submitted an application for international protection in another European state where the ‘Dublin III’ Regulation is in force, you might be transferred there for the examination of your application.
You will have to hand in your travel documents (passport) or any other document you may have in your possession and is relevant to the examination of your application, the verification of your’s and your family members’ identity, your country and place of origin, as well as your family status. You may be body searched and your personal belongings may be searched. You may be submitted to medical examinations. The Asylum Service will determine a date for your interview and then you will receive your international protection applicant’s card which may be valid for up to six months. You must carry this card with you at all times. When you submit your application, the Asylum Service staff must inform you, in a language that you understand, about the procedure, your rights and obligations while being an international protection applicant, as well as the deadlines that apply throughout the procedure.
If you are a victim of torture, rape or any other serious violent act, you must inform the Asylum Service staff so that they can provide you with assistance. You may ask to come into contact with 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 support of a lawyer or other counselor of your choice (without mediation by the Asylum Service). The fee and expenses of the lawyer or other counselor will be completely at your own cost. If you wish, you may be provided with a short period of time in order to appropriately prepare for your interview and be advised by a lawyer or other counselor with the aim of receiving support during the procedure. You may request the interview and the interpretation services provided during the interview to be conducted by a person of the gender you prefer, if there are valid reasons for such a request. Your request will be assessed by the Asylum Service and it will be satisfied if possible.
If you are an unaccompanied minor, you will be informed by your representative regarding your interview. Your representative will be invited and he/she may be with you during the interview. The authorities may conduct medical tests in order to determine your age. Both you and your representative must be informed regarding this procedure and you or your representative must consent.
.: Dublin III