*The following process also applies to Ukrainian nationals that have been rejected and haven’t obtained the Temporary Protection status.
After your interview, the Greek Asylum Service will decide whether to grant you asylum or subsidiary protection or to reject your application. All appeals are "examined" by the Appeals Authority in Athens. Unless you are summoned explicitly by the Appeals Authority, there will be no further interview. Still, you must present yourself before the Appeals Authority on the day of the examination of your appeal unless you reside in a first reception or accommodation facility or have geographical restrictions. In these two cases, you have to submit a certificate of residence to the Appeal Authority in due time (the latest three days before the day of the discussion of your appeal) or be represented by an authorized lawyer.
What can I do if the Greek authorities reject my asylum application?
If the Greek authorities reject your asylum application, you have the right to appeal — but you must act quickly. Caution! The number of days you can appeal (deadline) starts from the day of the notification of the decision (meaning the day you get the decision).
On the mainland of Greece
The deadline to appeal your asylum decision is usually 30 days from the day the Greek Asylum Service notifies you of its decision if your asylum file is processed with the normal procedure and you are on the mainland in Greece. If your file is processed with the fast-track procedure, the deadline to appeal is 20 days from the day the Greek Asylum Service notifies you of the decision.
Caution! The 30- days-deadline starts from the day of the notification of the decision. The notification of the decision can be done in one of the following ways:
- In-person to you at the Asylum Service.
- By post to your residence or work address or your lawyer, authorized advisor or representative.
- To the email address, you gave to the First Reception Service or the Asylum Service or the email address given by your lawyer, authorized advisor or representative.
- You will have access through an online account through an application managed by the Asylum Service.
On the Greek islands
- you have ten days to appeal if you get a negative answer after an admissibility interview.
- You have ten days to appeal if you get a negative decision after an eligibility interview.
Both the mainland and the islands
If you have been notified of a decision to be transferred to another EU member state according to Dublin Regulation and do not wish to be transferred, the deadline for the appeal is 15 days.
If the decision is issued while the reception and identification procedure has not yet been completed, the deadline for the appeal will be 10 days.
If you have submitted a subsequent asylum application, and this application is rejected as inadmissible, the deadline for the appeal is five days.
Note: Non-working days are also counted, but you might have an extra day if the last day of your deadline falls on a non-working day. To be sure you don't miss the deadline, submit your appeal as soon as possible.
The Greek Asylum Service should notify you of its decision in a language you understand, using your contact information.
The deadline to appeal will be printed on your rejection notice. Always check the deadline for the decision. If it is unclear to you, ask the person serving you the decision for clarification or contact a legal NGO as soon as possible.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ASK FOR A LAWYER AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THE NEGATIVE DECISION as it is a complicated procedure, and the Asylum Service is obliged to provide legal aid at this stage.
If you do not appeal within the deadline and do not have a legal document allowing you to stay in the country, Greek authorities may start deporting you.
Appeals against the first instance negative decision
If you don't have a lawyer following your case, or if the lawyer that supported you for the asylum interview can't represent you, you must request a lawyer from Greek Asylum Office. You have the right to free legal aid from the Greek State during appeals. This can be done at any time up to 5 days before the examination of the request. You can do so, even if you submitted your appeal by yourself within these five days and decide later that you want to be represented by a free lawyer. By expressing this request, the Greek Asylum Service must appoint a lawyer. There will be ONLY ONE appointment (via skype) to discuss your case and add any new information to support your claim. This can be done at any time up to 5 days before the appeal examination.
When you appeal, an appeals committee will hear your case. Three Greek administrative court judges sit on the committee. You must present yourself before the Appeals Authority in Athens on the day of your appeal hearing. Otherwise, your appeal will be rejected as unfounded.
If you cannot present yourself before the Appeals Authority in Athens and you have a lawyer, you can sign an authorization for them to represent you before the Appeals Authority.
If you are living in an official refugee site or an NGO's accommodation program and you cannot present yourself before the Appeals Authority in Athens, you can ask the Head of the site to provide you with a certificate of personal appearance (ΒΕΒΑΙΩΣΗ ΑΥΤΟΠΡΟΣΩΠΗΣ ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΗΣ) that you are continuing living there. This certificate must be dated three days maximum before the hearing, and it must be sent to the Appeals Authority the latest 1 day before the hearing.
In case you have a movement restriction, or you are obliged to stay in a particular area of Greece, and, because of that, you cannot go to Athens to present yourself before the Appeals Authority, you can either authorize a lawyer to represent you or ask for a certificate of personal appearance (ΒΕΒΑΙΩΣΗ ΑΥΤΟΠΡΟΣΩΠΗΣ ΕΜΦΑΝΙΣΗΣ) from the closest Police Station or KEP. Here you can find the application you will submit to KEP or Police Station and the template of the certificate they will issue. This certificate should be sent to the Appeals Authority the latest one day before the hearing for the appeal, and its date cannot be older than two days before the hearing.
If you cannot present yourself before the Appeals Authority in Athens due to an illness or a force majeure situation, your obligation to present yourself before the Appeals Authority is suspended. In that case, you must submit an application explaining the reasons that prevent you from going to the Appeals Authority as soon as possible, attaching all the relevant documents that prove your claim. Official documents from a public authority must prove the events that prevent you from going to Appeals Authority. If your claim is accepted, you will not face the consequences of not presenting yourself before the Appeals Authority.
The appeals committee has 12 days to 50 days approximately to decide on your case, depending on the procedure the Asylum Service follows for your case.
You will probably be informed about the decision to renew your asylum card when you go to the Asylum Service. Sometimes the Asylum Service may call you and tell you about the decision.
Recently, the Asylum Service has started sending the decisions by post. So, always update your contact information with the Asylum Service.
After your appeal is rejected, you have two options: submit an Application for Annulment or Submit a Subsequent Application for international protection.
Submit an Application of Annulment (cancellation)
You have the right to appeal this decision by submitting an application of annulment (cancellation) before the competent Administrative Court of First Instance within thirty (30) days. The deadline starts on the next day of the notification of your decision. The annulment application does not have an automatic suspensive effect, meaning that your removal from the country is possible from the first day of the notification of the decision that rejected your appeal. To appeal before the Court, you will need a lawyer. There is the possibility of providing free legal aid from the State. You have to submit an application before the competent Administrative Court of First Instance (in Greek), which requests the provision of a lawyer by the State and not to pay the fees required for filing applications of annulment and the application of suspension (legal aid). Along with your application, you must submit any document proving that you have a low income, for example, a last year's tax return, unemployment card, etc. You will need a lawyer as it is a court procedure.
Find below the required documents you must submit for free legal aid:
- A copy of the decision of the Appeals Authority and the proof of service of it.
- Copies of a recent tax declaration and tax return note (ekkatharistko) or a certificate of the Head of the Tax Office that you are not obliged to submit a tax declaration.
- Copy of the statement of real estate data (E9) (or, in case you have no obligation to submit such statement, a solemn declaration stating that you don’t own real estate and, therefore, you are not obliged to submit a statement of real estate data (E9)
- Certificates of social welfare services
- Proof of residence or domicile (house contract or solemn declaration of the person hosting you)
Submit a Subsequent Application for international protection.
If you have received a second instance decision rejecting your appeal issued by the Appeal’s Authority and you do not wish to take your case to court, if you missed the deadline for submitting an application of annulment before the court or if your application for annulment has been rejected, you can apply again for asylum, by lodging a subsequent application.
- You will be informed about the date of your appointment with the lawyer representing you by the Asylum Service.
- The appointments are, as a rule, short in duration, so make sure to have gone through your case and gathered the questions you would like to ask.
- You must have all the documents related to your case together at the appointment with your lawyer.
- The lawyer should inform you what the next steps will be.