*The following process also applies to Ukrainian nationals that have been rejected and haven’t obtained the Temporary Protection status.
You can use this article to learn more about the process of renewing your Residence Permit in Greece, including:
- How and when to apply for renewal of your Residence Permit
- What to do if your Residence Permit is about to expire
- What can you do if the renewal of your Residence Permit is delayed
The Greek Asylum Service has confirmed to Refugee.Info that renewing Residence Permits may take longer than expected — sometimes more than six months. This means that some of you may be left with expired Residence Permits, which you can’t use to verify your ID or to access public services like unemployment offices and Citizen Service Centers (KEPs). For this reason, a certification will be issued to you with six month validity period, which, together with your expired ID, can ensure access to services temporarily.
How to renew your Residence Permit
Find below briefly the stages and the steps for the renewal of residence permits of recognized refugees or persons granted subsidiary protection:
- Stage 1st: 2-3 months before the residence permit expiration, the holder of the residence permit must fill in the application form for the renewal online and send it along with one digital passport photo by email to email@example.com. After lodging your application, you can request a certification that your application is pending issued by the Asylum Service. Depending on the workload of the Regional Asylum Office, you might receive the certificate immediately or be asked to go back in some days. You can still use your expired ID with this certification until the issuance of your new ID and for a maximum of 6 months.
- Stage 2nd: When the decision for the residence permit renewal is ready, the person will receive an email from the Asylum Service with instructions and the documents they have to have with them at the appointment with the Police.
- Stage 3rd: The person must book an appointment with the competent police department according to their address.
- Stage 4th: On the day of the appointment, the person should present themselves to the Police station along with the required documents. Then they have to wait for the residence permit to be issued.
- Stage 5th: When the residence permit is ready, you must book an appointment with the competent asylum office to collect it.
The Greek Asylum Service asks residence permit holders to renew them online. They suggest starting this process at least three months before your Residence Permit expires.
You should regularly check the email address you declared in your application as you will receive an email when the decision to renew the residence permit is ready. Check also the SPAM folder in your Gmail account.
After you are informed that the decision to renew your residence permit is ready, you should book an appointment with the competent Police Department to give your fingerprints and photos again. After this procedure, you will have to wait for the residence permit to be issued. Some people get a renewed Residence Permit within a month or two. For others, the process takes much longer.
When and why do delays happen?
The Greek Asylum Service explained to Refugee.Info that delays are due to heavy administrative workloads, especially at the Regional Asylum Offices in Attica.
For each Residence Permit renewal application, staff members must consult several other authorities, including the Police and the Ministry of Administrative Reconciliation, the Asylum Service said.
“For a large number of cases, police authorities need to run an international criminal record check, which takes time,” a Greek Asylum Service official said.
What if the interim certificate also expires?
If more than two months have passed and you still haven’t received your new Residence Permit, you need to go back to the Regional Asylum Service and ask what caused the delay.
Depending on the case, the Greek Asylum Service may issue you a new certificate stating that your Residence Permit renewal is pending. This certificate will be valid for two months.
Are public authorities accepting the interim certificate and an expired Residence Permit?
Although they should, there is still a lot of confusion about this in Greek public services.
The Greek Asylum Service told Refugee.Info that they had sent a formal request to relevant ministries, authorities and organizations, asking them to accept the interim certificate as valid.
According to Greek Asylum officials, they still haven’t received any confirmation that all public authorities, including the Greek Unemployment Authority (OAED) and KEP offices, will accept the certificates.
The Greek Asylum Service assume that most authorities accept the interim certificate and an expired Residence Permit as valid ID simply because they have received fewer complaints from refugees reporting the opposite.