Your asylum interview is very important. At this interview, Greece will determine if you will receive refugee status or subsidiary protection or if you will be denied asylum. Depending on your country of origin, there is a possibility that the authorities will first assess if Greece is responsible for assessing your application. It is, thus, important to prepare what you will say.
*The following process also applies to Ukrainian nationals who haven’t obtained Temporary Protection status and applied for international protection.
During your interview
During your interview you have the following rights:
- You can consult a lawyer to help you prepare for the interview.
- If you are vulnerable and your interview is scheduled within 15 days from the submission of your asylum application, you can ask for up to 3 days to prepare your interview. If your interview is scheduled for a date longer than 15 days after the submission of your asylum application, you will not be allowed to have these 3 days to prepare.
- You can ask to postpone the appointment only if there are major health issues to prove that you cannot present on the day of your interview. In this case, you will need relevant documents to prove this. In this case, you cannot ask for three additional days to prepare. We advise you to seek legal assistance and preparation for your interview as soon as possible.
- You can have your lawyer, psychologist or social worker with you during the interview.
- You have the right to ask for another interpreter if you feel that the interpreter that has been assigned doesn’t provide the appropriate interpretation.
- If you are a woman, you can ask the interview to be done by a woman officer of the asylum service and a woman translator.
- Make sure to ask for any clarification if the question is not clear to you by the interviewer.
- You can ask for a break or water if you feel tired.
- You can ask for a copy of your interview, once it is finished.
Admissibility and Eligibility interviews
Depending on the country you entered Greece from and your nationality, you might have to go through two separate interviews or a merged one. Specifically, if you entered from Turkey, Albania or North Macedonia and your country of origin is Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, the Asylum Service will first try to establish whether Greece is responsible for examining your application (admissibility assessment) and if they decide positively, then they will assess your personal story and whether you should be granted international protection status (eligibility assessment). In addition to the questions below, when examining admissibility, you will be asked about the duration of your stay in Turkey, Albania, or North Macedonia and any violent or traumatizing incidents that have occurred during your journey and stay in these countries, which put your life in danger while residing there and could cause again such danger in case you would be returned there. Make sure to provide as many details as possible regarding such incidents to assist in the assessment of whether these countries could be considered safe for you to live there or not.
Telling your story
Tell your story truthfully and in detail. Write it down before your interview to help you remember.
- Dates and times of the events that forced you to leave your country
- Places where these events happened
- People involved in these events
Be prepared to answer detailed questions. For example: If you were a car mechanic, the interviewer may ask you the names of specific car pieces in your mother tongue or the name of the neighborhood where you had a shop, if this information is relevant to your asylum claim.
Provide all relevant information about your asylum claim. That includes information about:
- Why you left your country
- Why you cannot return to your country
- How you came to Europe
Clearly explain any persecution you face at home. Explain clearly why you fear persecution because of your:
- Political opinion
- Membership in a particular social group
Questions the Asylum Service asks
You will be asked questions related to the information in your application, including:
- Your identity
- How you came to Greece
- The reasons you left your country of origin (or the country where you used to live, if you are a stateless person)
- The reasons you cannot or do not wish to return to that country
- Your family members
- Your ethnic group
- Whether you were in the military or any other fighting group in your home country
- Whether you have documents showing that you served in the military
- Whether you are sympathetic to any fighting group
- Your religious background
- Where in Europe you would like to go
- Your educational background
- Whether you are willing to return to your country when the war is over
- Any health issues you have and any health issues in your family
- Whether you are sending money to family members or any family members are sending money to you
- Languages you speak
- Your past jobs
What to bring
Bring all the official identity documents you have.
- Your Registration card
- Your police note, or “kharti”
- Your passport or any other ID card, if you have them
Bring all the documents you brought with you from home or that you got throughout your journey.
- Family book
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Military books
- Educational diplomas
- Language school certificates
You should bring any documents that support your claim during your interview.
- Letters and emails from friends
- Medical reports
- Police reports
- Newspaper articles
- Facebook posts
- WhatsApp messages
- Transport tickets
Bring hard copies or clear photographs or scans of your documents. The Greek Asylum Service does not accept original documents or electronic copies.
Do not bring any family members’ original documents, either. If you bring others’ Registration cards, the Asylum Service may take them away, as part of its strategy for stopping black market sales.