*The following process also applies to Ukrainian nationals that have been rejected and haven’t obtained the Temporary Protection status.
During your asylum process, you are staying in Greece legally, and you cannot be deported. The Greek Asylum Service must first clarify whether there is a need to provide you with international protection.
Please note that the law does not protect you from deportation when you submit a subsequent asylum application unless it is found admissible and you are invited for a new interview. The same applies to cases examined under the accelerated or border procedure. You have the right to submit an application before the Appeals Authority and request to be granted your stay in the country until a second instance decision is issued. If you receive a final rejection of your asylum claim (after your appeal, or if you do not appeal against a first negative decision within the deadline), your status in Greece will not be legal. Your asylum seeker card will be taken, and you will not have access to accommodation and cash assistance.
At this point, if the police stop you, you will likely be detained.
When does deportation happen?
When you arrive in Greece, if you don’t express the wish to apply for asylum during your Registration and Identification Procedure, the Reception and Identification Service will refer you to the Police, where deportation procedures start.
The Police will then transfer you to the nearest deportation center, where they will keep you in detention until the time comes for your deportation.
Pre-removal centers are located in the following areas:
- Tavros, Athens (Petrou Ralli)
- Paranesti, Drama
- Evros (Fylakio)
What happens if I get a negative decision and my appeal is unsuccessful?
According to the regular asylum procedure, If your first instance asylum decision is negative and your appeal is unsuccessful,, you risk getting detained under police custody and deported back to your country of origin. In some exceptional cases, there is the possibility of being given a deadline to leave the country. If that is the case, the deadline will be mentioned at the end of the negative decision.
When does readmission happen?
If you have arrived in Greece from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia or Syria from Turkey, there is a chance that you will get readmitted back to Turkey if you receive a final negative decision. Readmission can also occur for persons arriving in Greece via Albania or Northern Macedonia, regardless of your country of origin. In this case, in case of a negative decision, you might get readmitted to Albania or Northern Macedonia, provided that these countries are safe for you.
How does deportation or readmission take place?
After the negative decisions are announced, you will be taken to a pre-removal detention center. Detention there could last up to 18 months. The deportation and readmission decisions, as well as the detention decision, can be challenged before the Greek Administrative courts. You will need a lawyer for this procedure, so make sure to contact a legal aid organization or UNHCR employees (UNHCR cannot provide legal aid, but visit most pre-removal detention centres and might be able to provide information on active legal aid organizations in the specific area).
During your detention, you have the following rights:
- to be visited by relatives and your lawyer. Friends can bring any clothes or money you may need and give them to the police to hand them to you
- to consult a lawyer and have legal assistance
- to have access to telephone
- to have access to medical services and ask for a doctor
- to have daily access to a courtyard area
- to have your own separate bed, free personal hygiene items (shampoo, toothpaste, sanitary towels) and clean sheets and blankets
- if you are a woman, to be held separately from any men unless they are your family members and you consent to be together
- to be treated with respect. Ill-treatment of detainees, as well as any behaviour or act of racism, discrimination or xenophobia, is forbidden by law
If you are being deported - there is a list of flights departing for various countries every week. The police will announce when it is your turn to depart for your country of origin.
If you are being readmitted – at the moment (since March 2020), no readmissions are made to Turkey. It is unclear when they will resume. Previously, there have been boats leaving for Turkey regularly, and the police would announce when it was someone's turn to be readmitted.