If you are under 18 years old, you are considered a child. If you travel alone without your parents or caregivers, the Greek government classifies you as an unaccompanied child or minor. In that case,  Greek authorities, including the Reception and Identification Service, the Asylum Service, and the Hellenic Police, must notify the General Secretariat for Vulnerable Citizens and Institutional Protection of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and a public Prosecutor to appoint a legal person that will be responsible for your case. This person is called "guardian". This guardian will represent you, support you throughout the asylum process, and ensure your well-being. If you are traveling with an adult relative who provides you with a sense of security, this relative may also be given responsibility for your care.

The General Secretariat for Vulnerable Citizens and Institutional Protection of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum will arrange for you to stay in special accommodation centres for minors or in other types of shelters suitable for minors. If you have siblings, you will stay with your siblings, considering what is best for your situation. Accommodation shelters are houses with multiple rooms, typically housing 15 to 40 children, with separate buildings for boys and girls unless they are under 12 years old. If you are 16 or older, you might live in supervised apartments with up to three other minors until you turn 18. If you have relatives in Greece and wish to stay with them, the authorities can transfer your care to them if it is considered the most suitable option for you.

If you are homeless or you don’t feel safe where you are staying, a special mechanism for your protection and support is available, known as the National Mechanism for Tracing and Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, managed by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

Reach out for help

If you need assistance, you can directly contact the support team of the National Mechanism:

  • Phone: Call +30 2132128888 or +30 6942773030 (available via WhatsApp and Viber) from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Saturday from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Email: Send an email to sg.vp.tracing@migration.gov.gr. The hotline offers interpretation in multiple languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, and others depending on availability. Outside these hours, you can contact the police, who will take the necessary steps for your protection.

Find more info here.

The National Mechanism will immediately arrange for you to be placed in emergency accommodation for minors.

Services provided in the Emergency accommodation

Once you are in an emergency accommodation facility, you will receive various services:

  • Psychosocial support: Help with emotional and social needs.
  • Legal support: Assistance with legal matters and your asylum procedure.
  • Medical support: Access to healthcare services.

You will stay in emergency accommodation until you are transferred to a long-term facility, where you will also be provided with the above-mentioned services.

Long-term accommodation options include shelters or Supported Independent Living (SIL) apartments. SIL apartments are available for minors over 16 years old. In these facilities, you will continue receiving material support, psychosocial care, medical services, and legal assistance.

Special Arrangements on the Islands

If you arrive on the islands of Lesvos, Leros, Samos, Chios, or Kos, you will be placed in Safe Areas within the Closed Controlled Access Centers. Here, you will receive support until you can be moved to long-term accommodation.

Asylum procedure for minors

Applying for asylum in Greece means that you are asking for protection from the Greek state because you fear harm if you return to your country.

The first step in applying for asylum is registering your application. During registration, you will need to provide your personal information and briefly explain why you are afraid to return to your country. The Asylum Service will set an interview date and will give you the asylum card, along with a number called PAAYPA (Provisional Insurance and Health Care Number), which will give you access to the public health care system. You should pay close attention to the expiry and renewal date of your card, as well as the date of your interview.

You have the right to be supported by a legal guardian, and you can also have a lawyer, or another counselor appointed as your representative. This representative can be provided by the accommodation facility, chosen by you, or appointed by a competent organization. Your guardian and/or representative will support you throughout the entire asylum procedure, help you prepare for the interview, and accompany you on the interview day.


After the interview, you will wait for the decision of the Asylum Service. If the decision is positive and you are recognized as a refugee, you will receive a residence permit and a travel document. You might receive a different kind of protection, which is called a subsidiary. In that case, you will be given a residence permit, and you may have the right to issue a travel document only if it is not possible to issue a passport from your country of origin.


If the decision is negative, you have the right to appeal against it. Your guardian and your representative will help you submit the appeal. In case you reach adulthood during this process, the Greek state is obliged to provide you with a lawyer for free to assist with the appeal.

For more information, you can also send us a message.

Joining Family in Other European Countries

If your parents or close family members are in another European country, you might be able to join them through a process called Family Reunification. Inform your guardian, social worker, or lawyer as soon as possible if you wish to pursue this. The family reunification request must be submitted within three months of your asylum application registration, and several documents will be required.


Schooling in Greece is compulsory for all children aged 4 to 15 years, including migrants and asylum-seekers. All children have the right to enroll in public schools, even without proper documentation. Greek schools, whether kindergartens, primary schools, or high schools, are required to accept all children without discrimination. You can find more information about the Greek school system here. The Greek school system may differ from what you're accustomed to.

Your guardian or representative will assist you with the enrollment process. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to send us a message.


Young people travelling alone are particularly vulnerable. Here are some tips on how to stay safe and protect yourself from abusive people:

  • If you are travelling without your family but are in contact with them, keep them informed about your location.
  • Avoid moving around alone. It is better to be in a group.
  • Keep a list of important telephone numbers (for example, your family’s) with you. Memorize the most important ones.
  • If someone not wearing an ID card or a uniform from an aid organization offers you a job, transportation or shelter, be careful. His/her intentions might not be good. Always ask people for their names and what organizations they work for. Do not go with them by yourself.
  • Avoid staying in a private house alone, especially if no one knows you are there.
  • If someone is violent or threatening you, report it to the authorities or to an aid organization immediately. They can support you.
  • If the police want to detain you, ask if you can speak to a social worker or a person working for an aid organization. If possible, ask the police to inform your family.

You can also reach other organizations to support you, receive psychosocial and legal support or request accommodation under the National Emergency Response Mechanism: