This is applicable for people who arrived before 20 March 2016.

The Relocation Program of the European Union concerns the transfer of persons who require international protection (asylum and subsidiary protection) from one member state of the European Union to another. It is a European mechanism for responding to the refugee crisis, the aim of which is the fairer distribution of asylum seekers in the member States of the European Union.

Q1. Who qualifies for relocation?

A: The relocation mechanism will only apply to those nationals who come from a country with an average EU-wide asylum recognition rate equal to or higher than 75 per cent, on the basis of EUROSTAT data for the previous quarter. According to EASO, the eligible countries as of the 1st April, 2017 are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, British overseas countries and territories, Eritrea, Grenada, Guatemala, Syria and Yemen or a stateless person previously residing in one of these countries. Please note that persons who arrived in Greece after the 20 March 2016, are not eligible for relocation.

Q2. What are the next steps after full registration for relocation cases?

A: The Asylum Service will examine your application, and if you are eligible for the EU relocation program, your application will be sent to another EU Member State for consideration. If you are accepted for relocation you will be notified about the destination, accommodation and transportation details. Those who qualify for the EU relocation program will be offered temporary accommodation before leaving Greece after the full registration process.

Q3. What are the differences between the Family Reunification (Dublin) cases and those of nationals eligible for Relocation?

A: Family Reunification is available only for members of a nuclear family (spouse and minor children), where all family members’ asylum applications will be examined by the same member state. Relocation candidates are transferred to another member state for the examination of their asylum application, but do not have the chance to choose to which country they will be relocated.

Q4. What if I want to go to a specific country such as Germany, Sweden or France, but I have been offered relocation to another country?

A: You cannot choose the country to which you will be relocated. However, if you are offered a place in the relocation scheme in another country and you refuse to go, your application for international protection will be examined in Greece. You will have to state your refusal at the moment of the notification of the decision by the Asylum Service.

Q5. What happens if I refuse relocation or if the destination country does not accept the request for relocation?

A: If you refuse relocation, or if the destination country refuses the request for relocation, you will be able to remain in Greece while your asylum application is examined in Greece. If you refused to go the country offered to you, you cannot choose another country. You may be asked to vacate the accommodation, apartment or a hotel provided by UNHCR, as after refusing the relocation country, as your accommodation will not be supported.

Q6. I am from Iraq. Can I be relocated?

A: Iraqis who have entered Greece before 20 March 2016 and had been pre-registered before 16 June 2016 are eligible for relocation. Iraqis who entered Greece before 20 March 2016 and were pre-registered after 16 June 2016 may be eligible for relocation, based on the date of entry in Greece mentioned on their police note. Iraqis who have entered Greece after 16 June 2016 are not be eligible for relocation. The 16th of June is the day on which European governments were informed that less than 75 per cent of Iraqis are granted international protection in Europe on average.

Q7. I thought the Government would provide me with an apartment or hotel room after pre-registration or registration.

A: Those who qualify for the EU relocation program will temporarily be offered accommodation before they leave Greece after the full registration process, if you are recognized as a relocation candidate. Everyone else can live in one of the open accommodation sites in the mainland that are managed by the Government. UNHCR is providing temporary accommodation also to vulnerable asylum seekers, on a case by case basis following an individual assessment and based on available accommodation places.

Q8. Can I choose the legal pathway I prefer during the full registration – relocation versus Dublin family reunification?

A: No, you cannot. The eligibility criteria for relocation or family reunification are pre-defined by the details of your particular case. The Asylum Service will make the most reasonable decision.

For more information about the Relocation Program, refer to the Asylum Service.