Rights and obligations of recognised refugees

After being granted international protection in Greece (as a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection) you will be provided with a Residence Permit that is valid for three years under refugee status or one plus two years under subsidiary protection beneficiary status. Your Residence Permit may be renewed. You have the right to apply for travel documents .

You will have access to work, education, social welfare and medical care under the same terms and conditions as Greek citizens. 

If you are granted refugee status, you can apply for family reunification under certain criteria. Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection do not have this right.

The Ministry of Migration and Asylum provides detailed information about international protection in Greece here.

If you are granted refugee or subsidiary protection status in Greece:

  • You will receive a residence permit  that is valid for three years under refugee status and one plus two years under subsidiary protection beneficiary status. The Asylum Service approves the issuance of residence permits, which are printed by the Hellenic Police. 
  • You can apply for a travel document that allows you to visit other countries as a tourist. You cannot stay in another European country for more than 90 calendar days within a six-month period.
  • You can apply for a long-term residence permit after you complete 5 years οf legal and continuous stay in the country and if you meet all additional requirements provided by the law.
  • You will have access to a full range of educational services including schools, universities, and vocational training programmes on the same terms and conditions as Greek citizens.
  • You have the right to work as a freelance professional or open your own business provided you fulfil the additional requirements in place for the exercise of each separate profession .
  • You have access to welfare benefits given that you meet all relevant requirements provided by the law.
  • If you are a recognised refugee, you have the right to be reunited with your family members who are in your country of origin or in another third country. If you are a subsidiary protection beneficiary, you do not have this right.
  • If you have been granted international protection in Greece, you have lived continuously and legally in the country for at least 7 years and you meet relevant social integration requirements as provided by the law, you can apply for Greek citizenship (naturalization procedure). If you have children born in Greece and having completed primary/and or secondary education in Greece, they may qualify for Greek citizenship under other applicable provision of relevant legislation. 

Last update: 26/01/2021