General (scope, time limits)
There are two different types of border procedures in Greece. The first will be cited here as “normal border procedure” and the second as “fast-track border procedure”. In the second case, many of the rights of asylum seekers are severely restricted, as it will be explained in the section on Fast-Track Border Procedure. Article 90 IPA establishes the border procedure, limiting its applicability to admissibility or to the substance of claims processed under an accelerated procedure.
In the “normal border procedure”, where applications for international protection are submitted in transit zones of ports or airports, asylum seekers enjoy the same rights and guarantees with those whose applications are lodged in the mainland. However, deadlines are shorter: asylum seekers have no more than 3 days for interview preparation and consultation of a legal or other counselor to assist them during the procedure and, when an appeal is lodged, its examination can be carried out at the earliest 5 days after its submission.
According to Article 66 IPA, the Asylum Service, in cooperation with the authorities operating in detention facilities and at Greek border entry points and/or civil society organisations, shall ensure the provision of information on the possibility to submit an application for international protection. Interpretation services shall also be provided to the extent that this is necessary for the facilitation of access to the asylum procedure. Organisations and persons providing advice and counselling, shall have effective access, unless there are reasons related to national security, or public order or reasons that are determined by the administrative management of the crossing point concerned and impose the limitation of such access. Such limitations must not result in access being rendered impossible.
Where no decision is taken within 28 days, asylum seekers are allowed entry into the Greek territory for their application to be examined according to the provisions concerning the Regular Procedure. During this 28-day period, applicants remain de facto in detention (see Grounds for Detention).
In practice, the abovementioned procedure is only applied in airport transit zones. In particular to people arriving at Athens International Airport – usually through a transit flight – who do not have a valid entry authorization and apply for asylum at the airport.
With a Police Circular of 18 June 2016 communicated to all police authorities, instructions were provided inter alia as to the procedure to be followed when a third-country national remaining in a detention center or a RIC wishes to apply for international protection, which includes persons subject to border procedure.
The number of asylum applications subject to the border procedure at the airport in 2021 is not available.
The personal interview at the border is conducted according to the same rules described under the regular procedure.
Where the application has been lodged at the Athens International Airport transit zone, the asylum seekers are transferred in most cases to the AAU of Amygdaleza for the full registration of their asylum application and for the interview. Consequently, no interview through video conferencing in the transit zones has come to the attention of GCR up until now.
The IPA foresees that the deadline for submitting an appeal against a first instance negative decision is 7 days. . The automatic suspensive effect of appeals depends on the type of negative decision challenged by the applicant (see Admissibility Procedure and Accelerated Procedure). For the case of applications examined under the border procedure, the derogation from automatic suspensive effect of appeals is applicable under the condition that the individual benefits from the necessary assistance of an interpreter, legal assistance and at least one week to prepare the application for leave to remain before the Appeals Committee.
In practice, in those cases where the appellant has to submit a separate request before the Appeals Committee for leave to remain in Greek territory pending the outcome of the appeal. This request is being examined by the Appeals Committee on the same day with the appeal, so there has been no issue of removal from the country until the notice of the second instance decision.
In case where the appeal is rejected, the applicant has the right to file an application for annulment before the Administrative Court (see Regular Procedure).
The law does not contain special provisions regarding free legal assistance in the border procedure. The general provisions and practical limitations regarding legal aid are also applicable here (see section on Regular Procedure).
 Article 90(1) IPA, citing Article 83(9) IPA.
 Articles 47,69, 71 and 75 IPA.
 Art. 90(2) IPA.
 Police Circular No 1604/16/1195968/18-6-2016, available in Greek at: http://bit.ly/2ngIEj6.
 Article 92(1)(c) IPA.
 Article 104(3) IPA.