Status and rights of family members


Country Report: Status and rights of family members Last updated: 10/07/24


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According to Article 22 and Article 23 Asylum Code, family members of the beneficiary of international protection who do not individually qualify for such protection are entitled to a renewable residence permit, which must have the same duration as that of the beneficiary.

However, if the family has been formed after entry into Greece and within Greece, the law requires the spouse to hold a valid residence permit at the time of entry into marriage in order to obtain a family member residence permit.[1] This requirement is difficult to meet in practice and may undermine the right to family life, since one must already have a residence permit in order to qualify for a residence permit as a family member of a refugee. The new Asylum Code allowed also partners with cohabitation agreements to obtain residence permits as refugee family members.[2] The Asylum Code as well as previous legislation requires also the family to be formed within Greek territory. This means that beneficiaries’ children that were born after their parent entered Greece but outside of Greece could not obtain a residence permit as refugee family member. Moreover, after the implementation of the previous IPA and with the new Asylum Code, underage beneficiaries of international protection can no longer apply for the issuance of a residence permit for their non-refugee parent[3]. The refugee family members that were granted a refugee family member residence permit cannot be granted a travel document of the Geneva Convention of 1951. This derives from the fact that Article 24 Asylum Code does not include refugee family members. In practice this provision has been applied only to spouses that are required to keep the travel document/passport of their country of origin.




[1] Article 23(4) Asylum Code.

[2] Ibid.

[3] E. Kagiou, & C. Katsigianni, “The issue of the issuance of residence permits to family members of beneficiaries of international protection (Law 4636/2019)”, Administrative Trial” (Dioikitiki Diki), Sakkoulas, Athens – Thessaloniki, Vol. 2/2020, June 2020, p. 243-248.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation