Withdrawal of protection status

Greece

Country Report: Withdrawal of protection status Last updated: 10/06/21

Author

Greek Council for Refugees Visit Website

Withdrawal of refugee status is provided under Article 14 of the IPA, where the person:

  • Ceases to be a refugee according to Article 11 of the IPA
  • Should have been excluded from refugee status according to Article 12 of the IPA;
  • The use of false or withheld information, including the use of false documents, was decisive in the grant of refugee status;
  • Is reasonably considered to represent a threat to national security; or
  • Constitutes a threat to society following a final conviction for a particularly serious crime.

The Asylum Service issued a Circular on 26 January 2018, detailing the application of the ground relating to threat to society following a final conviction for a particularly serious crime.[1]

According to the practice followed since the mid-2020, the Police places arbitrarily beneficiaries of international protection under administrative detention on public order grounds and then asks from the Asylum Service to revoke their status on the ground that they face criminal charges, regardless of the nature and the stage of the attributed illegal act. Thus, recognized refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection remain arbitrarily detained until the Asylum Service finally replies to the Police if there are grounds to examine the revocation of the status of international protection. However, the detention of beneficiaries of international protection is illegal as it is not prescribed within the national legislation (See: General).

It is noted that in case of revocation, individuals have the right to submit an administrative appeal within 30 days and in case of rejection, they may lodge an Application for Annulment before the competent Administrative Court within 30 days. Moreover, according to article 94 (4) IPA, if an appeal is submitted against a decision of revocation of Article 14 IPA the residence permit is returned to the appellant.

In a case handled by GCR during 2020, the Asylum Service informed a beneficiary of international protection, a stateless person of Palestinian origin, that the procedure of revocation of his refugee status was initiated on the ground that he issued a Palestinian Authority travel document after his recognition as a refugee and thus the article 11(1) (a) of the IPA should be applied.[2]  After the submission of a statement to the Asylum Service by GCR, the Asylum Service decided not to revoke the status on the grounds that, as it was mentioned in the statement, a) the Palestinian Authority passport cannot be considered as a “national passport” and thus its holder cannot be considered as a “Palestinian citizen” and b) article 11(1)(a) IPA cannot be applied in cases of stateless persons.

Moreover, in December 2020 the Appeals Committee started scheduling the examination of appeals submitted in the years 2016-2018 against decisions of revocation issued by the Hellenic Police in the framework of the so called “old procedure”. It is noted that those individuals have no access to the labor market or national health care system since their residence permits were revoked. GCR has filed a complaint to the Greek Ombudsman for two similar cases of status revocation within the old procedure.

Under Article 19 of the IPA, subsidiary protection may be withdrawn where it is established that the person should have been excluded or has provided false information, or omitted information, decisive to the grant of protection.

The procedure described in Cessation is applicable to withdrawal cases.

On 12 April 2021 the Asylum Service issued a new circular providing clarifications on the procedure regarding the provision of an opinion on the grounds of exclusion and revocation of the status of international protection prescribed by article 91 IPA, as well as the renewal of residence permits (art. 24 IPA).[3]

 

 

[1]  Asylum Service, Circular 1/2018 of 26 January 2018, available in Greek at: http://bit.ly/2rPEkhb.

[2] Decision of file with the author.

[3]  Ministry of Migration and Asylum, 3716/12-4-21, “Διευκρινίσεις – ορισμός διαδικασίας σχετικά με την παροχή γνώμης περί συνδρομής ή μη συνδρομής λόγων αποκλεισμού, την ανάκληση καθεστώτος διεθνούς προστασίας του αρ. 91 ν.4636/2019, καθώς και την ανανέωση των αδειών διαμονής του αρ. 24 ν.4636/2019, μετά τη θέση σε ισχύ του ΠΔ 106/2020”, available in Greek at:https://bit.ly/3niHX8J

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