Criteria and restrictions to access reception conditions


Country Report: Criteria and restrictions to access reception conditions Last updated: 08/06/23


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Article 59 par. 1 of the Asylum Code[1] provides that the competent authority for the reception of asylum seekers in cooperation with competent government agencies, international organisations and certified social actors shall ensure the provision of material reception conditions. These conditions must ‘secure an adequate standard of living for asylum seekers that ensures their subsistence and protects their physical and mental health, based on the respect of human dignity’. As per the same article, the same standard of living is guaranteed for asylum seekers in detention. Special care is provided for those with special reception needs.[2]

Article 44 of the Asylum Code states that during the reception and identification procedures, the Director (Διοικητής) and staff of the RIC or CCAC must ensure that third country citizens or stateless persons: a) live in decent living conditions, b) maintain their family unity, c) have access to emergency health care and necessary treatment or psychosocial support, d) receive the appropriate treatment, in case they belong to vulnerable groups, particularly if they are UAM or persons with disabilities, e) are sufficiently informed about their rights and obligations, f) have access to guidance and legal advice and assistance, g) maintain contact with institutions and civil society organisations active in the field of migration and human rights that provide legal or social assistance and h) have the right to communicate with their relatives and loved ones.

Asylum seekers are entitled to reception conditions from the time they submit an asylum application and throughout the asylum procedure. As regards children, reception conditions apply to minors, unaccompanied or not, and to separated minors, regardless of whether they have submitted an application for international protection.[3] In case of status recognition, reception conditions are terminated (with a few exceptions) within 30 days of the notification of the positive decision. In the specific case of UAM, this time limit starts counting from the time they reach adulthood.[4]

Delays in accessing reception continued to be reported in 2022, on account of chronic delays in accessing asylum on the mainland, which have intensified during the year and have persisted even after the substitution of the skype registration system with the MoMA’s new electronic platform in the summer of 2022.[5] During the months preceding the new platform becoming operational, and by contrast to temporary protection applications (which with scarce exceptions were registered in a timely manner) access to asylum from the mainland for people that hadn’t undergone first reception procedures became a near impossibility, leaving many applicants in a state of legal limbo. Yet even after the new platform became operational, delays of months in the scheduling of (asylum) registration appointments, which on several occasions were also unavailable via the new platform, continued hindering access to asylum and concomitantly reception.[6]

Most importantly, the new platform only serves the purpose of scheduling the registration of a person’s request for international protection and thus their willingness to apply for asylum. Ongoing practice by the MoMA not only fails to recognise recourse to the platform as tantamount to a person expressing their willingness to apply for asylum, but on the contrary, the attestation granted through the platform clearly states that it does not amount to proof of such willingness. As increasingly observed by GCR’s Legal Unit, this has frequently resulted in the arbitrary use of detention for the purpose of returning people who had already registered their willingness to apply for asylum via the platform. In the case of at least six individuals represented by GCR in the first months of 2023 (up to April), most of which concerned applicants from Afghanistan, competent First Instance Administrative Courts have also ruled that upon requesting the scheduling of the registration of an application for international protection via the platform, the persons concerned receive the status of an asylum applicant, as per the law. Yet as far as GCR is aware, the MoMA has yet to change this arbitrary practice.[7]

The law also foresees that the provision of all or part of the material reception conditions presupposes that asylum seekers lack employment or that their employment does not provide them with sufficient resources to maintain an adequate standard of living that is sufficient to safeguard their health and sustenance.[8] The latter is examined in proportion to the financial criteria determining eligibility for the Social Solidarity Benefit (Κοινωνικό Επίδομα Αλληλεγγύης, KEA),[9] which was renamed to Minimum Guaranteed Income (Ελάχιστο Εγγυημένο Εισόδημα) in 2020.[10] The law also provides that reception conditions can be reduced or withdrawn following an individual and justified decision by the competent reception authority, based on the full set of grounds provided under article 20 of the (recast) Reception Directive, including if it is established that the applicant concealed their financial means or if they have lodged a subsequent asylum application.[11]




[1] Law 4939/2022 (A΄ 111/10.06.2022). Ratification of Code of Legislation on the reception, international protection of third country nationals and stateless persons and the temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced aliens abolished with its articles 148 articles 1 – 112 and 114 of former L. 4636/2019 on international protection.

[2] Article 59(1) Asylum Code.

[3] Article 37(1) and 62(3) Asylum Code.

[4] Article 109 Asylum Code.

[5] MoMA, ‘Launch of the online application platform for asylum seeker registration appointments’, 13 July 2022, available in Greek at: For more on the skype system, see MIT, Lives on Hold: Access to Asylum on Mainland Greece, Crete and Rhodes, November 2021, available at: MIT, Blocked from the system: Voices of people excluded from the asylum procedure on mainland Greece, Crete and Rhodes, May 2022, MIT, Statement on new registration asylum procedure, 1st September 2022, available at:

[6] For more, see GCR, Oxfam & Save the Children, Greece: A two-tier refugee system, May 2022, available at:, and GCR, Oxfam & Save the Children, Bimonthly Bulletins on Refugees and Migrants for July and October 2022, available at and For more on the skype system, see MIT, Lives on Hold: Access to Asylum on Mainland Greece, Crete and Rhodes, November 2021, available at: MIT, Blocked from the system: Voices of people excluded from the asylum procedure on mainland Greece, Crete and Rhodes, May 2022, MIT, ‘Statement on new registration asylum procedure’, 1st September 2022, available at:

[7] Also see GCR, ‘The detention of asylum seekers, to whom the Ministry of Migration & Asylum does not recognise the status of applicant, is again deemed illegal’, 21 March 2023, available in Greek at:

[8] Article 59(3) Asylum Code.

[9] Article 235 L 4389/2016.

[10] Article 29 L. 4659/2020.

[11] Article 61 Asylum Code.

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