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06 February 2023

Mapping reception and identification services in Greece

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This article gives an overview of services provided by - and the legal framework of - the operational units of the Reception and Identification Service (RIS) in Greece. The corresponding legal papers are attached below.

The RIS was established in 2016 by Law 4375, and has as its main mission the reception and identification of third-country nationals (TCNs) or stateless persons entering Greece via unofficial, undocumented routes. Since 2020, as a result of Presidential Decree 106/2020, the RIS operates at the level of the General Secretariat, forming part of the General Secretariat for the Reception of Asylum Seekers. 

During the reception and identification process, each person's case is evaluated according to Greek law. To do so the RIS cooperates with European and international organisations active in the management of refugee and migrant flows. 

The operational units of the RIS comprise the reception and identification centres (RICs), relevant (temporary reception) facilities and the ESTIA programme. 

The RICs are reserved for TCNs or stateless persons who have entered Greek territory without the legal formalities in place, in order that they be subject to reception and identification procedures and are able to submit a request for international protection.

The temporary reception facilities are located on the mainland of the country, and provide temporary accommodation to TCNs or stateless persons who have already applied for international protection in Greece and their family members. They also host unaccompanied minors, and those belonging to vulnerable population groups.

ESTIA 21 is a housing programme for applicants for international protection, funded by the European Commission's DG HOME. The programme is run in collaboration with national, regional and local authorities, civil non-profit companies, international organisations, and other partners. It aims to ensure an adequate standard of living for applicants for international protection, providing housing and support services including food and psychosocial support. All arrangements for the programme result from Joint Ministerial Decision JMD 270/05-02-2021. 

This map provides an overview of RIS services.

Law 4375/2016 Organization and Operation of RIC
(380.23 KB - PDF)
Presidential Decree 18/2020 RIS is part of General Secretariat for the Reception of Asylum Seekers
(102.43 KB - PDF)
Presidential Decree 106/2020 RIS as a General Secretariat
(427.51 KB - PDF)
Joint Ministry Decision 270/2021 for ESTIA Program
(191.1 KB - PDF)


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Country Coordinator
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Country Coordinator

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