EU Relocation Programme
EU Relocation Programme
Description: Through the EU Relocation Programme, the International Organization for Migration in Greece (IOM) will support the Government of Greece in relocating with safety and dignity more than 65.000 asylum seekers to other EU Member States of Relocation (MSR), in compliance with the European Council Decisions 2015/1523 and 2015/1601.
Who is eligible: Beneficiaries to the Programme will be applicants in prima facie need of international protection for whom the EU average recognition rate is above 75% according to EUROSTAT’s figures of the latest three months. The applicant should have arrived on the territory of Greece between 16/09/2015 and 20/03/2016, when the agreement between EU and Turkey was signed. Special care is provided in the case of asylum seeking unaccompanied children. The choice of the relocation is always in the child’s best interest.
Relocation Procedure: Members States of Relocation (MSR) Programme forward to the Greek Asylum Service the number of asylum seekers that they are willing to welcome. Greek authorities respond by sending a list of names of the beneficiaries. IOM Greece is responsible for beneficiaries’ transfer with safety and dignity to the MSRs. Proper information provided on the relocation procedure is considered a necessary precondition for the relocation scheme to be successful.
In order to participate to the programme the individual should apply for asylum in Greek Asylum Service and go through the asylum process, including fingerprinting and other biodata collection. The asylum seeker cannot choose the relocation country. In order for the relocation to be implemented, basic criteria are taken under consideration, such as family composition and any kind of vulnerability. In case of a family, all members are relocated together ensuring family unity.
In the pre-departure phase, IOM Greece conducts health assessments to ensure that beneficiaries travel in safety. Furthermore, IOM Greece organizes one day pre-departure and cultural orientation sessions, providing information, in a language they understand, on their rights and obligations, on what to expect when they arrive as well as pre-embarkation information. IOM carries also out a pre-embarkation ‘fitness for travel’ few hours before the departure. IOM’s officers are present at the airport providing assistance during boarding while often IOM representatives accompany individuals or groups of beneficiaries through their transit points and/or final destinations. IOM staff are also present at the airport of the destination country providing first reception assistance. During all Programme phases, IOM caseworkers/cultural mediators are in contact with beneficiaries, ensuring that the process is completed smoothly.