Guide for Ukrainian refugees

For the convenience of Ukrainian refugees, as well as their relatives seeking help and assistance before or after their arrival in Greece the most frequently asked questions are collected, grouped and answered below.

For the answers in Ukrainian click here »
Для української мови, натисніть тут »

The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum has activated four different communication channels provided in Greek, Ukrainian and English:

  1. The official information portal: https://migration.gov.gr/ukraine/
  2. The call center help desk (Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00)+30 213 1629600
  3. E-mail: ukraine@migration.gov.gr
  4. The humanitarian aid platform “Help Ukraine” for organizations and individuals wishing to provide help: https://migration.gov.gr/helpukraine/

Please take valid travel and medical documents with you. However, you should be able to enter the EU even without these.

All EU countries bordering Ukraine are allowing those fleeing the war, including children, to enter on humanitarian grounds.

If you have Ukrainian nationality or are a beneficiary of international protection residing Ukraine and have a biometric passport, you can enter the EU by presenting your passport at the border. For all other cases, EU Member States will admit you on humanitarian grounds.

If you have another nationality, subject to visa requirements to enter the EU, you should present your short-stay visa if you have one. If you do not have a short-stay visa, EU Member States should still allow you to enter, with a view to facilitate your repatriation to your country of origin.

In view of the current situation in Ukraine, EU Member States may carry out border checks at the borders but also at a different, safe locations away from the border. The checks can be carried out during or after your transport to that safe location. You may be required to remain available to the authorities in that safe location while they conduct the checks.

Irrespective of your nationality, you are entitled to immediate assistance and immediate information about your rights. This includes temporary shelter and the fulfilment of your basic needs such as food and medicine. Further rights may vary, depending on the status you will receive in the EU.

Police and other administrative checks are possible at any moment including within the territories of the Member States for security and migration purposes. It is important to cooperate and provide the required documents and information to police, border guards or other competent authorities. In certain circumstances, you may be required to remain available to the authorities during these checks in designated facilities.

If you have fled the war in Ukraine, you will be able to travel to other EU countries. For Ukrainians, this right comes from the visa free regime in place between the EU and Ukraine. If you come from a third country, you need to check whether your country of origin is on the list of countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa requirement.

Yes, Ukrainians or nationals from other visa free countries can continue and travel to other EU/Schengen countries. However, if you crossed the EU border for the first time through a country that is not part of the EU area without internal border control (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland) your documents will be checked again at the border crossing point of the next Schengen country.

Since the beginning of the war, several European transport companies have been offering free transport, including rail, bus, ferry, and air travel. A list of the carriers involved is available here.

As far as Greece is concerned, from May 18th, transportation to Athens and Thessaloniki is free of charge for 90 days with the following procedures:

Athens:

The OASA Group from the 18th of May 2022, announced that war refugees from Ukraine residing in the Region of Attica, acquire the right of full exemption from the payment of a fare in public transport under the responsibility of the Group with a validity of 90 days.

Beneficiaries can issue personalized ATH.ENA card electronic mobility cards from the OASA Group ticket offices that have a special device for issuing personalized cards.

In order to to get the right to a free fare you will need:

  1. TaxisNet codes for accreditation /entry into the application
  2. the personalized ATH.ENA card
  3. the 8-digit Pin code of ATH.ENA card

If you have not purchased a personalized card, you must do so beforehand, otherwise you will not be able to continue the procedure.

The 8-digit Pin code won’t be saved, but will simply only be used to verify your card.

After entering the app with your TaxisNet credentials, the free fare request process is summarized in the following 4 simple steps:

  1. register your card
  2. verify your card
  3. choose the free fare category you apply for from the available ones: Unemployed OAED or Unemployed GEN or Disabled or Refugees from Ukraine
  4. activate the free fare by stating your consent

Thessaloniki: OASTH provides free quarterly travel passes for travel for Ukrainian war refugees, for transportation by bus.

A stand was installed at Pavilion 2 at the TIF (Thessaloniki International Fair), where basic necessities are collected and then applications for the granting of the cards are made available to the displaced Ukrainian refugees, as well as their issue.

In order to submit the application and then receive the card, Ukrainian refugees must have with them the Temporary Protection Residence Permit or, alternatively, the passport with which they entered Greece after 24 February.

OASTH employees are at Pavilion 2 until May 31st daily, from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in order to receive the applications and deliver the cards, which will be valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

From June 1st, the relevant procedure will take place at the offices of OASTH, at 90 Alexandrou Papanastasiou Street, on the ground floor.

In addition, OASTH gives the opportunity for the electronic submission of the application, at the address cards.oasth.gr, where the applicant will select HELEXPO as the point of receipt by May 31st.

Yes. Once you enter a country that is part of the Schengen area, you can in principle travel without border checks, to other countries of the Schengen area. However, you can only do so for 90 days within a 180-day period.

Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are not EU countries, but they are Schengen countries. You can travel to those countries once you have entered the Schengen area, but your rights related to international or temporary protection may differ.

While Denmark is an EU and a Schengen country, it does not take part in the temporary protection scheme and does not apply the EU rules on Asylum. Therefore, your rights related to international or temporary protection in Denmark may differ from those you have in other EU countries

Yes. Police and other administrative checks are always possible, including within the territory and at internal borders for security and migration purposes. It is important to cooperate and provide the required documents and information to police or border guards. In certain circumstances you may be required to remain available to the authorities during these checks in designated facilities.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/stronger-europe-world/eu-solidarity-ukraine/eu-assistance-ukraine/information-people-fleeing-war-ukraine_en

Please consult Re-open EU for information on travel and health measures in EU and Schengen Associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When travelling to and around the EU, please be aware of the risk of trafficking and exploitation. Only accept transport and accommodation from people you know, authorities and civil society organizations. Do not give your identification documents, personal information and belongings to anyone other than government or border officials and always inform your relatives or friends about your whereabouts. In case you are offered employment, research the company and if you have doubts, you can ask national police authorities or civil society organizations for more information.

For more information about national authorities that deal with human trafficking and organizations that can help depending on your location, please see here.

You may enter Greece as described below:

  1. Holders of a Ukrainian biometric passport may enter through all entry points (ports, land borders, airports) with a maximum stay of 90 days.
  2. Holders of a Ukrainian passport without biometric features (old type) may enter from all entry points; a transit visa is required with a maximum stay of 90 days.

Attention: for the above cases, the National Police will stamp your passport with the date of entry.

  1. Ukrainian citizens without travel documents may enter only from the Passport Control Department in Promachonas, where you will be issued a document by Ukrainian Embassy staff. This procedure allows you to stay for a maximum of 90 days.
  2. In case your children do not have travel documents, National Police officials will note under the entry stamp on your own passport the number of minors you are accompanying.

Attention: In this case, you will have to show a certificate of marital status or a birth certificate of your children. If you do not have either of these documents, you must complete and submit a solemn declaration stating:

  1. the number of children
  2. their first name
  3. surname
  4. gender
  5. date of birth.

Source: https://migration.gov.gr/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Info-for-Displaced-People-from-Ukraine-Final-2-3-22.pdf

Within the 90-day period, you will be granted a one (1)-year temporary protection by the Asylum Service of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. This gives you the right of access to residence, labour market and to medical care, in accordance with Directive 2001/55 of the Council of the European Union and Presidential Decree 80/2006 (Greek National Legislation). https://migration.gov.gr/en/ukraine/ .

Regarding the procedure for granting temporary protection, please contact:

by phone at: +302131629600 or by e-mail at: ukraine@migration.gov.gr .

Important: The procedure for granting temporary protection is provided free of charge by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. In particular, free interpretation assistance is provided in the helpdesk and during the full registration, in order to assign the Temporary Protection Residence Permit [ADPP] to the beneficiary, who simultaneously lists / provides a VAT number and an AMKA

Temporary Protection is designed to provide immediate protection to refugees, including those who have fled areas of armed conflict. While temporary protection doesn’t obstruct the right to apply for international protection, it may reduce the need to apply immediately as you will receive a residence permit as well as associated rights. The duration of temporary protection is defined by EU law.

Asylum is an individual right, granted following a specific administrative and legal process that will determine whether you have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. Once granted, asylum can be withdrawn whenever new elements or findings arise indicating that there are reasons to reconsider its validity.

The right to temporary protection is in addition to the right to apply for international protection (asylum status).

You should enquire at the national authorities of the Member State where you are present for more details regarding specific rights, such as access to medical care, housing and the labour market, education for children and detention, under each regime. For general information about fundamental rights during the asylum procedure, please see here.

If the children enter the country as unaccompanied minors, then the National Mechanism for Identification and Protection of Unaccompanied Minors of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum is activated to transfer them to special emergency accommodation facilities. Thereafter, the prescribed procedure of identification (if necessary) and guardianship is followed.

All Ukrainian citizens residing in Greece who are going to receive and provide care for their minor relatives from Ukraine arriving in Greece, are kindly requested to receive them from the entry points. Specifically, the adult relatives should be present at the entry points (e.g., Promachonas Border Station) during the minors’ arrival holding the necessary legal documents that prove their family relationship. Additionally, they should also hold the documents that prove the consent of the minor’s parents concerning the assignment of the custody to the adult relative in Greece. Upon assessment by the Greek authorities and the Implementing Partners of the National Emergency Response Mechanism for Unaccompanied Minors in precarious living conditions, the adult relatives will be able to undertake the care/ custody of their minor relative.

Telephone: Monday to Friday 08:00-22:00, Saturday 11:00 – 19:00 : +302132128888, 

Email: tracing@migration.gov.gr

Source : https://migration.gov.gr/en/ukraine/

In the case of unaccompanied minors, the National Mechanism for the Identification and Protection of Unaccompanied Minors of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum is activated for the transfer of the children to special emergency accommodation facilities. Thereafter, the relevant identification (if necessary) and guardianship procedure is followed.

Contact Information:

Telephone: Monday to Friday 08:00-22:00, Saturday 11:00 – 19:00 : +302132128888

Email: ssuam.tracing@migration.gov.gr

On March 28th 2022, the temporary protection application was activated through the official site of  the Ministry of Migration and Asylum (available in English, Greek and  Ukrainian (https://apps.migration.gov.gr/temporary-protection/?lang=gr). To submit the application you will need to register first through a personal email  in which you will receive a one time password (OTP) each time you log in. After that you should dill in the application including:

Once you have finalized your application, you will be given an appointment (Date & Time) for your attendance at the location that you chose for your registration, and you will receive a receipt to the e-mail address you have provided. The appointment is the same for all members of the application.

As part of the policy of facilitating Ukrainian refugees, a free return bus ticket will be available in many cases, to and from the registration centers in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra and Crete from April 4th and for a period of two months for the identification process.

For more information contact: by phone at: +302131629600 or by e-mail at: https://migration.gov.gr/en/ukraine/

During April, the issuance of a 12-month residence and work permit begins for Ukrainian Nationals residing in Ukraine before 24/2/2022.

Attention: Ukrainians who arrived in Greece three months before the date of invasion in Ukraine are also entitled to get the temporary protection status.

There will be centers in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, and Iraklion, in which after an electronic pre-registration, the displaced will get a 12-month residence permit (with expiration date the 4th of March 2023) as well as Social Security Number (AMKA) and Tax Registration Number (AFM), so that they can join the labour market and access health care. The Ministry stated that the AMKA and AFM will be included on your Temporary Protection Status card. The procedure is carried out exclusively by employees of the Asylum Service, the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, in extended hours, and with the assistance of the European Union Agency for Asylum.

Temporary Protection gives you the right to access the labour market, health care system, education, issuing an AFM (including TAXISnet) and AMKA.

Attention: Until the status is activated you can access hospitals through the Emergency Healthcare without the AMKA.

TaxisNet codes, tax registration numbers (AFM) and AMKA/ P.A.A.Y.P.A. (Provisional Insurance and Health Care Number) are necessary to access state services. TaxisNet codes are the key to accessing the platforms as everything is done online. The initial request to issue TaxisNet codes is made electronically through this site (only available in Greek). Once AMKA /P.A.A.Y.P.A. are issued, there is automatic access to public health care.

Regarding the issuance of the criminal record, responsible are the Greek KEP (Citizen Service Centers) to which the pesron should contact. The issuance could be in person  (even if there are no   TaxisNet codes) or through the website (https://www.gov.gr/ipiresies/dikaiosune/poiniko-metroo/antigrapho-poinikou-metroou) using the ΤaxisΝet codes.  In both cases there is a possibility an update of the contact details for the National Contact Register (EMEP) to be requested that can be done independently through the website (https://www.gov.gr/ipiresies/polites-kai-kathemerinoteta/stoikheia-polite-kai-tautopoietika-eggrapha/ethniko-metroo-epikoinonias-emep) with the TaxisNet codes. The duration of the copy of the criminal record is 3 months from the date of issue.

All Ukrainians on the humanitarian ‘visa’ having entered Greece after February 24th, 2022, can access hospitals/ medical healthcare services without insurance until their temporary protection status is issued. (Essentially, they can access the National Health System free of charge, including hospitalization and medical care, like uninsured vulnerable social groups.)

Access to public healthcare is free and accessed by appointment. Healthcare is provided through public hospitals and medical centers (including mental health units) as well as municipal clinics and other structures, by the doctors, who can prescribe medication and carry out required therapeutic procedures and diagnostic tests. Appointments can be booked by phone or in some cases online. The patient must always present their insurance number (AMKA / P.A.A.Y.P.A.), which must be issued as soon as possible.

For emergencies that need urgent medical attention, citizens can visit the on-duty hospitals. The on-call hours change daily, and information is available online including the type of doctors available in each hospital. The hospital emergency department is obliged to accept patients, regardless of the possession of legal or other documentation. Those who don’t have relevant documentation should be recorded in the books of the outpatient clinics and the Traffic Office, and the expenses should be recorded in the categories “Refugees – Series Z”.

If you do not speak Greek or English, you should arrange to have an interpreter, otherwise it is quite possible that you will not be able to be served. The NGO Metadrasi has extended interpretations services (24/7) to help with Ukrainian interpretation for public/social services.

If you get a prescription for medication, it will be available in all pharmacies (that belong to the EOPYY (National Organization for Health Care Services), usually with small to zero cost.

In addition, if there is no way of physical transportation of the patient who needs immediate medical care, there is the emergency number of the National Emergency Center (EKAV) 166, which is free and can be called even without access to a mobile network. In case of emergency, an ambulance is provided to transport the patient to the nearest hospital on duty.

To contact 166, you should have the following information:

  1. Your exact location (address, floor, apartment)
  2. Patient’s name and surname
  3. If there is fever
  4. Social Security Number – AMKA

There is also the emergency number 112 for all emergencies, accessible without a mobile network, providing 24hour interpretation in various languages. In Greece, 112 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can connect the caller with:

  • Police
  • Fire Brigade
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Coast Guard
  • the European hotline for missing children 116000

the National Helpline for children SOS 1056

There is the possibility of short-term accommodation (including meals) in the open structure of Sintiki, next to the Promachonas border, until the issuing of travel documents is completed.

Those looking for longer-term accommodation may submit “the Application for Accommodation” through the platform established by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. In the form you need to include personal information and communication details for all those requiring accommodation. In the form you will need to attach a photo of your document (passport page with your details and the page with the stamp of entry in Greece as well as:

  • Name/ Surname
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Number of family members
  • Number of children
  • Ages of Children
  • City in Greece
  • When do you need accommodation
  • If you have any disability
  • Phone number and email
  • Languages of Communication

Upon submission, the relevant authorities of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum will carry out the necessary actions to accommodate the requests. Additional questions can be directed to the dedicated email: ukraine@migration.gov.gr.

Healthcare and Labour market access will be granted with the Temporary Protection Status. Other benefits have not yet been announced. SolidarityNow also provides Employability and Work Counseling Services in the Athens’ and Thessaloniki’s centers, supporting unemployed people to connect with the labour market.

Moreover, the telephone helpline 10306 (select 4) offers free of charge mental health support and care to refugees from Ukraine. The service is provided by Ukrainian mental health professionals with special training.

The helpline operates from Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.and it is free of charge and anonymous. Dial 10306 and select 4.

The service is an initiative of the Deputy Minister for Health who oversees mental health issues, and is funded by the Ministry of Health, with the participation of:

-The Federation of Bodies for Psychological Recovery and Mental Health “Argo”

-The Research University Institute for Mental Health, and

-The Smile of the Child

Yes, you can open a bank account in Greece.

The salary/ pension accounts (payroll accounts) are untaxed. However, each bank, depending on its pricing policy, may charge for the creation of this account. Beyond that there is taxation only on income from paid employment, business, or real estate leasing. Social Allowances are tax-free. There are no specific guidelines for Ukrainian refugees, so the procedure is the same as for others.

The documents required to open a bank account vary, depending on the bank. A list of commonly asked documents is included below.

  1. Identification Document (valid passport and/or residence permit, valid international protection applicants’ card)
  2. Confirmation of the main residence address (Certified public document by a public authority or consulate of the residence location, from which the main residence address occurs)
  3. Income Certification and Tax Registration Number (AFM)
  4. Tax Residence Certificate
  5. Last Tax Clearance and Tax Return Certificate
  6. Confirmation of profession/ business address and telephone number (Employer’s certificate or document from a public authority, embassy, or consulate from which the professional status arises.
  7. Confirmation of contact telephone number (mobile/ landline number)

In case an interpreter is needed during the procedure of opening the account, the interpreter must provide a solemn declaration including the following text “I have a thorough knowledge of the Greek Language as well as the … language, so that I can accurately translate the terms of the documents in which I will co-sign.”

The Greek employment authority (OAED) issues all unemployment cards for those who can work but don’t have a job.

An unemployment card gives you access to:

  • Free public transportation in the two main cities of Athens and Thessaloniki
  • Free access to museums and cultural centers
  • Discounts on mobile phone services, utility bills, coffee shops and fast-food chains
  • Vocational training
  • Other benefits, including discounts on the electrical bill etc.

To get an unemployment card you will need:

  • Identification Document (Temporary Protection Status)
  • Tax Registration Number (AFM)
  • E-mail address
  • Telephone Number
  • TaxisNet codes
  • Proof of residence
  • Knowledge of DΟΥ (Public Financial Service) which includes the person

The electronic issuance of the unemployment card is through the address: https://www.gov.gr/upourgeia/upourgeio-ergasias-kai-koinonikon-upotheseon/organismos-apaskholeses-ergatikou-dunamikou-oaed/ekdose-deltiou-anergias

The unemployment card lasts for 3 months and should be renewed before the expiration date.

Long-term proven unemployment makes someone eligible for potential long-term unemployment benefits. Beneficiaries of international protection can participate in adult education programs, related to employment, vocational training, or subsidized employment programs, under the conditions that apply to Greek citizens. The regular unemployment benefit is entitled to both asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, provided they meet the relevant conditions. For more information you can visit the following site: http://www.learnaboutgreece.gr/english/section5-5.php

There is the recent platform https://ukraine-greece.eu/, provided in English and Ukrainian, is a comprehensive digital aid for Ukrainian refugees heading to or staying in Greece. Job vacancies will be available, and the candidates will be able to submit an application form. However, support to find employment can be provided by NGOs, including SolidarityNow Centers (https://www.solidaritynow.org/en/contact/).

Cars with Ukrainian plates should have the so called “green card” (insurance for the car outside the country of registration) when they are used outside Ukraine. The green card is based on the Ukrainian insurance of the car. While the green card (insurance) is paid before the exit of the car from the country of registration, Ukraine legislated that cars with Ukrainian plates can leave the country without it.

Cars with Ukrainian plates used outside Ukraine are covered exceptionally by the Ukrainian Bureau of International Insurance for a period of 30 days without charge. After the expiration of the above 30 days period, the cars with Ukrainian plates should be insured. The Ukrainian Bureau of International Insurance operates and has shared the attached information for owners of cars with Ukrainian plates that are used outside Ukraine (http://www.mtsbu.ua/ua/presscenter/news/168164/ ). The cost of insurance in that case is appx. 180 euros per month.

The entry of cars with Ukrainian plates into Greece is documented with a stamp of the Customs Office in Promahona or border checkpoints. The stamp documents when the start of the six-month period for the use of the car in Greece begins.

The cars with Ukrainian plates cannot be insured by Greek Insurance Companies unless they get provisional Greek plates. Only the green card is available as a means of insurance.

After entering Greece with your vehicle, you must state your address at the customs office of his place of residence to get Greek provisional plates. To do this, you need to have a hosting address (friends, hotel, etc.), and you will need to visit the city’s custom office. The declaration must be made within 30 days from the date of entry into Greece, otherwise a fine will be imposed.

In this case the cost for using the car is analyzed as follows:

  • 100 euros for the provisional plates
  • road taxes (possibility to pay per month – the cost depends on the cubics of the car)
  • insurance that is bought in Greece – Greek insurance purchased

For Attika/Piraeus region, the Customs Office that provides provisional plates is the one located in the port of Piraeus.

For the area of Thessaloniki you can contact the A Customs Office of Thessaloniki at the port located at the intersection of Karatasos and October 28th. For more information you can call the +30 2313 334320.

Regarding the driving license, a valid driving license issued in Ukraine is accepted for driving in Greece when:

  • Either it is held by a person enjoying temporary protection in accordance with Article 1 of the 3d relevant decision.
  • Either it is held by a person who does not have his habitual residence in Greece, because of the fact that both Greece and Ukraine are parties to the Vienna Convention (1968) on Road Traffic.

In case the license is not in Latin characters, it is required to be accompanied either by an official translation into Greek or English or by a valid international license.

In case the owner does not want to use the car there is the possibility to declare at the Customs office of his/her place of residence that the car is immobilized. The cost of the procedure is 10 – 20 euros and an officer of the Customs Office visits the place where the car is parked to lock the wheel. The immobilization of the car means that the six months period freezes.

Important useful information: in case the entry of the car in Greece is not proved by the relevant document issued at the borders, the car owners should have with them their passports that prove when they have entered Greece to facilitate the procedure at the Customs, which enters in the system the date of entry of the car in Greece.

In any case, please contact the customs service in your area.

Yes, formal education is compulsory and in person for children aged 4-15 years old. They can also be enrolled in Upper High School (Lyceum) if they are 15-17 years old. Children with a refugee/migrant background can be enrolled in schools at any point during the school year. SolidarityNow in collaboration with other NGOs implements the ACE (All Children in Education) program, aiming to facilitate the integration of refugee and migrant children in the formal education setting through the provision of non-formal education (NFE) services in Homework and Creative Activities Centres (HCACs) and other complementary activities. For more information you can visit our site: https://bit.ly/34Td59P .

The first day of the school year is September 12. For the arrival time of the children onthe 1st school day contact the respective school.

For now, any type of identification document (e.g., passport) will be enough and your child can be enrolled even without having all the official documents. The person in charge – based on the address – SEP (Refugee Education Coordinators) indicates in which school unit the child will be enrolled. After contacting and making an appointment with the school principal, you visit the school to complete enrolment. You will be asked to complete additional documents there, which will be given to us by the principal. These documents include:

  1. A registration form
  2. Proof of address in Greece (you can get it from the Site Manager if you reside in an open accommodation center, from the social worker responsible at the accommodation scheme, or with a declaration in KEP)
  3. Legal documents of the child and parents
  4. Solemn Declaration of the parent in relevance with the previous years of studying in the country of origin
  5. Solemn Declaration of previous participation in Reception Classes (ZEP) (in case of attending)
  6. Solemn Declaration of participating in school’s meals program and healthy diet promotion. This way the child receives meals at school
  7. Solemn Declaration of the person/people that will accompany the child to and from school

Also, another document that will be requested during the first period of the child attending school is the Individual Student Health Card (ADYM),  which is  issued by a pediatrician, after  examination.  The child will also be asked by the school for a vaccination book listing the vaccines he has already received.

As of May 1, April 2022, all children – vaccinated or not – are not required to take a self-test twice a week, every Monday and every Thursday as was the case in the past. For the new school year, the optional use of a mask is provided.  Finally, it is recommended to perform a self-test in case of symptoms.

Your children can be enrolled at the closest school to the area of residency. If you reside in an open accommodation center, you can ask the Refugee Education Coordinators. If you are supported by an accommodation program, you can ask the social workers. If you are self-accommodated in an urban area you can search for the closest schools. If you need any kind of support regarding the education of your children there are ‘Homework and Creative Activities Center’ in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Kilkis under UNICEF’s program.

No. They will learn Greek at school. In many schools across Greece there are ‘reception classes’ to support with language acquisition. There, the children that don’t speak Greek as a first language, receive additional hours of Greek language learning and then they participate in the mainstream class with the rest of the children based on their age.

Yes, there are ‘Homework and Creative Activities Centers’ in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Kilkis, by SolidarityNow and other NGOs in collaboration with UNICEF, as well as other NGOs that offer language lessons.

SolidarityNow’s Homework and Creative Activities Centers

City Address Post Code Hours Phone Number Email
Athens Ipeirou 11 10433 09:00-19:00 2108233651 & 6932764979 athens@solidaritynow.org
Thessaloniki I. Koletti 25D 54027 09:00-19:00 2310555266 & 6936061933 thebluecenter@solidaritynow.org
Ioannina Archiepiskopou Makariou 11 (Kepavi) 45221 10:00-19:00 2651077380 & 6932245622
orangecenter@solidaritynow.org

Yes, there are several organizations offering such services, including SolidarityNow, Melissa, GCR Pyxida, Generation 2.0, METAdrasi, Hellenic Red Cross, ACCMR and more. At refugee.info here you can find the available options.

In Thessaloniki, these include:

  1. SolidarityNow’s Blue Refugee Center. The center provides services including Greek and English lessons for adults and minors. Preregistration is required. Contact info:

Tel: 2310555266 & 6936061933, Email: thebluecenter@solidaritynow.org

  1. International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC): Greek online lessons. A request through WhatsApp number +306955563472 is required.
  2. ODYSSEAS, Solidarity School, Thessaloniki. Online Greek lessons after a request from an organization. Email: odisseasmet@yahoo.com.
  3. Irida, Thessaloniki: Greek lessons for women. A request through WhatsApp number +306907289836 is required.
  4. The School of Modern Greek Language of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Provides Greek lessons for adults (all levels), both online, and in person. The programs have different durations. For the registration you will need:
    1. Document of legal residence in Greece (asylum application, recognized refugee, residence permit or visa)
    2. High school diploma translated into Greek or English.
    3. 50 euros for the application

Each program has different tuition fees depending on the period of the program. However, it is possible to apply for a tuition waiver. The website:

https://smg.web.auth.gr/may2019b/programmata-2/

SolidarityNow’s main objective is to support the most vulnerable members of our society indiscriminately, an array of complementary programs.

In addition to the support with education (see question 30), SolidarityNow operates two Solidarity Centers in Athens and Thessaloniki which provide an array of complementary services, indiscriminately. Both centers are open to visits, or information can be provided through the following telephone numbers (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

Athens Solidarity Center: +3021 0822 0883

Blue Refugee Center: +30231 055 5266

Social Services:

  • Social Protection Services
  • Counselling
  • Empowerment

Psychological Support Services:

  • Psychological Support and Counselling
  • Individual or group psychotherapy
  • Integration and Empowerment Groups

Legal Services

  • Legal Counselling
  • Mediation
  • Judicial Representation

Employability Services

  • Supporting the unemployed when looking for work
  • Vocational guidance and counseling
  • Training in job search and career planning skills

Accounting and tax support for individuals

  • Counselling and guidance about allowances, social provisions, and debt settlement

 

All services are provided free of charge.

 

PRESS RELEASES & ARTICLES

SolidarityNow stands by the Ukrainian Refugees

As of February 24, 2022, Europe and the world are facing one of the greatest refugee crises of the century. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries in less than a month. Most of them are women and children. At SolidarityNow, we express […]