Greece is one of the countries where political openness to LGBTQIA+ is increasing, with important improvements in the past few years. The country does not offer any financial assistance to Ukrainians fleeing the war, and the government mostly suggests that they should start working in Greece’s tourism industry. It is important to consider that the unemployment rate is high. The accommodation is mostly provided in large accommodation centres, and people can rely only on emergency medical services.
Greece offers Ukrainian refugees temporary protection at the regional asylum offices in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and on the island of Crete. The procedure is run by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum Service and the European Union Agency for Asylum. If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please call 0030-2131629600 or email: email@example.com
The application form and information for Ukrainian refugees in Greece can be found here.
To apply for temporary protection, the eligible candidates should make an appointment online through the digital platform, providing their email address. Within 90 days, they will be granted a one (1)-year temporary protection. In accordance with Directive 2001/55 of the Council of the EU, this gives them the right of access to the labour market and medical care.
Holders of a Ukrainian biometric passport may enter without the need of any visa.
Holders of a non-biometric Ukrainian passport (old type) without any travel documents or with an expired passport may also enter Greece from all official entry points, but they will be issued with a Police Note that allows a maximum stay of 90 days: within this period, they will be able to apply for temporary protection.
Displaced persons from Ukraine travelling with children will need to show a certificate of marital status or a birth certificate. If you do not have any of these, you will have to fill in and submit a solemn declaration which states:
- the number of children,
- their first name and surname,
- their gender,
- their date of birth.
Drivers of private cars, entering Greece, should present a valid driving license. Ukrainian private vehicles are exempt from paying highway tolls. If you enter with a private vehicle, you will need to declare its details at the city’s customs office. For a 6-month period after your entry in the country, you may move freely with your vehicle. Proceed to the Customs office at the border crossing point to receive a paper slip marking the date of the car’s entry in Greece. You should contact the Customs office at your place of residence for further information.
If you did not obtain the "green card" (insurance for the car outside the country of registration) before departing from Ukraine, your car with Ukrainian plates can be covered exceptionally for a period of 30 days without charge. After the expiration of the 30-day period, you will need to insure your car through the Ukrainian Bureau of International Insurance at a cost of approx. 180 EUR per month, or get provisional Greek plates to insure your car through Greek Insurance Companies.
Minors under 18 years old travelling alone, people travelling with children who have been separated from their parents, or people who know of any child in these situations can contact the National Emergency Response Mechanism for the Identification and Protection of Unaccompanied Minors of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum. This mechanism will transfer the children to special emergency accommodation facilities and take care of relevant identification (if necessary) and guardianship procedures.
You may contact them at:
Telephones: (24/7 line): 0030 2132128888, 0030 2132128380, 0030 2132128381, 0030 2132128382
Beneficiaries of temporary protection with a valid residence permit may be able to access the national welfare system. It is referred to as Social Solidarity Income (SSI) and it consists of: maximum of 200€ for the head of the family, plus 100€ for any additional adult, plus 50€ per child of the same family; the maximum monthly amount is 900€, regardless of the composition of the household.
In case of a medical emergency you can call 166.
Many NGOs operate medical centres and polyclinics that offer various medical services to asylum seekers and refugees in Greece. To find more information, you can call:
Doctors of the World: 210-3213150
Médecins Sans Frontières: 210-5200500
Hellenic Red Cross: 210-3613848
Solidarity Now: 210-6772500
Ukrainian refugees are entitled to free access to public hospitals and medical centres, including mental health and physical rehabilitation facilities, even if they have not yet been provided with a social security number (AMKA). If not yet provided with AMKA, Ukrainian refugees can access public health by showing their passport or, if they do not have it, a document issued by the police.
For free psychosocial support, Ukrainians in Greece can contact the psychosocial support helpline operated by UNHCR’s partner EPAPSY. The helpline is active from Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:00, at the number (+30)6936514117 and Ukrainian-Russian speaking Community Psychosocial Workers are available.
You can also contact the helpline of the Ministry of Health for free psychosocial support from professional psychologists of Ukrainian origin. Their helpline is active from Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 21:00, at the number 10306 (select 4).
There is a possibility of short-term accommodation in the open structure of Sintiki for those who need a place to stay until the process of applying for travel documents (where required) is completed.
Those who wish to be accommodated for a longer period of time may submit a request at the dedicated platform of the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, available here: https://migration.gov.gr/accomodation-ukraine/
In your application you need to attach a photo of the travel document (passport page with your details and the stamp of entry in Greece) and to specify the date from which the accommodation will be needed.
The Ministry will provide you with a place in accommodation facilities already available: the Serres II site in Northern Greece and Elefsina site in the Attica region.
EL*C has created a lesbian hosting network of individuals who have made their flats and spare rooms available to Ukrainian refugees. Please notice that EL*C can provide you with a temporary solution (up to a few months). Contact the relocation team at: +48 571 944 400 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Greece, children aged 6 months – 5 years old can attend infant centres (vrefonipiakos stathmos).
If your child is aged between 2.5 and 5 years, you can request a place in a child centre (paidikos stathmos), which could either be run by the municipalities or privately funded. From the age of 4, children can attend a pre-primary school (nipiagogeio), which becomes compulsory after the age of 5.
Ukrainian children can enrol in public schools. For more details, see the dedicated webpage of the Greek Ministry of Education, also containing a guide in Ukrainian. Accessing education in Greece does not force you and your family members to stay in Greece.
Primary education (Demotiko) lasts six years, lower secondary education (Gymnasio) lasts three years. Upper secondary education lasts three years and includes unified upper secondary school (Eniaio Lykeio) and technical vocational school (TEE). Students may choose between vocational or academic courses at the age of 15, at the end of Gymnasio. If you have graduated from a secondary school in another country, you are treated as other migrants; there are no special provisions of law facilitating refugees and asylum seekers to enter Universities in Greece. The Ministry of Education provides more information here in English.
As of May 18, war refugees from Ukraine in the Attica region can board buses, trolleys, metro, and tram-trains free of charge for 90 days. Beneficiaries can be issued personalised electronic 'Athenacard' travel cards from OASA's ticket offices. You can have a special card that entitles you to free travel at metro stations (for example, Syntagma).
Detailed instructions on how to activate the card for free travel are on the page of the United Diaspora of Ukraine in Greece.
To work legally you will need a taxpayer’s number (AFM) and a social security number (AMKA), which can be received after getting a residence permit.
After receiving temporary protection, you can start looking for a job. Greece has a very high unemployment rate, so you might face problems.
The websites to look for a job in Greece are: Generation 2.0 Red (in English and Greek); Skywalker (in Greek); Kariera (in Greek); Vacancies in Greece (in English).
For more information about employment, visit https://help.unhcr.org/greece/living-in-greece/access-to-employment/
The government passed a law allowing civil partnerships (though not marriages) for same-sex couples in 2015. Same-sex couples were granted the right to be foster parents in 2018. Same-sex couples aren’t allowed to adopt children in Greece. Strictly speaking, lesbian couples are not allowed to receive fertility treatment. However, as long as one partner signs a notarial deed saying that she is going through the treatment as a single woman with the use of donor sperm, then access to IVF can be accommodated. For comparison – for all non-married heterosexual couples, the law states that there is a requirement to have a signed notarial deed either stating that a woman is single or, if there is a partner, that he is agreeing to the treatment and that he will be the legal father of the offspring. The notarial deeds can be signed when the couple/woman arrives in Greece.
In 2017, transgender people were given the right to change their legal gender without having to undergo surgery. To change one's legal gender in Greece, the legal requirements are a forced divorce (if married, due to the inability of performing same-sex marriage) and a court order.
In the wake of the previous refugee crisis, the group LGBTQIA+ Refugees Welcome was founded to protect and support what has been called "the smallest minority in Athens". Beaver is a women's collective founded to create a safe space for women and "other misfits". They run a cosy café which occasionally hosts events and parties in the neighbourhood of Gazi in Athens. The non-profit Checkpoint provides free HIV tests and related support anonymously.