Reception and identification service

The Reception and Identification Service (R.I.S.)1 is an independent agency under the General Secretariat of Migration Policy, Reception and Asylum of Ministry of Citizen Protection. The mission of the RIS is the effective management of third-country nationals who cross the Hellenic borders without legal documents and/or procedures, under conditions that respect their dignity, by placing them in first reception procedures.

Regional Reception and Identification Services are a) the Reception and Identification Centres (R.Ι.C. – “Hotspots”) and b) the Reception and Identification Mobile Units. The R.I.C.s as well as the Mobile units implement procedures of first reception within the boundaries of their regional jurisdiction to the immigrants who came to Greece without legal formalities.

As per October 2019, there are five R.I.C in operation in the Eastern Aegean Islands (Moria – Lesvos, Vial – Chios, Vathy – Samos, Lepida – Leros and Kos), one R.I.C on the Greek –Turkish border (Fylakio – Evros) and two mobile units.

Reception and Identification Procedures

Procedures at R.I.C.s as well as at the Mobile Units include:

  • Identity and nationality verification of the irregular incoming migrants
  • Registration, a procedure that includes age assessment, for the cases of high importance such as that of minors
  • Medical examination including the provision of health care as well as the provision of psychosocial support, if necessary
  • Responsible information in relation to the rights and obligations of the people concerned, as well as regarding the possibility of placing them under international protection status

According to the legislation, the reception and identification procedures should last 5 days, extended to 25 days maximum. While the procedures last, the irregular incoming migrants are restricted to reside inside the R.I.C. At any time, the authorities may refer the third-country nationals or stateless people, especially those belonging in vulnerable groups, to other R.I.C.s or reception facilities in mainland Greece.

Competent services for further administration

With the implementation of the Reception and Identification procedures, the third-country citizens are referred to the competent services for their further administration:

  • Foreign nationals that request international security regime are referred to the Asylum Service
  • Vulnerable people are referred to the National Centre for Social Solidarity (E.K.K.A.) in order to find the appropriate hosting structure
  • The remaining foreign nationals are referred to the Hellenic Police (ΕΛ.ΑΣ) for further administrative procedures
  • For all the interested parties stating their wish as voluntary return, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is informed and undertakes the repatriation procedures
  • Hellenic Police also undertake procedures of voluntary return (Aliens Division , Attica)





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