NEWS

New bill foresees tighter migration rules

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The procedures governing deportations and returns of migrants who enter Greece from third countries will become tighter and stricter, according to legislation drafted by the Migration Policy Ministry and presented at Monday’s cabinet meeting.

The overarching goal of the bill is to continue the reduction of the migration burden that has been achieved in recent months.

The bill will seek in particular to increase the number of deportations. To that end, when illegal migrants are arrested at the border, authorities will employ deportation procedures rather than those used for returns as the latter are more complex and time consuming.

The deportation procedure foresees that those migrants that are not entitled to international protection are obliged to leave Greece, without the need for the consent of the country of origin or transit country. 

The return process on the other hand requires the consent of the country of origin or transit.

Sources in the Migration Ministry have clarified to Kathimerini that “the administrative deportation of illegal migrants will be implemented in compliance with the guarantees under the European Union acquis in the field of asylum, as well as the country’s obligations deriving from international conventions.”

Among other things, the bill, which will be submitted to Parliament after it has been presented to the cabinet, does not grant the right to migrants to leave the country voluntarily if there is a risk that they will drop off the radar or if they are deemed a threat to public safety.

What’s more, the voluntary departure time is reduced to 25 from 30 days. Stricter provisions regarding the possibility of extending the period of voluntary departure will also be put in place.

The bill also introduces a provision according to which the identity card of asylum seekers will be taken into account only if the full date of birth is indicated.

This provision was deemed necessary due to frequent fabrications in the date of birth aimed at securing more favorable provisions provided by law.

Special provisions are also included for unaccompanied minors, migrant medical care needs as well as access to the labor market and social security.