Up to 35,000 migrants to be relocated over two years


Of the 49,000 migrants and refugees currently stranded in camps around the Greek mainland, up to 35,000 are expected to resettle in other European states over the next two years, Kathimerini understands.

A so-called pre-registration process, which is implemented by the Asylum Service in cooperation with UNHCR and the European Support Office on Asylum (EASO), should be completed by late July. The program allows individuals who entered the country between January 1, 2015 and March 19, 2016 to get a foot on the national asylum procedure ladder. It also gives them access to the EU’s relocation scheme. Individuals who skip the procedure will be deemed illegal and be subject to deportation by the authorities.

The situation is different for the estimated 8,556 migrants and refugees stranded on the Aegean islands – mainly on Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos. These arrived after March 19, when the EU signed its migration deal with Ankara, and authorities are currently examining their asylum claims.

Successful applicants will be transferred to the Greek mainland, but will be denied access to the relocation program. The rest will be returned to Turkey.