Refugees and migrants protest near a refugee camp in the village of Diavata, west of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece | Photo: EPA/SOTIRIS BARBAROUSIS
Refugees and migrants protest near a refugee camp in the village of Diavata, west of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece | Photo: EPA/SOTIRIS BARBAROUSIS

Migrants and refugees in Greece are set to benefit from a much smoother and less time-consuming process in obtaining residence permits after the country's Migration Policy Ministry announced that the process for foreign nationals living and working in Greece will be digitalized.

From June onwards, foreign nationals or their legal representatives will be able to make appointments with aliens bureaus in Attica (the region that encompasses the Greek capital Athens and the surrounding areas) through an online platform. 

Additionally, the Ministry of Migration Policy stated that by the end of 2019, foreign nationals will also be able to submit their residence permit applications electronically. 

This change could signicantly improve the situation for many migrants and refugees in Greece, given that the aliens bureaus serve around 50 percent of foreign residents in the country. When asylum seekers have been accepted, they will now be able to apply for residence permits much quicker and easier. 

Migrant advocates have long criticized Greek authorities, saying that they take too long to process asylum or residency applications.

More aid for unaccompanied minors in Athens

In related developments, another piece of good news for migrants based in Greece came over the weekend: the city of Athens announced that it had signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide "high-quality services for unaccompanied refugee children residing in the Greek capital."

The Greek capital, with the help of "The HOME Project," a non-profit organization set up in 2016 to address the needs of unaccompanied refugee children, aims to improve the safety, health and well-being of children and teenagers who came to Greece without their family. 
 

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