Some people can now buy and book their own flights for Family Reunification.
The Greek Asylum Service confirmed to Refugee.Info that:
- If you got approval for Family Reunification to Germany in April or May 2017, you can book your own flights.
- If you got approval for Family Reunification to any other European country (not Germany) in October or November 2017, you can book your own flights.
If you are in one of those two groups, you can go to any travel agency in Greece and book at your own cost.
Bring your family’s Full Registration cards and your approval document with you.
Anything else I should know?
Make sure the travel agency calls the transfers office of the Asylum Service’s Dublin Unit to verify that you can fly, the Asylum Service says.
The travel agencies can reach the Dublin Unit at 2106988748 and 2106988749.
Be aware that the lines are very busy. The number of people trying to book their tickets is very high, and the Asylum Service is very understaffed right now.
Once your tickets are booked, ask the travel agency to call the Dublin Unit again and remind them about your flights - that way, they can make sure your new country is expecting your arrival.
Why were these two groups selected to buy their own flights?
According to the Asylum Service, those approved for Family Reunification to Germany in April and May 2017 have been waiting for a year.
Those approved for Family Reunification to other European countries have to get there before 6 months passes, or they lose their right to Family Reunification.
Can I still wait for the Greek Asylum Service to arrange and pay for my flight tickets?
The Greek Asylum Service told us that it is very risky for you to wait.
If you are waiting for Family Reunification to any European country except Germany, you must arrive there no later than 6 months after getting approval.
After 6 months, the country you are going to can refuse to let you in, and you will have to stay in Greece.
It might take a long time before the Asylum Service is able to book tickets again for Family Reunification cases.
That means you could miss the 6-month deadline.
Although this is not a perfect solution, the Greek Asylum Service highly recommends that eligible people with an approval from October or November 2017 book their own tickets as soon as possible.
Safe flights, everyone!