New: Unemployment cards for refugees in Greece

The Greek employment authority, OAED, will now issue unemployment cards to all fully registered asylum-seekers and recognized refugees in Greece.

Unemployment cards give access to free public transportation and social benefits.

Until now, OAED had blocked refugees from getting unemployment cards. Only those who had an official proof of address, such as an electricity, water or mobile phone bills or a lease for an apartment under their name, could get an unemployment card.

As a result, all refugees living in camps or shelters and all homeless people in Greece were ineligible.

The newly announced policy states clearly that OAED will issue unemployment cards to fully registered asylum-seekers and refugees, no matter where they live.

As a proof of residence OAED now accepts:

  • If you live in a camp or a shelter: a residence statement signed by the social service in the camp or in the shelter you live in.
  • If you live in private accommodation: a proof of address form.
  • If you are homeless: a statement from a social service office in your municipality, from a day center, or from an emergency shelter for the homeless.


Benefits the unemployment card offers

An unemployment card gives you access to:

  • Free public transportation in cities
  • Free access to museums and cultural centers
  • Discounts, including on some mobile phone services, utility bills, coffee shops and fast food chains
  • Vocational training
  • Other benefits, including Social Solidarity Income payments, if you meet special requirements

How to get an unemployment card

You can get an unemployment card if you are:

  • A fully registered asylum-seeker, a recognized refugee or a beneficiary of subsidiary protection
  • 15 to 74 years old (but not a student in any educational level or institution)
  • Unemployed and actively seeking a job
  • Registered at OAED’s registry as unemployed (See how to register below.)

If you fit all of the above criteria, go to your nearest OAED office and bring:

Find your closest OAED office on this database (in Greek).
To use the database:

  • At “Περιφέρεια” choose the prefecture where you live.

  • At “Νομός” choose the region where you live.

  • At “Είδος Υπηρεσίας” choose “ΚΠΑ2.”


What happens after you get your unemployment card

OAED officers will give you access codes (it is a key number called “klidarithmos” in Greek) in order to sign up in this online platform and validate the card.

You need to access this platform every time you want to:

  • Renew your card (You should do so every three months.)
  • Get a monthly certificate showing that your card is valid (You will need this certificate to get free transportation.)

You will need to carry your unemployment card and certificate for the current month any time you use public transportation.


What if I don’t know any Greek? How I can use this platform?

Ask someone who knows Greek to help you use OAED’s platform for the first time.

Once you sign up, you get a username and a password. You can use it to sign in every time you have to renew your card and print your monthly certificate.

If you cannot do this on your own or if you don’t have access to a printer, officers at the nearest KEP (“ΚΕΠ,” in Greek), the Greek citizens service center, can help you.

Find the closest KEP office on this database here.

Visit on a weekday, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. (You don’t need an appointment.)