Questions and Answers on Relocation

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What is relocation?

Relocation is the transfer of asylum seekers who are in clear need of international protection from one EU Member State to another European state. Their  asylum application will only be examined once the relocation has taken place. Currently, relocation is possible from Italy and Greece.

Does it apply to me?

The EU relocation scheme ended on 26 September 2017. However, if you arrived and were fingerprinted by this date, you can still register for relocation under the scheme if you are eligible.The eligible countries as of 1st July 2017 are now Eritrea, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bhutan, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen or a stateless person previously residing in one of these countries.

In addition, in order to benefit from relocation:

  • you have to first apply for international protection in Greece or Italy;
  • you must go through the identification, registration and fingerprinting procedure carried out by the Italian and Greek authorities;
  • you must also show that you arrived in Italy or Greece between 24 March 2015 and 26 September 2017.

fingerprintWhy will I be fingerprinted?'

All applicants will be fingerprinted. Whether or not you apply for international protection and if you are 14 years of age or older, your fingerprints will be taken and stored in an EU-wide database called Eurodac. You must cooperate with this procedure; you are obliged by law to have your fingerprints taken. You will not be eligible for relocation unless you are fingerprinted.

I have special needs. Will I be given priority?

Yes, vulnerable persons are given priority in the relocation process and the best interest of the child will be a primary consideration for the authorities.

Vulnerable persons include in particular: minors, unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, victims of human trafficking, persons with serious illnesses, persons with mental disorders and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence, such as victims of female genital mutilation.

To where can I be relocated?

To one of the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.


Can I choose the country to which I will be relocated?

No, it is not possible to choose the country to which you are relocated. However, in deciding the country of relocation, the competent authorities will take into consideration as much as possible your family links, language skills and any cultural or social ties you have to a country that is participating in the relocation scheme. Other factors are also taken into consideration, such as the number of places available in the different countries, and the profiles of other relocation candidates.

How will I know where I will be relocated to?

The relocation decision will be shared with you in writing.

How long does the process take?

If it is decided that you are eligible for relocation, the transfer should be completed as swiftly as possible.


What will happen after I receive the relocation decision?

You will be provided with information about the transfer. After your arrival, the country of relocation will process your application for international protection. You cannot move to another country without permission during the first years of your stay. In case you decide to move during this initial period, you will be returned to the country of relocation.


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