Ah, Greece—a land of myths, moussaka, and bureaucratic mazes right? But you’re not just here for the sunsets over Santorini; you’re eyeing the ultimate prize: Greek citizenship.
Fasten your seatbelts (or should we say, your togas?) because we’re about to navigate the labyrinth of becoming a bona fide Greek citizen. Opa!
Let’s dive in!
What Does It Mean To Have Greek Citizenship?
Having Greek citizenship means that you have the legal status of being a Greek citizen.
This gives you a sense of identity and belonging to the country and its people. It also helps learning about their culture and history as well as a range of rights and privileges, including:
- The right to vote and participate in the political Processes of Greece.
- The right to live and work in Greece, as well as in many other EU member states.
- Access to high-quality healthcare. Education and social services in Greece.
- The ability to own a property in Greece and start a Business.
- The ability to apply for a Greek passport, which allows the holder to travel visa-free to numerous countries worldwide.
- The right to apply to Greek scholarships, grants, and other benefits to the citizens.
- The protection and assistance of the Greek State in case of emergencies, such as natural disasters, accidents and crises.
Overall, having Greek citizenship despite the sense of belonging and identity also gives a range of practical and legal benefits.
Types Of Greek Citizenship
There are three types of Greek citizenship:
- Citizenship by origin
- Citizenship by naturalization
- Citizenship by investment
Citizenship By Origin
This type of citizenship is acquired by birth in Greece or to a Greek parent, or by being adopted by a Greek citizen. If you have Greek ancestry, you may also be eligible for citizenship by origin.
Citizenship By Naturalization
This type of citizenship is obtained through a legal process of naturalization, which typically involves passing language and culture exams, and meeting other eligibility criteria.
Citizenship By Investment
This type of citizenship is obtained through an investment in Greece. The amount required for citizenship by investment varies depending on the specific program and the type of investment made.
Overall, each type of citizenship has different eligibility criteria and application processes, so it is important to consult with a legal professional or the Greek authorities to determine which option is best for you.
Naturalization refers to the legal process by which foreign nationals, who are not born Greek citizens, acquire Greek citizenship. It grants them the same rights and responsibilities as those who are born Greek citizens.
To be eligible for naturalization in Greece, the applicant must usually meet certain requirements, including but not limited to:
The applicant must have lived in Greece for a specific period of time, usually at least seven years continuously, and have a valid residence permit.
The applicant must have a basic knowledge of the Greek language. This requirement is assessed through a language proficiency test.
The applicant must demonstrate that they are economically self-sufficient and can support themselves and their dependents.
No Criminal Record
The applicant must have a clean criminal record in both Greece and their home country.
The naturalization process in Greece involves submitting an application to the Greek Ministry of Interior. The application must include various documents as required.
Upon submission, the application is reviewed, and if approved, the applicant must take an oath of allegiance to Greece.
It’s important to note that Greece’s naturalization requirements and process may vary from time to time, and it is advisable to consult official government sources or legal experts for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
In order to be eligible for Greek naturalization, applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Have at least 7 years of legal residency in Greece.
- Be able to communicate in the Greek language.
- Have knowledge of Greek culture and history.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Be financially self-sufficient and able to support themselves without relying on public funds.
How To Apply For Greek Naturalization?
To apply for Greek naturalization there are many things you need to keep in check:
1. Eligibility Check
Certify if you meet the eligibility criteria for Greek naturalization, such as residency, language proficiency, economic self-sufficiency, and a clean criminal record.
2. Gather Required Documents
Submit all necessary documents that are required for your naturalization process.
Common documents include a valid passport, proof of residency, language proficiency certificate, criminal record clearance, birth certificate, and marriage certificate (if required).
3. Pay Fees
There may be application fees involved, so make sure to pay the fees required by authority
|Naturalization by exception||€1,000|
4. Submit Application
Submit your completed application form along with the required supporting documents to the authorities. You can typically apply at the Greek Ministry of Interior or the local Greek embassy.
5. Application Evaluation
Your application will undergo a thorough evaluation by the Greek Ministry of Interior. They will review your documents and assess your eligibility based on the relevant criteria.
6. Applicant Interview
You may be invited to attend an interview with a government official who will discuss your application and assess your knowledge of Greek language and culture
7. Language Proficiency Test
If necessary, you may need to undergo a language proficiency test to demonstrate your basic knowledge of the Greek language.
8. Citizenship Decision
After the evaluation process, the Greek authorities will make a decision regarding your naturalization application. If approved, you will be notified and invited to take the oath of allegiance to Greece.
9. Oath Of Allegiance
Attend the designated venue to take the oath of allegiance. This is a formal ceremony in which you pledge your loyalty and commitment to Greece.
10. Acquire Greek Citizenship
Once you have taken the oath of allegiance, you will officially become a naturalized citizen of Greece. You can then obtain your Greek citizenship documents.
The naturalization process and requirements can change, so it’s always advisable to seek the most up-to-date information from official Government sources or legal experts who specialize in Greek immigration law.
Greek Citizenship By Marriage
Foreign nationals who are already married to a Greek national must still meet all naturalization requirements and pass the test. However, they should also meet the marriage requirements:
In order to be eligible for Greek citizenship by marriage, you must have a Greek spouse and have been married to them for at least three years.
You must also have lived together in Greece for at least three years, or have been a resident of Greece for at least five years.
You can apply for Greek citizenship by marriage by submitting an application to the Greek Ministry of Interior.
The application will need to include various documents, such as your marriage certificate, proof of residency, and proof of language proficiency.
It is important to note that the process for Greek citizenship by marriage can vary depending on the individual circumstances of the applicant and can take several years to complete.
Citizenship By Descent
Greek citizenship by descent, also known as jus sanguinis, is possible for individuals who have at least one Greek parent or grandparent. It can be obtained through the following general steps:
1. Collect The Necessary Documents
You will need to gather essential documents, such as birth certificates and other relevant documents, for yourself and your Greek parent or grandparent.
2. Apply At The Greek Embassy Or Consulate
You can submit your application for Greek citizenship at a Greek embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
3. Attend An Appointment At The Consulate
You will need to attend an appointment at the consulate to submit your application and provide biometric data.
4. Application Processing
The processing time for your application may take up-to several months. During this time, the Greek authorities will evaluate your application and finalize all the supporting documents.
5. Citizenship Certificate
If your application is approved, you will receive a certificate of Greek citizenship. You can then apply for a Greek passport and enjoy all the rights and privileges that come with being a Greek citizen.
It is important to consult with a legal expert who specializes in immigration and citizenship law to ensure that you are eligible for Greek citizenship by descent, and also to provide guidance on the necessary documents.
Greek Citizenship By Birth
If you happen to have been born within the territory of Greece and your parents aren’t Greek, you can still qualify for citizenship by birth, also known as Jus Soli.
Here are some of the steps you should familiarize yourself with in order to obtain Greek citizenship.
1. Collect Necessary Documents
You will be required to submit necessary documents which hold the proof of your birth place, identity and any other supporting documents.
2. Application Processing
The processing time may vary as it usually ends up taking months. During this period, the Greek authorities will evaluate your application and confirm all the supporting documents.
3. Citizenship Certificate
If your application is approved you may receive a citizenship certificate and may officially become eligible to apply for a Greek passport.
It’s important to note that if you were born in Greece to foreign parents, you may not automatically be granted to Greece Citizenship, you may need to apply for citizenship by descent or naturalization if you meet the criteria.
Greek Dual Citizenship
Greek Dual Citizenship allows the holder to have more than one nationality under legal status, which is a great ‘winning card’ for the holder as it has various advantages.
Greece allows its citizens to hold and maintain their dual citizenship:
Greece allows its residents to acquire Greek nationality while also retaining their original nationality.
If you wish to acquire Greek nationality while keeping your original nationality, you first need to check the specific requirements and procedures of your home country. Greece has no specific process or application to officially recognize or register dual citizenship.
Benefits And Obligations
Dual citizens can enjoy all the rights and privileges of both Greek and foreign citizenship.
It is also important to note that dual citizens are also subject to the responsibilities, duties, and obligations of both citizenships.
It is crucial to understand that each country has its own laws and regulations regarding dual citizenship. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with legal experts or contact the relevant authorities.
Common Reasons For Citizenship Denial In Greece
Some of the common reasons as to why your citizenship in Greece is denied is as follows:
- The applicant may not meet the eligibility criteria set by the Greek Government.
- The application may end up being denied if the applicant has provided false or incomplete information.
- An applicant’s criminal record is also taken into consideration. If an applicant has been convicted of a serious crime, their application may be denied.
- If the applicant has failed to provide all important and relevant documents to support their application for citizenship then their application may be denied.
It is vital to know that Greek-authorities have the final say power when it comes to accepting or denying application for citizenships.
Giving Up Greek Citizenship
It is possible to voluntarily give up Greek citizenship, but it is a consequential decision that has legal repercussions, including the loss of certain rights and privileges.
Giving up citizenship may also affect consular assistance and reacquiring citizenship may become dependent on the circumstances.
It is advisable to consult legal experts before making the decision, and the process of giving up citizenship involves submitting an application and following certain procedures.
Re-naturalization Of Greek Citizenship
Individuals who have given up their citizenship willingly and wish to regain it, can apply for re-naturalization if they meet certain conditions. The qualification criteria for re-naturalization may vary depending on the circumstances.
To apply for the re-naturalization process, individuals must submit an application to the relevant Greek authorities and follow certain procedures, which may include giving certain documentation, having background checks and taking language proficiency tests.
The process of re-naturalization can take several months to complete and there may be fees associated with the application and processing.
It is advisable to contact legal experts, who are well informed about these processes and can help make your re-naturalization easier.
Congratulations, future Greek! You’ve ventured through the olive groves of paperwork and emerged, hopefully, as a soon-to-be citizen of this beautiful country.
So go ahead, break a plate or two—you’ve earned it! Your odyssey to Greek citizenship is almost complete.
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