Do you have a question about getting Greek citizenship?
If you missed the Refugee.Info Live Chat on our Facebook page in September, no worries!
We gathered here the most important questions and answers, as provided by the lawyer and citizenship expert from the organization Generation 2.0, Vagelis Ntouvlis.
You can still watch our Live Chat videos on our Refugee.Info Facebook Page.
You can also read more information on our website.
What is Greek citizenship?
Citizenship is the legal connection between the person and the country. So Greek citizenship is the legal connection between people who live in Greece or abroad and the country of Greece, the Hellenic Republic.
If you become a Greek citizen, you will get a Greek ID and enjoy the same rights as Greeks and other European Union citizens. For example, you will be able to live in another EU country, which is something you cannot do as a recognized refugee. Also, you will be able to vote in Greek elections.
What are the requirements for Greek citizenship?
To get Greek citizenship, you need to:
- Have legal status in Greece
- Know the Greek language, culture and history
- Have patience
What is important in this procedure is not the years you’ve been present in Greece but whether you have legal status.
If you’ve had refugee status and a residence permit for the past 3 years, then you are eligible to apply for Greek citizenship. You also need to prove that you have lived legally and continuously in Greece for the entire 3 years.
So obtaining the residency permit is the first step!
Refugees and stateless people need to have lived legally in Greece for 3 years. Subsidiary protection and long-term migrants need to have lived legally in Greece for 7 years.
If you are married to a Greek national, you can apply for Greek citizenship after 3 years of legally living in Greece.
How do I apply for Greek citizenship?
First, go to the municipality where your permanent address is and submit a declaration that you want Greek citizenship.
After that, you can apply for Greek citizenship before the Administrative Office of the Municipality.
They will ask for the following documents:
- An application for Greek citizenship
- A copy of the declaration for Greek citizenship you submitted to the municipality
- One color ID photo
- A copy of your Residence Permit
- A copy of your Travel Document, if you have oneYour birth certificate from your country of origin (if you can’t get this document, you can submit the decision granting you asylum)
- Your tax declaration from last year
- Your AMKA number
How do I prove that I know the Greek language?
People studying at Greek schools prove their knowledge of the Greek language by attending school. If you aren’t studying, you need to be interviewed by the Naturalization Committee, which will decide on your application.
How can I best prepare for the exams and the interview?
The interview procedure is now changing because the Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs received a high number of complaints.
The Ministry will upload 300 questions and answers on its site. You can prepare for the interview by studying these questions.
From these 300 questions, 30 will be randomly chosen by an electronic system and you will have to answer 20 of them correctly. This new electronic system ensures that the interview process is objective.
What are the next steps after my interview?
If you have a successful interview, you will have to wait for about a year for your name to be announced in the National Gazette.
Unfortunately, you will then have to wait another year to take the oath of citizenship.
The last step is to register yourself in your local municipality.
How long does it take to grant citizenship?
The whole procedure could last approximately 5 years.
This is because the Greek state was not well-prepared. Authorities didn’t expect so many applications so they are understaffed.
Today, if you apply for citizenship at the Athens municipality, you would need to wait:
- 3 years for the interview
- 1.5 years for the decision published in the National Gazette
In the next year, it’s obligatory to take the oath of citizenship and register at the local municipality.
How much does it cost?
There is a fee of €100 for recognized refugees, and a fee of €700 for migrants and all other categories.
Does my nationality play any role in getting Greek citizenship? Will I be treated differently?
No, your nationality does not play any role. The most important requirement is that you have legal status in Greece.
I have refugee status and live in Greece with my family. If I get Greek citizenship, does the rest of my family get it too?
The minors and unmarried members of the family will get citizenship automatically. The adults will have to apply and go through the Greek citizenship procedure.
What about babies who are born in Greece?
Being born in Greece does not give Greek citizenship to a child who is born to foreign parents.
Children born in Greece can apply for citizenship after they complete the first grade of primary school, and if both their parents have lived legally and continuously in Greece for at least 5 years before the child’s birth.
Generation 2.0 RED is located at Eleftherias Square 14 (Koumoundourou Square), Athens, 10553. You can contact them at +30 213 088 4499 and firstname.lastname@example.org