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How to get Greek citizenship?

Greek passport provides free access to 174 countries of the world. Its owner gets the opportunity to live, work, travel, study, buy real estate and conduct business in any country of the European Union without any restrictions.

The Greek passport ranked sixth in the ranking of passports for freedom of movement of Henley & Partners in 2018 aremafoto /
Greek citizenship can be obtained by birth: for example, if one of the parents of the child is a citizen of Greece, or if the child was born in Greece to foreign parents who live in Greece for at least five years, and enrolled in a Greek school. A child who has completed six classes in a Greek school or graduated in Greece has the same opportunity. Foreigners with Greek roots can get a Greek passport. But what about those who decide to get Greek citizenship in adulthood and have nothing to do with this country?

Although Greece does not have a special program for issuing passports for investments, such as in Malta or Cyprus, any foreign citizen has the opportunity to obtain Greek citizenship by naturalization, that is, on the basis of an application. Such an applicant should:
be over 18 years old;
have no criminal record;
not to be deported from Greece in the past;
to live legally in Greece for at least seven years (in some cases the period is reduced to three years).
Conditions for obtaining Greek citizenship are spelled out in Law No. 3284 of 2004.

The main requirement is accommodation in Greece
One of the main requirements for those who want to get a Greek passport is legal residence in Greece for seven years. To do this, you must have a Greek residence permit. One of the easiest ways to get it is to take part in the Greek Golden Visa program.

“Golden visa” in Greece is one of the most popular programs for obtaining a residence permit in Greece for Russians. From 2013 to 2017, more than 900 Russians received a “golden visa” for Greece. To get a Greek residence permit, you must buy one or more real estate in Greece in the amount of 250 thousand euros. This residence permit is renewed every five years if the property remains in the property of the applicant. Together with the main applicant for a residence permit in Greece, all family members receive: a spouse, children under 21 and parents of both spouses. Tranio helps clients buy property in Greece and prepare documents for obtaining a residence permit.

Read more about the procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Greece

Real estate in Greece for a “golden visa”
Another type of residence permit available to foreigners is a Greek residence permit for financially independent persons. It is issued to foreigners whose income in their home country exceeds 2 thousand euros per month. Together with the main applicant, such a residence permit is received by the spouse or children under the age of 18 – however, then the minimum amount of income will increase by 20% per spouse or 15% for each of the children. A residence permit for financially independent persons is issued for two years, after which a residence permit holder can renew it every three years. However, Greece strictly checks the documents for obtaining this type of residence permit, so in practice it is quite difficult to obtain it.

In some cases, the mandatory period of residence in Greece is reduced to three years:

1) if the applicant is married to a citizen or citizen of Greece and they have a child;

2) if the applicant has a minor child-citizen of Greece (but he received this status not on the basis of education in a Greek school);

3) if the applicant is a refugee and a stateless person (stateless person);

4) if the applicant is an EU citizen.

The applicant is expected to speak Greek, be familiar with the history and culture of Greece and is ready to take part in the political life of the country. In order to prove this, several months after the submission of the documents, the applicant may be asked to perform a test and invite him for an interview. Knowledge of the applicant for citizenship is assessed by a special Committee on Naturalization.

If an applicant acquires Greek citizenship by naturalization, at the same time minor children and grandchildren acquire it at the same time.
Documents and expenses
The application package for citizenship in Greece includes:

Declaration of the desire to obtain Greek citizenship (filed at the place of residence in Greece in the presence of two Greek citizens);
application for citizenship;
a copy of the residence permit in Greece (for EU citizens – a certificate of registration or permanent residence issued by the Greek Immigration Board);
copy of the passport;
birth certificate (if the applicant was not born in Greece – notarized and translated into Greek with an apostille);
tax returns for the past few years;
insurance policy number;
other documents confirming the applicant’s connection with Greece and the citizens of Greece.

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