Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Greek citizenship by birth

According to Article 1 of the 52-page Greek Citizenship Code from 2010, a child born in Greece acquires Greek citizenship if:

a) the mother was a Greek citizen during her pregnancy and at the time of the child’s birth; or

b) the father was a Greek citizen at the time of the child’s birth; or

c) both non-Greek parents have been legally living in Greece with the proper residence permits for at least five (5) years at the time of the child’s birth.

A child born in Greece under the above conditions acquires Greek citizenship at birth, unless opting for another foreign citizenship or its citizenship is declared as unknown.

The birth must be recorded in the registry and registered in the family’s oikogeneiaki merida at the time Greek citizenship is being claimed. The latter often becomes an issue when one parent is Greek, the other is not Greek and they were never married or have since divorced, or the non-Greek parent and child have left Greece, without claiming citizenship.

If you’re interested in obtaining Greek citizenship but were not born in Greece to at least one Greek parent, go to “Ways to acquire Greek citizenship” to see if you qualify under other conditions.

*Article last updated November 14, 2014. The current Greek Citizenship Code has been frozen since 2012, and Greek Parliament has promised but not passed any new amendments or laws.


Greek Citizenship Code prior to 2010” (in English, brief/informal translation)
New Greek Citizenship Code from 2010“: ΦΕΚ 49, 3838/2010 (in Greek and ruled unconstitutional)

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Greek citizenship by claim of Greek origin/descent
Mandatory military obligations in Greece
Greek citizenship through naturalization
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  prairiesnorth wrote @ February 4th, 2009 at 19:46

What if the children were born in a country outside of Greece by two Greek parents? Does that child acquire Greek citizenship at birth?

Kat Reply:

Not automatically. By looking in the third column or doing a search, you could have found the answer in many articles on this website, including “Greek citizenship by claim of Greek origin.” Thank you.

  paul wrote @ October 9th, 2013 at 17:22

Your question was transferred to, “Ways to get Greek citizenship.”

Sorry, comments are closed at this time.