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 recognition

According to Article 2 of the Greek Citizenship Code:

A foreign child born out of wedlock, who is legally recognized by a Greek national either voluntarily or by full judicial acknowledgment, becomes a Greek citizen if acknowledgment is made while the foreign child is a minor (under the age of 18).

*No changes were made to this Article with the new Greek Citizenship Code of 2010.


A sworn statement by the father or mother is typically not enough. The Greek citizen must formally register the child in the oikogeneiaki merida (family record) before he/she turned 18 and establish that there is an ongoing relationship, unless the parent is deceased. A list of documents necessary to stake a claim and the process itself can be found at: “Greek citizenship by claim of ancestry, origin or descent.”

*Article last updated January 4, 2013

In the news

“Greek authorities target fake fathers to root out bribes” (link broken) — Athens News

Related posts

Greek citizenship by claim of Greek ancestry, origin or descent
Greek citizenship by naturalization
Ways to get Greek citizenship
website metrics


  Dani wrote @ February 11th, 2009 at 00:36

The information on this website has been very informative! My situation varies just a bit from anything I have read about Greek citizenship so I am looking to see if anyone has any input on this twist!

Here it goes… So I need to prove the relationship with my father to the Greek courts first before I can apply for dual citizenship (?) – which I was told by the Embassy that I would need more proof than just my birth certificate for the Greek courts. What other documents could I provide or would they accept to show he is my father? California court papers for child support, etc.? I was told I need something showing he has acknowledged me, other than his name on my birth certificate. Needless to say my father won’t speak to me (and never has), so I am trying to do this without getting him involved. I know where he was born but unsure of the Municipality where he may be registered. He was born and raised in Greece and moved here the year I was born, but had nothing to do with me since.

So from my understanding I need to register myself in the Greek courts as his daughter with proof. Am I correct? Unsure of how to get his certificate as well.

Any other help or suggestions would be great.


  Kat wrote @ February 15th, 2009 at 16:50


That’s true, you need more than just a birth certificate or child support statements listing him as your father.

No matter what your age, your biological Greek father must sign a legal declaration that acknowledges you as his legitimate child. He must do this voluntarily or by force, if you wish to pursue it in court.

Further, in 2008, the Greek law was changed and now requires the Perifeiria (regional office) to further verify this claim with the Greek father before you can even submit your application for Greek citizenship. Why? Because Greek men were accepting bribes of several thousand euros to falsify papers for non-EU immigrant women seeking to get Greek citizenship for themselves or their children. Why? Because Greek citizenship by way of naturalization is one of the most difficult, lengthy and expensive processes in the entire EU, on par with Switzerland.

Assuming you can get your father to do this — though I’m not sure you can by what you said — you’ll need to find out where his oikogeneiaki merida (voting rights/file with family papers) is located in order to get his birth certificate or ask him to provide you with one, if you don’t know. Unfortunately, there isn’t a centralized system in which to access birth certificates. You must first locate the municipality, then request it directly from the Mayor’s office or through the Greek Embassy/Consulate nearest you.

Your father must also register you in his oikogeneiaki merida, and this would further verify his acknowledgment of you as his child. You cannot register yourself in this case because you have not been legally recognized.

  John wrote @ May 10th, 2011 at 00:01

My father has recognized me after my 18th birthday in an EU country where i was born and raised, so i don’t have Greek nationality or citizenship, and i don’t want it.

But my question is, when he puts me in his oikogeneiaki merida in Greece, will this have any consequences for me? Because i don’t want Greek citizenship or the Greek nationality, will this only be some kind of proof in Greece that i am his son or are the papers of the recognition in my own country by my father enough for that?

can someone please answer me?
Thanks in advance..

But I do have a Greek name, I do not want to apply for the Greek nationality or citizenship and I do have indeed a EU-passport.. but i thinking about to come and work in Greece in the future..

In this case, do you still think that if my father registers me in his oikogeneiaki merida it won’t have any consequences (concerning the Greek nationality and citizenship that i do not want and need) for me?

I’m asking this because i’m not sure of the following:

Will they accept the official documents of recognition of me by my father that took place in my own country in Greece aswell, for example if i need to prove the connection to my father in anyway in the future.

Because if these papers of him recognizing me in my own country are also qualified to use in Greece if i need to prove my connection to my father then there is no need of him putting me in his oikogeneiaki merida.

Kat Reply:

Should you claim Greek citizenship, get a Greek passport OR come to live/work in Greece, then you will be asked to serve Greek military duty if between the ages of 19-45. As long as none of these things is true and you remain a permanent resident outside Greece, the most they could ask you to provide is a ‘permanent resident abroad’ certificate from the Greek consulate/embassy nearest you.

When your father registers you in his oikogeneiaki merida, he’s establishing an official record of your familial link. He is required to do this; you need this as an official record, also. The papers you acquired in your current country are fine, but what authorities will make you do is have them translated to Greek and then register them in your dad’s oikogeneiaki merida. So same result, but more work. There’s no way around it unless you don’t want to be officially recognized as his son, though it’s a bit late for that because you’ve already done it. Therefore, you are technically a Greek national; you just don’t have Greek citizenship.

As I said in the first sentence, you will be required to serve Greek military if you come to live/work in Greece. Why? Because you are of Greek origin/descent/ancestry. Whether you have Greek citizenship is irrelevant, as explained in “Mandatory Greek military duty.”

A potential employer will also see your Greek name and ask for proof of completed military obligations before hiring you, as I say in “Examples of jobs and salaries in Greece.”

If you’re trying to figure out how to live and work in Greece without serving Greek military as a man of Greek ancestry with a Greek surname, try a Greek military forum (in Greek only) and good luck. I cannot help you with this because all the men in my life served military.

Note: The answer above has been revised to reflect the additional information you gave.

  John wrote @ May 13th, 2011 at 18:07

Before I asked my last question, I want to thank you because you and this website are very helpful because there is a lot of confusing information about these kind of subjects in the internet and even in Greece they are not as clear as you. So thank you very much.

My last question is, if i decide to stay in my own country to live and work, but still want to be registered in Greece in my fathers oikogeneiaki merida and I will apply in my own country for a certificate of permanent resident abroad, will i get this certificate? I ask because in some websites i read you have to be born and raised in another country (this is my case) but both your parents have to live in a country outside of greece as well….

Because my father lives and works in Greece (he is not employed by the Greek government though) but my mother raised me and she isn’t greek and doesn’t live in Greece and never did and i read in one website (UK embassy, but im not from the UK).

I’ve also read all the topics on this website and the comments concerning this subject but can’t find any specific info about my case.

Kat Reply:

First, I never said you need a permanent resident abroad certificate. I said the most you “may” need is that certificate. I don’t know enough about your particular case to advise you or make a final judgment; all cases are different. The best thing you can do is visit or call the Greek embassy/consulate nearest your location and inquire if you need one and how to apply if you do. What applies at one location should apply at all locations since it’s based on law, and the law is clear.

Second, I do not have information on getting a permanent resident abroad certificate for Greek men of military age because all my articles are based on both documentation and first-hand experience, which is why they’re more clear, more real and often times more accurate. Having real experience and not just copying info also enables me to answer questions as an expert. I’m not a Greek man eligible for military draft, living abroad or in need of this certificate, and all the men in my life served military. So to do an article, I need to gather the first-hand experiences of at least three men I don’t know.

I appreciate your compliment. This website has more than 300 articles I update on a regular basis, and I could do 500 more articles and still not cover everything about Greece. However, I do not get paid to run this website and have other personal/professional commitments, so I do what I can.

All best.

  panagiotis wrote @ May 3rd, 2012 at 18:38

Your question was moved to “Greek citizenship by origin, descent or ancestry.”

  Elise wrote @ October 10th, 2013 at 01:02

I didn’t want to write about my situation at first because I was afraid of all the judgements….but I really need help. My son was born out of wedlock in Singapore (I’m a Singaporean) and his father is a Greek citizen. We have gone our separate ways and are not married.

Can I hope to obtain Greek citizenship for my son? Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

Kat Reply:

Your question is already answered above.

As it clearly states in ‘Requirements,’ the father must formally recognize the child as his own and register him in the family record.
— If the father does that and assists his son with the process detailed in the linked article to stake a claim to citizenship via Greek ancestry, he can get citizenship.
— If the father doesn’t do that and provide necessary papers, he cannot as there’s no way for you to access papers or help your son submit the application. There must also be proof of an ongoing relationship between son and father (also stated above).

No judgment. That’s just what the law says.

Sorry, comments are closed at this time.