Living in Greece

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

Greek citizenship through naturalization

Greece has two naturalization processes by which eligible persons can acquire Greek citizenship and Greek passport.

The first is a shorter naturalization process for people of Greek origin, descent or ancestry with a grandmother, grandfather or great-grandparent born in Greece, currently explained in “Greek citizenship by claim of Greek origin.”

The second is a longer and expensive naturalization process described below for EU and non-EU citizens of no Greek descent who are interested in acquiring Greek citizenship after marriage to a Greek citizen and/or several years residence in Greece via a permit to live in Greece. Though known as having the most stringent citizenship requirements in the world on par with Switzerland, the new Greek Citizenship Code passed in 2010 lowered the application fee from 1500 euros to 700 euros and the required years of residency in Greece from 10 of 12 years to seven (7) years.

However, be aware that the Greek government froze all applications for foreigners of no Greek origin as of November 2012, and only persons of Greek blood can obtain citizenship at this time.

*Article last updated November 14, 2014. Answers in ‘Comments’ reflect a specific case or whatever laws were in effect at the time, and the government is still debating revisions to Greek citizenship rules .


Some “official” sites still display the old code or an incomplete translation of the new code, which is why I did my own translation in cooperation with a Greek-American lawyer.

Greek, American, Russian, Cypriot and UK lawyers, plus expat websites and Turkish bloggers, have reused portions of my article without permission and refuse to honor copyright, so you are not necessarily getting confirmation from different sources.

Be careful who you trust.

Challenge to New Greek Citizenship Code 3838/2010

Certain sections of the new Greek Citizenship Code were challenged, and a supreme court ruled them ‘unconstitutional’ in February 2011.

The court was scheduled to issue a final decision at the end of 2011, but ex-PM George Papandreou — the man who ordered overhaul of Greek citizenship laws — stepped down November 2011, and the Council of State upheld “some sections” were unconstitutional in November 2012. Even before this latest ruling, the new government that took power in June 2012 said they would change them again. We are (still) waiting for those amendments to be officially published.

Many municipalities refuse to accept applications, though they are lawfully required to keep taking them under the current law. If this happens to you, contact the Greek ombudsman.

On November 30, 2012, the government froze all procedures pertaining to granting Greek citizenship, passports and national IDs to persons of non-Greek origin. On February 5, 2013, it was announced that all non-Greek foreigners granted Greek citizenship under the 2010 reform may lose voting rights and, possibly, their Greek passports and Greek IDs.

On October 15, 2013, the Ministry of Interior announced that a new Immigration Code had been drafted and would impact citizenship. However, it has not been debated in Parliament or officially published (expected date is sometime in 2014).

On February 14, 2014, Greece announced that the new immigration bill does not and will not address Greek citizenship for foreigners, and all non-Greeks and the Greek diaspora can no longer vote in elections.

The official revision to the citizenship code promised by early 2014 was drafted in November 2014, but nothing has been debated, passed or officially made a law.

Dual Citizenship

Before starting the process of acquiring dual citizenship with Greece, it is imperative you research the relevant country’s stance before committing unintentional acts that may risk your current citizenship. Some countries allow it; some do not. Inquire at consulate/embassy or your homeland’s federal government office, not a friend, relative or forum.

Benefits of dual citizenship with Greece

Non-EU citizens typically seek dual citizenship with Greece or another EU member state as a path to living and working in a European country without restriction. Others have uniquely personal reasons. If you have an ancestor born in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, it may be easier and faster to stake a claim to EU citizenship via ancestry. See, “Acquiring EU citizenship through an ancestor.”

Non-Greek EU citizens often seek dual citizenship with Greece because the Hellenic Republic shows preference toward its own citizens, even though all EU citizens should lawfully enjoy equal rights and treatment in all member states.

Marrying for Greek citizenship

Marrying for Greek citizenship is not automatic or easy, as citizenship is not transferable by marriage alone. All EU and non-EU citizens interested in Greek citizenship must prove fluency in Greek, fulfill long-term residency requirements by living in Greece for many years and go through the naturalization process described below.

Marrying a Greek citizen also does not mean you qualify for a Greek passport or Greek national ID. It only shortens residency requirement to apply for Greek citizenship to three (3) years if a child or children are produced from the union. Nothing more. A less bureaucratic process for non-EU family members is to obtain a residence/work permit based on marriage to a Greek or other EU citizen, which grants rights on par with EU residents and involves no fee and no language requirements. See, “Residence/work permits for non-EU family members of Greek/EU citizens.”

Warning to men

All men with Greek citizenship and/or of Greek descent between the ages of 19-45 must perform national service, unless an exemption applies. Men who become naturalized Greek citizens typically serve six (6) months. See “Mandatory Greek military service” for more information.

Basic criteria for Greek citizenship

1. Be aged 18 or over.

2. No criminal record or outstanding deportation order
— No pending judgments of deportation
— In 10 years prior to date of application for citizenship, must not have been sentenced to six (6) months to up to one (1) year for dangerous crime, such as homicide, rape, physical violence, drug dealing, money laundering, child abduction, etc.

3(a). Be married and have a child or children with a Greek citizen, and be legally living in Greece for 3 years
— Must be married three (3) full years from the wedding date; and
— Must be legally living in Greece for three (3) full, consecutive years with a long-term residence permit/card; and
— Must have a child or children with his/her Greek spouse
*It does not matter if the marriage is civil or religious. All that matters is the marriage is legal, registered and still valid.
3(b). Have custody of a child or children who are Greek citizens, and be legally living in Greece for three (3) years.
3(c). You are single/divorced, married to a non-Greek, or married to a Greek with no children and have seven (7) years legal residence in Greece
— Must be legally living in Greece with a long-term residence permit/card for seven (7) consecutive years prior to the date of application.
— Must not have an absence of 10 continuous months in the last five (5) years before application.

Refugees are recognized under the 1951 Geneva Convention and must have a total of five (5) years residency in Greece.

If you do not meet the three basic criteria, you may qualify for Greek citizenship another way. See “Ways to acquire Greek citizenship.”

Documents, fee and fingerprints required

If the applicant meets the three basic criteria listed above, the following documents must be gathered, a fee paid and fingerprints given.

1. An application completed in Greek
— Where to get a Greek citizenship application or an Aitisi Politografisis:
a) the Interior Ministry at 31 Stadiou Street in person or by calling the citizenship office at (210) 324-9683 or alternative numbers of (210) 324-9465 or (210) 324-9314 to request one be sent somewhere within Greece
b) the mayor’s office (dimarxeio) or city hall of your municipality
c) the Greek consulate/embassy nearest your residence, if outside Greece.
* Note: There are no online Greek citizenship forms available. I recommend making a photocopy and using it as a test-run, then fill out the original later. Liquid paper or blanco is frowned upon.

2. A formal statement of naturalization in Greek
Certified statement (dilosi), signed in the presence of the mayor or the head of the village council or Greek consulate/embassy and two witnesses who are Greek citizens

3. A photocopy of the applicant’s passport or valid travel document
— A translation to Greek is only necessary if the information on this document is not written in Latin characters. See, “Official translations to Greek” if you need assistance.

4. A photocopy of the applicant’s current Greek residence permit

5. Applicant’s birth certificate from his/her homeland with apostille attached
— An official long-form birth certificate must be issued from applicant’s birth city, then affixed with apostille from the same place. See “How to get an apostille” if you need assistance.
— Birth certificate with apostille attached must be translated to Greek. See, “Official translations to Greek” if you need assistance.
— The original and one (1) photocopy

6. Applicant’s most recent printed income tax return (ekkatharistiko) from the Greek tax office/eforia/DOY
— If you are unemployed, a copy of your spouse’s tax return from the Greek tax office/eforia/DOY is required or a statement of income from outside the country, which has been translated into Greek and certified by police
— If you are single/divorced, you must provide evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself
— One photocopy and the original for inspection

7. Applicant’s fingerprints
— Taken at his/her local police station, which includes verification with the application.
— See a map book or call information to find a police station nearest your residence

8. Parabolo (certified receipt of deposit) for 700 euros
— Paid at the Greek tax office/eforia/DOY under applicant’s AFM (Greek tax number)
— Fee is non-refundable
— Original and one (1) photocopy

9. A2 certificate issued by IDEKE that applicant has sufficient knowledge of Greek
— Obtained by taking 100 hours of free Greek language classes and/or passing a test.
— See, “Free Greek language lessons” to sign up for classes or take the examination.
9. Completion of at least three (3) years of secondary school education in Greece
9. Certificate/diploma from any high school in Greece.
— Two (2) photocopies, plus original for inspection

10. A2 certificate issued by IDEKE that applicant has sufficient knowledge of Greek history/culture
— Obtained by taking 25 hours of ancient Greek history and culture classes and/or passing a test.
— See “IDEKE Greek history/culture lessons” to sign up for classes or take the examination.
— Two (2) photocopies, plus original for inspection

11. AMKA
— See “AMKA: Greek social security number” if you need assistance.
— Two (2) copies of your card or a printout from your insurance fund/KEP verifying your number, plus original for inspection.

What happens next?

* The application and accompanying documents should be taken and submitted to the mayor’s office (dimarxeio), city hall or village council (koinotita) in your local municipality

* The municipality forwards the application to the local prefecture, where officials will forward it to the regional general secretary for approval if everything is in order.

* If approved, a copy of the applicant’s Type ‘A’ criminal record certificate is requested from the Ministry of Citizen Protection.

* The application is then forwarded to the interior ministry, where the naturalization committee will request a personal interview within six (6) months that assesses:
— Your fluency in Greek;
— Your knowledge of Greek culture and ancient history;
— “High moral standards, strong character and personality” (all subjective);
— Possession of “stable and regular resources,” medical insurance and a home that “meets the required specifications for hygiene” (subjective, no guidelines given)
Note: If the applicant does not show up at this interview, his/her request for Greek citizenship is automatically rejected.

* Within four (4) months of the interview, the interior ministry’s naturalization committee is obligated to render a decision in writing and provide the applicant with a copy.

* If approved, the decision will be published in the Government Gazette and the applicant will be notified by phone/letter and invited to the mayor’s office (dimarxeio), city hall or village council (koinotita) to take a citizenship oath within one (1) year of the decision’s publication date and pick up their papers.

How long does the Greek citizenship process take?

The Greek citizenship process via naturalization from submitting your application to receiving an answer (approval or denial) should only be one (1) year under the new law, which improves previous waiting times of 2-10 years. However, based on the first-hand experience of readers and people I know, it still takes between 3-5 years.

The Greek Ombudsman can intervene on your behalf at no cost, if you have been waiting an excessive amount of time. It is not necessary to get a lawyer.

There were 180,000 pending applications in the queue for foreign-born Greeks staking a claim to Greek citizenship via ancestry or descent as of February 2011, and 7,700 citizenship applications from non-Greeks as of December 2011. Approximately 10,000 cases are reviewed each year.

As you should know from living here several years, there is nothing you can do to speed the process. Greece is a ‘results may vary’ country and things get done (or not) in time.

Once the citizenship certificate is issued, the new Greek citizen can apply for a Greek passport and Greek national ID (tautotita). See, “How to get a Greek passport” and “How to get a Greek national ID.”

What if I’m denied?

If Greek citizenship is denied, the applicant will be given the reason(s) in writing. He/she has the right to challenge the decision in writing within 15 days and submit any supporting evidence to the naturalization committee.

If the decision is final and Greek citizenship is not granted, the applicant can apply again one (1) year from the date of the committee’s decision (not the date you originally submitted your application), using the same process outlined above. The fee to reapply is 200 euros.

* Please see other options for EU citizenship and permits at the end of this post in, “Related posts.”

Contact information in Greece

Interior Ministry Citizenship Office
31 Stadiou Street
(210) 324-9683
(210) 324-9465 alternate
(210) 324-9314 alternate

KEP (Citizen Services Centres)

Mayor’s Office (Dimarxeio) or City Hall
Each municipality has its own; find one by calling KEP at ‘1500′, consulting a map or accessing directory assistance

In the news

“French citizen waits 10 years for application to be examined” (link broken) — Athens News
“Vast majority of new Greeks are Orthodox Christian and ethnic Greeks” (link broken) – Athens News


Greek Citizenship Code prior to 2010” (in English, brief/informal translation)
Greek Citizenship Code from 2010“: ΦΕΚ 49, 3838/2010 (in Greek and ruled unconstitutional)
Court questions legality of new Greek citizenship code” — Kathimerini
Greek citizenship up, ruling looms” — Athens News
New Greek citizenship law has little impact” — Kathimerini
Fake marriage ring busted in Thessaloniki” — Kathimerini
Non-EU foreigner born in Greece is illegal in Greece but legal in other EU countries” — To Vima
Official documentation and application given to me by the interior ministry
Interviews with Greek embassies and consulates in the United States
Personal experience; experience of readers who were generous in sharing their experience with me

Related posts

Acquiring EU citizenship through ancestry or naturalization
How to get EU citizenship, driver’s licenses, national IDs, visas, residence/work permits
How non-EU citizens can get a permit to live and work in Greece metrics


  jakara wrote @ November 27th, 2008 at 03:42

that is a long process from the greeks. is their country heaven or what? i am married to a greek with a child, and i will take the government to any extent to get what am entitled to

  Christopher wrote @ March 11th, 2009 at 15:32

I have a specific question regarding item 3 of the basic criteria for Greek citizenship. It’s stated that you must have no criminal record or deportation order. By the deportation order, is it meant specifically a deportation order from Greece, or any deportation order, regardless of country?

In my case, for example, I was officially deported from ____ 7 years ago. Does this mean that if I ever wanted to apply for Greek Citizenship (have no intention of doing so, I’m asking just for s*its and giggles), I’d be denied? Do you suppose that the Greek government actually would discover a deportation order on its own if you never mentioned it?

Kat Reply:

I don’t know the extent of Russian record keeping, but I assume deportation is attached to your passport number and it will be traced to you somehow. Whether you disclose it or not, Greece will ask U.S. authorities to run a background and criminal check on you, and your passport traces your travel history, visa violations and deportations.

So if you hide the deportation on the application or lie, you’d automatically be disqualified and denied Greek citizenship. And they get to keep your 1500 euros.

  Lukas wrote @ April 13th, 2009 at 21:04

Dear Kat,

Thank you very much for such an informative site. I am a greek american living in the US. I recently submitted all of my paperwork with the Greek Embassy in Washington DC, to attain my dual citizenship with Greece. The Embassy was most helpful. My situation was a bit different. My maternal grandfather is greek, but was born in New York City. We could not trace his exact roots to his father in Greece, so I had to submit my application via my maternal grandmother, via naturalization. My mother also applied for her dual citizenship, but since I am 27, I could not tag directly onto her application. The Embassy has assured me that I will get my dual citizenship because it is very clear that I am of Greek descent. They stated that it should take about 1 year for all of the paperwork to go through and about 6 months for my mothers.

Thanks again for such a great site. It really helped me get all of my paperwork together!



Kat Reply:

Hi Lukas. I’d been looking for someone who took an untraditional path to Greek citizenship under circumstances such as yours, and it means a lot that you would take the time and energy to share your story with us, including details about what happened and how long it will take. It’s my pleasure to help someone like you, someone grateful who gives back to the website and provides insight that I and others wouldn’t otherwise have. I hope you’ll comment and visit again. :)

  nasar ali wrote @ June 4th, 2009 at 21:36

i came this country 1992. i like this country, i decide to stay… 1998 i got amnesty from oaed (white/green card systems). from 2002 i change to business with permit for independent economic activity. february 2009 i got my permanent residence permit. and i have submitted already my greek nationality.. im waiting the response from the ministry. i like to ask what countries is possible i can work with my permanent residence permit. beside i have 3 children who born here and go to greek school from child age , i request you please tell me what is the possible for me to work,and stay with my family . i pray for your long happy healthy life

thanks lot

Kat Reply:

The answers are already on this website.

1. Where can you work with a permanent residence permit? Depends. If you have the special EU-wide permit, you can work anywhere in the EU. Any other permit is only for Greece.

2. What is possible for your family? Depends. If you stay in Greece, it’s fine. If you move to another country, you need to research their rules — it’s impossible for me to know about all permits for all countries. If you have the EU-wide permit, it will be easier. If you do not have the EU-wide permit, then you will start from nothing again. If you get Greek citizenship, you and your family can go anywhere. However, if you leave before they process an answer for Greek citizenship, your application will be denied.

  FMS wrote @ June 6th, 2009 at 04:11

Well. According to my reading of European law, anyone with the Greek permanent residence permit can apply to have the EU long-term permit but has to satisfy their stupid requirements about knowing the history and language of Greece.

Most EU countries simply converted their permanent residence permits to the EU long-term permit, but the Greeks had to make life as difficult as possible, of course. Is anyone surprised?

Kat Reply:

Yes, that’s what I’m saying; he must apply for the EU-wide permit if he doesn’t already have it because they are still separate permits with separate requirements and separate bureaucracy. It goes back to one of my first articles written for this website: Think of how the rest of the world works, and the opposite is true in Greece.

  Mari wrote @ July 13th, 2009 at 23:29


I’m 21, was born in Central Asia, in 2006 I moved to USA and got my asylee status but it’s not a citizenship, I’m planning to get married and my fiancee lives in Greece and he has a greek citizenship, so I’d like move to Greece before the marriage. Would I be able to do it? Is it possible for me to obtain a Greek citizenship eventually? What would be the process for me to do it? Please advice. And thank you a lot, this is the most helpful website ever.

Kat Reply:

All of the answers are in the article above or in related articles on this website.

You can only move here before the marriage if you:
a) get a visa and get married before it expires (“How non-EU citizens can move, live and work in Greece“); OR
b) have sufficient financial means coming from outside Greece to get a permit to live here (“How to get a visa and permit to live in Greece based on independent means.“).

The answers to Greek citizenship are in the article above, which I took the time to translate, research, write and update for everyone’s convenience. I suggest you read it again carefully to find the answers you seek, since it does apply to you.

  george wrote @ July 29th, 2009 at 19:12

my mother is nationally greek but citizen of georgia. i have all proved document about this. documents translation from georgian into greek and witness.about citizen i have all documents collect , in my interest is pass this documents and hurry it. i m interesting about your help procedure. . and help to me to get citizen. especially im interesting how long gonna be procedure after i pass this documents. or when i will pass the document did i get the something documents before i get the citizen.? please elucidation this question if you can to help me. course if i pass this documents in georgia its gonna be 3 4 year to waiting. please if something is for help to me.

Kat Reply:

You need to follow the instructions listed above, or those in the other article called “Greek citizenship by claim of Greek origin,” which is a link offered in the third paragraph. All the help and answers I can offer are there already. Thank you.

  STEPHANOS wrote @ October 3rd, 2009 at 13:28

lukas, i have the same story as you. my great grandparents were born in greece. my mother is 100% greek, but she and my grandparents were born in the u.s.a. i do not have any paper from my maternal grandfather because they were lost in war. however i do have papers from my maternal grandmothers parent’s marriage license, and residence in greece. in order for me to start.. would my mother and grandmother have to apply for dual as well? i do not believe they would want to..

Kat Reply:

You can start the process on your own and see where it takes you, since you have some of the documents necessary. If they don’t find them sufficient, they will tell you what more you can do since you are clearly of Greek origin.

  malcolm wrote @ October 23rd, 2009 at 17:45

hi there, i was married to a greek woman for 5 yrs before we divorced, and i have 2 children with her and i have been living in greece for 13 yrs now. my question is, what group are my to apply for greek citizenship? i have a residence permit that is renewed every 5yrs, please kindly tell in group i belong cos you know that the greek government doesnt tell you what your right is, you have to look for it by yourself, so your help and advise will be highly regarded, thanks.

Kat Reply:

It does not matter to what group you belong in your case, the requirements are the same. The requirements for Greek citizenship involve much more than being married or living here for 12 years, including certificates from IDEKE that prove you took their classes and know fluent Greek and Greek history/culture. Please use the article above and look at the section “Additional requirements and process.” Everything is already explained. Good luck.

  layla wrote @ November 6th, 2009 at 20:53

hi, i got married a greek man and we have a child. i have applied greek long will take to get greek citizenship? and i cannot speak greek fluently.this is the matter to get greek citizenship?thanks

Kat Reply:

All answers to your questions are already given in the article above. Please take another look. Thank you.

  reza wrote @ December 23rd, 2009 at 19:50

I m living in Greece almost 9 years.I ve got the resident permit of 5 years which can be renewed.Ive got a travel document as well.I want to know if people like me can apply for greek citizenship or not? also is there any hope for those having Rose card of 6 months permit,to be recognized as political refugees? Sas euxaristo para poli gia tis xrisimes plirofories.Na exete kales giortes.

Kat Reply:

I get the feeling you didn’t read the article at all because your questions about citizenship have already been answered. It takes much more than living here and a permit to get Greek citizenship. Please read the list.

Regarding the pink card, I know nothing about it so you should inquire at the municipality office. Regarding political refugees, Greece accepts very very few after a long process and chances are slim to none.

Follow-up from FMS: The pink card is given to people who applied for political asylum, but it doesn’t grant political asylum. It essentially allows holders to work and reside in Greece for only 6 months. Other EU countries give money, accommodation and food for asylum applicants: Greece gives nothing. There is no hope of getting citizenship from a pink card.

  mary wrote @ March 19th, 2010 at 23:44

i’m a Greek citizen married to an American (non-Greek) man and we have been living in Greece since 2003. My husband has a residency permit, now valid for 10 years. We had a baby, born in Greece, 3 years ago. How easy is it for my husband to gain Greek citizenship and once he does, is he entitled to a Greek/EU passport?
What is the best official/government website for all the steps necessary for this whole process?

Kat Reply:

1) How easy is it for your husband to get Greek citizenship? Depends, did he already meet all the requirements listed above? It takes a lot more than marriage, a permit and a baby. Read the article again (‘Documents, Fee and Fingerprints required’) to see what I mean.

2) Is he entitled to a Greek passport? This question is already answered in the article above also.

3) What’s the best official/gov’t website? In English, there isn’t one containing the info you seek; that’s why I wrote this article. In Greek, I assume you know that as a Greek citizen yourself. All the steps necessary, including the documents and whole process, are listed above for you already. All you need to do is follow them.

Best of luck.

  Lukas wrote @ May 3rd, 2010 at 07:44

Hi Kat,

I wanted to give you an update on my status. It’s been about a year since I applied for my citizenship with Greece via my grandmother. I have been in contact with the Embassy in Washington, DC who continue to be most helpful. My mother’s paperwork is moving through (as expected) but mine has not gone too far as yet. They indicated that since I am a male and going through my grandmother, it will take more time than usual. You warned me (via your site) that it may take a couple years. I am not in any rush, so it really does not bother me!

Again, you’ve got a wonderful website, I frequent it ever few months to see what is going on and to see if the conscription will be changing soon!



Kat Reply:

Hi Lukas, thanks so much for checking in and letting me know how things are progressing. I expect that your paperwork will be easier to process once your mother’s citizenship is granted.

Regarding conscription, I think the Greek government has its hands full at the moment with the economy and other reform. But we’ll see how that impacts military service and the article will be updated accordingly.

I sure appreciate you stopping in and your kind words. See you again.

  Meral wrote @ May 22nd, 2010 at 17:14

Hi Kat,

Thank you for a very informative site! I am at the very beginning of my citizenship process, and this is the best information I’ve found so far. I’ll go to the Greek consulate in Istanbul soon to get more information, but wanted to get your opinion on my case, if you feel like it: my great-grandfather was an ethnic Greek who lived his whole life in Bulgaria. His daughter immigrated to Turkey and married a Turk, and my father was born in Turkey. My father will be applying for citizenship (and I, his daughter, with him, although I am over 18, so I am not sure if this entails anything different).

I’m guessing we both need to do this via naturalization since my great-grandfather never lived in Greece, right? My father, of course, stands a better chance of getting everything processed because it’s his grandfather… My case will likely linger, but… who knows!

Anyway, if you have any opinions, words of advice, etc, I’d be happy to hear them. Otherwise, please know your site is a gem!


Kat Reply:

Hi Meral,

You are doing the right thing in going to the Greek Consulate in Istanbul because this is a special case I’ve never encountered first hand. I know they grant Greek citizenship to ethnic Greeks who were forced to live outside the country’s borders, but I don’t know the requirements or under what circumstances it is granted.

Because it would be through a great-grandfather, I do believe it’s best if your father applies and is processed first. In cases where a great-grandfather was born in Greece and lived in Greece his whole life, I don’t know anyone who successfully acquired Greek citizenship this way, though I know a few who tried. If you happen to remember me and this site after the process is finished, please let me know what happened. I find it interesting.

Thank you so much for your kind words and making a comment. :)

  Lukas wrote @ June 3rd, 2010 at 06:54

Hi Kat,

I hope you’re well and hopefully things are settling down in Greece.

I wanted your opinion, as you may recall, i posted on your site howI submitted all of my paperwork to get my Dual Citizenship over a year ago (via my grandmother). I’ve been trying to contact my correspondent at the Greek Embassy in DC for some time now with no avail.

I know that I could just call down to the Embassy and speak with someone else, but I am not sure if there are more internal things going on in Greece and I should just leave it be for a few more months.

What are your thoughts? I know Greece is Greece and things take forever…. so I can wait, I am just a typical, impatient Greek American =)



Kat Reply:

Hi Lukas,

Thank you for thinking of me by visiting again, asking how I am and giving me an update. All three are thoughtful in different ways. Repeat visitors who are polite, ask good questions and give back to the website by sharing stories/info hold a special place in my memory.

I don’t think you’re impatient at all. A phrase you’ll hear a lot is, “These things take time.” Another I like to use is, “results may vary.” Ah, the mysterious workings of Greek bureaucracy. ;)

Going to your next comment…

  Lukas wrote @ June 4th, 2010 at 00:04

Hi Kat-

I wrote you yesterday about the status of my Dual Citizenship. Ironically, I finally got a response from the Greek Embassy. They indicated to me that there are significant delays in Greece for citizenship (male only). She also indicated that there are 5 open cases from 2008.

Anyway, this goes to show that all of your information you’ve listed about Dual Citizenship is accurate including the delays!

Just wanted to give you an update.



Kat Reply:

Hi again Lukas, fancy meeting you here.

Hmm, well I’m glad you got a status update. Some communication is better than nothing. There have been significant delays over here too. It took us three months and an appointment to get one paper from the eforia (Greek tax office), and the Kathimerini reported about 600K residence permits are backlogged. Some blame the changeover in government in October; some blame staff shortages. Whatever it is, I’d like to see the system work more efficiently for all of us.

I’ll be waiting to hear when your Greek citizenship is finally granted, so I have an idea how long it took. Hang in there!

All best,


  louise wrote @ June 25th, 2010 at 15:47

Thanks a lot for the information, your site really makes me feel that I’m not alone. It’s a shame I didn’t get this sort of information back in 1991.

Married to a Greek in 1987 and still married to this day, I’ve been living in Greece since 1991 after moving here from Australia on an English passport due to my father being English. My 2 sons were also born in Australia but as their father is Greek they automatically became Greek citizens. Me, however, I’m still struggling.

When I first came here I was told that because I wasn’t working I didn’t need a green card or a residence permit because I was married to a Greek, only to discover that was wrong. When I wanted to buy a car in my name it was then I discovered all the previous years I was given incorrect information. In 2006 the following year I discovered that my rights as a foreigner were not many. Even when it came to signing my son’s application for an ID card at the local police station, I was politely told that I couldn’t as I was not Greek; being his mother had no effect on the matter. Generally I felt alienated not by the people but by the system.

So I thought that since we have chosen to live in this country I should become naturalized. I submitted my first application in 2007, only to be told that I didn’t have the 3-year continuous residency period required for Greece. Legally I suppose they were right as my adeia paramonis started in 2006, even though I came with my husband and children here in 1991. I waited another year to reapply only to be told now there is a problem as far as my name is concerned. It is a total nightmare.

I still haven’t given up. I am going to get what I think is my right after so many years living here and having sent my 2 sons into the army to serve Greece. I feel that it is unjustifiable that my application to become Greek has been denied due to errors made by the local departments themselves.

However after reading your site and hearing other similar stories, I realize my story isn’t something new.

Kind Regards

Kat Reply:

Hi Louise, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with residence permits, getting a Greek ID for your son and applying for Greek citizenship via naturalization.

As an Australian/UK citizen, you are entitled to live in Greece because of your father but being married to a Greek doesn’t absolve you from following the law regarding residence permits or other bureaucracy. I’ve heard people say things like, “don’t worry” when they should be saying “I don’t know” when dispensing advice, and things change quickly without much communication and transparency. It’s better today than 12 years ago, but there is still a lot of misinformation.

After receiving your comment, I went to my article about getting a Greek ID and checked the requirements, then went to the ministry of citizen protection and re-read the circular and FEKs in Greek. I also asked a trusted friend to confirm my findings. There is nothing in the law that says the parent, legal guardian or certified witness must be Greek when signing for a child’s Greek ID, so there are three possible explanations: a) they refused you on the basis of not having a permit since you must be legal to do something legal, b) the police officer was uninformed or unhelpful, or c) language barrier.

I don’t know why your name is holding up Greek citizenship. But if it has to do with different spellings of your name, I have the same issue in that there are at least four interpretations on how my surname should be spelled in different public sector offices, and it’s now my responsibility to fix them all though I stated my objections before they went on record. In cases I know about, this is more likely happen to a non-Greek and/or a woman than a Greek and/or a man.

Please don’t give up and know that you aren’t alone. This website was created to be a different voice and practical resource, so come back anytime to read, get a little help or share your stories. All my best to you.

  nader wrote @ July 3rd, 2010 at 22:29

I am from Iran, living in Athens and from 2000 i pay IKA and work all these years, I married a Philipino who stays in greece since 1992 and works and pays IKA as well. now we both have 2-years residence/work permits. we asked many times about what we need to do to have greek citizenship, and they keep telling us ‘perimene’ (wait). until when do we need to wait? what we need to do ? the law said we can do it and apply but no one look teak the law to help ? where we need to go and ask help ? really, we are tired. please help us

Kat Reply:

The requirements for applying for Greek citizenship are all detailed above. It takes much more than IKA and a residence permit.

I’ve already helped you by telling you the law, the Greek citizenship process and where to apply. All you have to do is follow the instructions.

  Jason wrote @ September 4th, 2010 at 05:08

Love this blog. It’s so hard to get up to date info and all too often so frustrating.
In November 2009 my mother applied for Greek citizenship through the Sydney Consulate via my Greek grandfather. We wanted to lodge my application at the same time to avoid delays but were advised my mother must have her citizenship prior to lodging my application. We have provided all the relevant information (proof my grand fathers birth in Greece etc) and followed up a few times but heard nothing about her application.
– Is this correct that you must wait to lodge my application?
– Given she is female what would the typical time frames be for her application?
– Given I am male will the process not only start all over again once she gets her citizenship?
Sorry for all the questions.

Kat Reply:

Hi Jason,

– Depends on the case. If you look at Lukas’ case above you, he was encouraged to apply at the same time as his mother, but you’ll see in his updates that his mother’s application is progressing while his is going much slower. You need to follow whatever advice is given to you by the consulate.
– The time it takes to be granted Greek citizenship doesn’t necessarily have to do with your mother being female. It depends on her eligibility, the documents she provided, who is handling her case, how many applications are waiting to be processed before her – in short, lots of factors.
– From tracking previous cases, it’s easier for the next generation (you) to process a claim to Greek citizenship via ancestry if the previous generation (your mom) already did it.

Please keep in mind that up to two years waiting is not unusual. Also be aware that the Greek Citizenship Code just changed a few months ago, so staff may be overloaded, especially since they’d already complained of being short of staff.

If you lived in Greece full time, you’d realize that waiting since November 2009 isn’t a long time. Be patient and let us know what happens. All best.

  Lori wrote @ September 23rd, 2010 at 09:38

Dear Kat:

Excellent site and as I read through, I shook my head in agreement, smiled at the TRUTHS you tell and wallowed once again in my anguishes over the years of work I have put in without proper compensation, insurance or respect, and the working mentality in Greece.

The reason I am writing, however, is not about employment but about citizenship requirements. I have been a resident with working permit for about 7 years and I obtained this permit because I have been married to a Greek citizen for 12 years.

The local authority who assists me with renewing my residence permit every 5 years, told me not to apply for Greek citizenship because it would cost 1,500 euro and they usually deny it the first time in order to collect the fee twice. This seems absolutely ridiculous since I am married and have 2 children but when advice can potentially save me 3,000 euro that I do not have… I must heed it.

Recently I was told that the “doors have opened” between the USA and Greece. That my husband can travel to the USA with me, without a visa, and that I can simply apply for citizenship and receive it without having to pay any hefty fees.

Do you know anything about this? Can you point me in the right direction? Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

I’ll be following from now on and you have a permanent location in my favorites.

Kat Reply:

It’s late, I’m tired, and there are a ton of comments I haven’t yet answered so I’ll be brief.

As it says at the beginning of this article, a new law pertaining to Greek citizenship and permits came into effect a few months ago, but it’s 52 pages long, more than 20,000 words, and I’m in the middle of translating it with a lawyer. The article will be updated when the translation is done.

Pertaining to what you were told. As it says in the article, applying the first time costs 1,500 euros, the second and consecutive times is half off, meaning 750. Under the new law, the fee is 700 euros for the first application but keep in mind there are a lot of requirements aside from the fee. Please take a look at the list; the new law changes the naturalization process very little.

Heeding the advice dispensed to you by public sector employees is a personal choice, but it may cost you opportunities. Keep in mind that not everyone is informed of the law, and rumors and misinformation persist.

Your Greek husband can travel to the USA under the visa-waiver program, if he qualifies. See “Greece enters the U.S visa waiver program.”

As a non-EU citizen of no Greek origin, you cannot apply for Greek citizenship anywhere on this planet without paying a fee.

Thank you for following and favoring me. All best.

  john wrote @ October 26th, 2010 at 21:01

hi, am very grateful for yr articles and it helped me a lot, i read the articles and i found out what i really need to get.

but the issue is, in my own case, i was in greece for six years with {perimenete} that’s the interim permit, before i had a problem i was inside for like 2 years and later i was out, not really convicted but in the immigration unit, they have tried me for deportation before but the airline refuse to take me because they couldn’t provide value travelling document.

later on i was released, i got my interim permit back, after this i met my wife who is greek. we married in greece and i got my 5 years residence permit. About a year after we moved abroad, we have been abroad now for almost 7 years that means we h married for almost 8 years now, we have two kids they are 7 and 6 years respectively, although they are born abroad but they have got dual nationality, greek and my nationality…am from africa.

although am due for british nationality but for the sake of my wife and the kids and for the future because i dont know where we might end up in future maybe greece, am thinking of gettin greek nationality, but with my past record and i have been leaving abroad for the past 7 years, although i always come to greece with my family for holiday occassionally and the long procedure, i dont even know if am really qualified and even if it gonna be wasting of effort and money, you know why ! once about 2 years ago when my wife was in greece and went to make enquiry about my nationality in greek local government in greece they told her then that am not qualified because am living abroad and even the residence permit that i have in greece has expired.

The advice i need now is am i eligible to apply or i should just face my citizenship here in uk and forget about the greek nationality, because here is straight forward and clear. thanks

Kat Reply:

The information given to your Greek wife was correct, and the information in my article is clear. If you read it, then you should know that you are not eligible for Greek citizenship.
— You must have a full, valid residence/work permit and live in Greece for 3 years just prior to submitting the application.
— You must have the Greek language certification.
— You must pass the interview.

Aside from not being eligible, having a past immigration issue is grounds for denial. And if you were eligible and did get Greek citizenship, you would be required to serve Greek military duty if you are under the age of 45.

It makes more sense to get UK citizenship, which would entitle you to live/work in Greece and any EU country without the army, high fees or coming back here.

  Carole wrote @ November 1st, 2010 at 09:18

We have a 21 year old friend of Albanian descent who has lived in Greece since the age of 2. His mother married a greek national. He has all his school papers to prove he has been educated in Greece. He has no birth certificate or other proof of nationality. He would like to obtain greek citizenship and to do his national service. What is the best way for him to go about this.

  Venessa wrote @ November 18th, 2010 at 20:14

Comment 1:
Hi Kat…I wonder if you are able to clarify something for me. I am here in Greece with a 5-year residence permit. I am married to a Greek citizen and am not an EU passport holder. My father passed away, and I left Greece for almost 3 months while I attended to family issues back home.

What I basically want to know is, is there any time limit that one is allowed out the country for during these 5 years? I read in the article in order to apply for citizenship it should not be for more than 10 continuous months, but when it comes time to renew my permit, will the length of time that I am out of Greece affect the process of renewing? I am leaving again to go back home for a month and I am worried that these trips back and forth may affect my permit.


Comment 2:
Thank you very much, Kat. And thank you for this wonderful website which has helped me out (even though I am not an American Citizen). It’s very hard to get answers here in Greece and your webpage is such a breath of fresh air for those of us that need the guidance!!! Thank you :)

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
This is an excellent question that challenged and helped me learn something new. Thank you.

From the laws I researched and read about residence permits for non-EU spouses/family members of Greek/EU citizens, the primary requirement for renewal is proving you still have a valid relationship to the Greek citizen, proof of financial means to support yourself through a job or spousal support if unemployed, and proof that you are legally residing in Greece with the Greek/EU citizen at the same address.

In cases of military service, vocational training/transfer or personal serious illness and extenuating circumstances that require you to be transferred outside Greece for treatment (aka, Greece does not have facilities to treat you), authorities say that a non-EU family member of a Greek/EU citizen should not be absent for up to 12 consecutive months.

It says nothing about __ months in five (5) years, but it does say that you should not be temporarily absent more than six (6) months in any 12-month period. Six (6) months or 185 days is usually the point in many countries, not just Greece, at which someone is determined to be a resident or not.

So keep the six (6) months in mind, don’t worry and take care.

Wishing you all the best.

Answer 2: is for everyone, not just U.S. citizens. Everything that applies to Americans applies to all non-EU citizens in Greece, and half of my readers are EU and Greek citizens who ask me for advice and get useful information from the articles available.

Helping people like you is very easy. Thank you for trusting me, and have a safe trip.

  Xavi wrote @ November 26th, 2010 at 23:48

Dear Kat,

I recently discovered your very informative website and wanted to ask for your informed opinion, as I understand there was a comprehensive citizenship reform passed in March 2010 in the Greek Parliament. I have a translation of the new Code of Greek Citizenship, but have not yet fully processed all of its implications.

My wife was born in Albania, and then lived in Greece legally from the time she moved there with her family in 1991 when she was 11 years old. She completed 1 year of grade school (6th grade), then did 3 years at Gymnasium, and 3 years at Lyceum (High School), and attended a private university in Athens for 3 years. She is now interested in obtaining her Greek passport, and upon reviewing the Greek Citizenship Code, it appears that she can apply for citizenship via both ways; as a person of Greek origin (through her Grandmother) and/or as a long time resident of Greece.

She just completed her university studies here in the US, and she is currently a US passport holder and naturalized citizen of the US (by marriage).

She meets criteria 1 and 2 for Greek citizenship, but criteria 3 as you have listed, presents some uncertainty. She has seven (7) years legal residence in Greece, but has let her long-term residence/permit card lapse since she was studying in the US and became a US citizen. Since she has been in absence from Greece for 10 continuous months in the last five years, I was wondering if there are any special exemptions or cases you are aware of for individuals who attended school and grew up in Greece.

We are thinking that it may be easier for her to pursue the Greek citizenship by number of years of residence, since all of her school papers are easily retrievable, but wondered if you think that the last two parts of criteria 3 described above negate that option.

What would you suggest is the best way for her to apply for citizenship and a Greek passport? Obtaining her grandmother’s marriage/birth certificate may prove difficult since we would need to travel and likely have it translated, but it is a viable option.

Any insights/suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for maintaining such a helpful resource on the process!

Kat Reply:

The two translations I’ve seen of the new Greek Citizenship Code contain errors and are incomplete, as they are 18 pages while the actual code is 52 pages, and one was done by a law student not living in Greece and the other by a translator unfamiliar with law. This is why I did my own in cooperation with a Greek-American lawyer.

Your wife cannot apply for Greek citizenship through naturalization via residence in Greece. Why?:
1. Because under #3 of the Basic Criteria, it says the seven (7) years residence must be consecutive before date of application. Being as she became a U.S. citizen by marriage and I know how long that takes, she is disqualified. Strike one.
2. There is no special exemption to get around the 10 months absence in the last (5) years, unless it was a case of military duty, a time of war or life-threatening illness that demanded treatment outside Greece. Strike two.
3. Under documents to apply for Greek citizenship, it says the applicant must have a current residence permit. Your wife does not have one. Strike three.

There is an option to apply for Greek citizenship via attending school in Greece, but your wife does not meet the criteria. The only way your wife could apply for Greek citizenship is through the grandmother. I see no other option. There’s no reason to travel to get her grandmother’s birth certificate or have it translated. Use “Greek citizenship by origin, descent or ancestry,” as a guide to gathering the documentation. Good luck.

  Maria wrote @ January 13th, 2011 at 10:10

Finally, a website that is in “plain english” if you know what I mean. Thanks for that.

I am a US citizen married to a Greek. We have an 11-year-old daughter who was born in the US. We have been here since 2001 and obtained my resident permit in 2004 which expired in 2008. Unfortunately, I forgot to renew it in time and it had expired for 1 1/2 years before I even noticed. After waiting 6 months from applying for renewal, I was called in for a hearing before a committee. Went through complete hell but in the end my application was accepted. I received my new permanent residence card but the date of issue is 2010. I have not been out of the country since 2004 which is proven by my US passport.

Thinking of applying for greek citizenship but don’t know if this 1 1/2 year lapse on my cards will be taken into consideration. Wanted to find out before laying out money and wasting my time. What exactly proves how long someone is living here?

Kat Reply:

Hi there, I do what you mean and thank YOU for acknowledging and appreciating what I have on offer.

I reviewed the law as written and made an inquiry at the citizenship office to get a second opinion before answering your question, and I’ll tell you both what I know and what I was told. The law says you need to be here three consecutive years prior to applying for Greek citizenship via naturalization.
— Under normal circumstances, your current permit to prove three (3) years legal residency in Greece would be sufficient because there would be no lapse and easily verified in their computer records. Your passport is not necessarily proof of continuous presence in Greece because electronic records and stamps, or lack thereof, can be inaccurate.
— Because there was a lapse in your case, there is a gray area. If they go strictly by what can be proven via residence permits, you need to wait until a full three consecutive years has passed before applying. If you explain the situation and have fulfilled every other requirement, it is POSSIBLE (not guaranteed) they may allow you to prove it another way, such as submitting work contracts or ensima you earned during this period. Being on your spouse’s insurance and tax statements and are not proof you were physically living in Greece.

As I’m sure you know, it will be highly dependent on who waits on you, if a superior is consulted and if the Greek citizenship committee that reviews your application finds it acceptable. It can be approved or denied at any stage of the process.

Therefore, I advise you to consult with the dimarxeio and/or citizenship office before paying the fee and see what they say (see ‘Contact Information’ above). I would ask at least two different people because answers could be different.

I hope you’ll come back and let me know what happened. I’d like to know how things worked out for you, or if there’s something more I can do to help. All best.

  zac wrote @ January 14th, 2011 at 06:40

I’m a non-EU citizen married with Greek women one year and as couple we are living three years together in Ireland. I’ve never been in Greece before in my life, but I’m wondering if I can I apply for Greek citizenship and passport without living in Greece, where in Ireland we have all our documents and tax clearance certificate etc. with us.

Kat Reply:

I get the feeling you didn’t read the article.

You do not qualify. In fact, you don’t even meet the three basic criteria. Greek citizenship after marriage to a Greek citizen takes much more than getting married. Please read the article to find out why.

  Mirjana wrote @ March 7th, 2011 at 21:29

Hi. I applied for Greek citizenship a year and a half ago. No reply whatsoever. I tried Nomarhia – they gave me the phone at the Ministry of Interior…Nobody answers…Ever! Who can help me find out what’s going on with my application?
Appreciate your support.

Kat Reply:

There are three reasons for the long wait:
a) It can take several years for your application to be reviewed under the old law (which is when you submitted your application), as I say in “How long does the Greek citizenship process take?”
b) In February 2011, a representative said there are 180,000 citizenship applications being reviewed, most of which are from those of Greek ancestry/descent.
c) The supreme court ruled the latest Greek Citizenship Code “unconstitutional” in February, so many pending applications are on hold until a final decision is made on how to go forward. I explain this in the section called, “Challenge to New Greek Citizenship Code 3838/2010.”

The nomarxeia won’t help you because they have nothing to do with processing Greek citizenship applications. There are three phone numbers listed above for the citizenship office at the interior ministry, which is where you need to inquire.

If you remember me, please come back and tell me what happened. Thank you for your question.

All best.

  Erika wrote @ March 17th, 2011 at 17:47


I would like to know if is there any way I can obtain the Greek citizenship? I am a U.S citizen divorced from a Greek citizen and we have a Greek-American child 9 yrs. old, who is already registered in Athens. I lived in Greece for a year and I went to school there one semester. Thank you, I appreciate your help.

Kat Reply:

It takes more than having a child, a previous marriage to a Greek citizen and one year living in Greece to qualify for Greek citizenship. Please see the requirements above. All best.

  Memuna wrote @ March 20th, 2011 at 15:29

hi i am from Pakistan my husband worked in Greece for 10 years as a kitchen designer and fitter he has permanent residence permit of greece but then he joined me in uk .we are in uk for three years. can he now apply for greek citizenship or a greek passport??

Kat Reply:

If you look at the section above called “Basic criteria for Greek citizenship,” you’ll see under 3(c) that he must live in Greece for seven consecutive years prior to submitting an application with an absence no more than 10 months. Your husband has been gone for 3 years. That means he is no longer eligible to apply for Greek citizenship, and he cannot have a Greek passport without Greek citizenship. Further, under “Documents, fingerprints and fees,” you’ll see that there are a number of other requirements to fulfill. It’s not as simple as living in Greece and having a residence permit.

  Lukas wrote @ April 9th, 2011 at 04:23

Hi Kat:

I wanted to let you know it’s been almost two years since I submitted my paperwork for dual citizenship via my grandmother. I suppose since the Greek government is revamping the rules for naturalization (based on your info) I’ll have to wait a while longer!
It’s amazing it could take this long!



Follow-up: Hi Kat,

I am doing well, thanks for asking and Thanks for the clarification! No rush on my end, just amazed at the time it takes. I’ll check in with the embassy here in DC in a few weeks to get a status update.

Thanks again for such a great site! I’ll keep you posted!


Kat Reply:

Hi Luke,

How are you? I was thinking about you when reading through the comments the other day, wondering if you’d been granted Greek citizenship yet.

The Greek naturalization process being challenged is the one for citizens of no Greek origin/descent, so this would not affect you.

In your case, if you look at the updated section “How long does the Greek citizenship process take?”, I’m guessing it has to do with the 180,000 pending applications from foreign-born Greek nationals such as yourself, the reorganization of municipalities and transfer of state employees.

Part of the new law under review is the one-year deadline to return a decision to the citizenship applicant, so authorities (unfortunately) can still take as long as they want.

Thank you so much for remembering to check in. I look forward to the day you tell me you got Greek citizenship.

Hang in there!

Follow-up: As you well know, Greece has its own time schedule and no two people’s experience are necessarily the same due to flexible rules and lack of results-driven deadlines.

Thank you so much for giving back to the website and your kind words.

  Nigel B wrote @ May 16th, 2011 at 13:32

I have just come across this site after living in Greece for some 25 years, and having the repetitive argument of why don’t I apply for Greek citizenship. As holder of an EU passport I have avoided most of the trails of the stories above. However buying a car necessitated a new Residence Permit and now I am asked to apply for a new teaching permit (including a note from a state Psych stating I am not mad!). I can laugh about it but so many have been worn down by procedures designed to delay, not to protect the country or to help those who need the protection.

Keep up the good work!

Kat Reply:

The three questions I get are: a) Why don’t you get a job at the American embassy? As if it were that easy; b) Why don’t you just marry a Greek? Right, like that solves everything. Not. c) Why don’t you have citizenship after 12 years? As if it were that easy. I find that most people don’t know the law and/or say you’re wrong when you tell them what it is.

Unfortunately, I’m still worn down by bureaucracy but at least I can use my pain to help others and laugh about it later.

I appreciate you saying hello and the words of encouragement. All best.

  Lost wrote @ June 26th, 2011 at 21:14

Hi Kat

my mother recently informed me that my uncle is stranded in Greece. I do not know the details of why or how he got there. I do know that he has no work, therefore no money and no place to stay.

I dont even know where or how to start helping him. I am hoping you could impart some knowledge to me…

Thank you,

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information, so it’s difficult to tell you how to start helping him.

Do you know where he is, and how to contact him? Or do you need help with that? Do you have other relatives?

Is he a Greek citizen or in an illegal resident status? If he’s in Athens, there are places he can go to sleep and get a meal. If he’s in an illegal resident status, he may have been detained.

Are you willing to send him money and a plane ticket to bring him to where you are? It can be arranged through money transfer (Western Union, bank, etc.) and booking through an airline, as long as he has travel documents/passport and/or ID.

  Sylvia N. wrote @ July 20th, 2011 at 04:37

hi, i got some questions for you. i am a romanian citizen, in april 2005 i went in Greece, got married in september with a greek man. after 2 years Romania got into EU, and now some months we separated. they pass since we got married 6 years, but we couldn`t have kids. i left Greece and went in UK, 2 months now, but i am thinking to go back and apply for greek citizenship. can you tell me which are the chances to get it? i do speak, read very well. less write greek. all depends of your answer now. if i go or not. thank you very much. and congrats for all the information you got. you can work in Greece at the government:) maybe things are going to get better if you do. see ya

Kat Reply:

Perhaps you didn’t read or understand the article. Under “Basic criteria for Greek citizenship,” it says in 3C that you must be a long-term resident of Greece for 7 years if you do not have children with a Greek citizen. Therefore, you do not qualify.

It also takes much more than being married or living in Greece. Look at the long list of requirements under “Documents, fee and fingerprints.”

You’re already an EU citizen, so think about why you want Greek citizenship. Coming back to Greece is a personal choice, and I cannot help with that decision.

  mamta wrote @ July 23rd, 2011 at 17:29

i am married with an estonian boy
he is living with me in spain
i have 5 year resident permit of spain.
if i move to greece then plz tell me in how much time i ll get nationality from greece.

Kat Reply:

Read the article above to learn all the requirements to apply for Greek citizenship as a non-EU citizen. It’s not as simple as being married to an EU citizen and living in Greece.

From what I know about Spanish citizenship, it makes more sense to stay in Spain and get citizenship there instead of coming to Greece and starting from nothing.

  fr paul wrote @ July 29th, 2011 at 15:42

I got five years here in greece, and now i have also one kid of 19 months. can I apply for a greek citizenship and passport, is it possible for me. and am from uganda. thanks

Kat Reply:

Based only on what you told me, the answer is no. Look at the basic criteria, then all the requirements, documents and fees above in order to be eligible to apply for Greek citizenship.

2nd Warning: If people keep asking questions without reading the information given above in the article, I will close this post to comments or stop answering redundant questions.

  Mike wrote @ September 12th, 2011 at 15:51

I am a citizen of the EU country (Poland) and I want to get Greek citizenship. Unfortunately I don’t have the valid passport.

I want to know if I could attach a copy of my ID card as a valid travel document instead. If yes should this document be legalised,- affixed with apostille and translated into Greek or not. Currently i am a citizen of Poland and my ID as well as passport is written in Latin characters.

And another question. I was wondering if the passport document should also be affixed with apostille.

Waiting for your reply :)

Thanks, Mike

Kat Reply:

Answers are already above in the article.

— For the first and second question, see ‘Documents, fees, fingerprints’ under #3. They should accept your ID, but you can renew your passport at the Polish embassy/consulate if they don’t.
— Apostille is only required for the birth certificate, as I say under #5.

I have made the instructions as clear as possible. Don’t imagine requirements that aren’t there and make it harder for yourself.

If you go through the process and something is different than what I listed above, please come back and tell me as a way to give back for the assistance you received.

Wishing you all the best.

  Tara wrote @ October 30th, 2011 at 11:03


what great work you have done at this site ! Most informative and most organized which comes as a great refreshment! after all things greek. Well done ! It is an amazing fact that the most informative sites on any subject are almost always done by Americans.

I wonder if you could shed some light, my story is as follows: I have been married to a Greek-Austrian citizen for over 5 years now, and have had my 5 year residence permit just renewed (applied for a renewal few days ago) and have lived in Greece for 8 consecutive years. We have no kids, but the husband has 2 from his previous marriage (both live in Germany).

I believe i understand most of the requirements listed for the greek citizenship, such as the knowledge of the language & history, the permit part and so on, but after how many years of legal residence in Gr can one apply for a Greek citizenship? Is it definitely 7 years as stated or has there been any recent changes to the law?

My issue gets a bit more complicated than a wish for naturalization in Greece.

I was granted a permission for permanent stay in UK, over 10 years ago, and and on the basis of that was issued a Travel Document. My TD has been valid for 10 years and expires soon in November 2011.

I have no other ID, Passport or Travel Document. I have no idea how to and from what state authority to obtain any kind of ID document?

According to what i have read, Greek naturalization might take up to 2 years, (and if ever successful) and I no longer live in UK.

My status in UK must have changed, but i am thinking of applying to UK Authorities for the extension of the TD as they were the last Authority that has issued me an ID document (until i obtain a national passport).

It would be impossible for me to work here or do anything without having an ID.
Would you have any thoughts on this ?

I had my application ready for naturalization in UK in 2003, but never managed to go through with it as we sold the house and moved to Greece at the time. Yes i have regretted it many times over.

Would traveling to UK make things any easier? Btw my British solicitor is a bit lost as in how i would get treated in UK now.

Many thanks for your time and understanding. And good luck with your great altruistic work.

Kind Regards,

Kat Reply:

It is seven (7) years at the moment, down from 12 years before March 2010. However, assuming you read the article, you should know there are pending issues as disclosed in the section, “Challenge to New Greek Citizenship Code.”

I cannot advise you on your travel document because: a) You didn’t state your nationality or country of origin, b) you didn’t state the type of TD you have, c) I am not acquainted with UK laws or the circumstances under which it was originally granted. Yes, it would be impossible to do anything in Greece without valid identification papers, in fact I’m surprised they let you renew your permit without first renewing an expiring ID.

The UK Border Agency operates a hotline you could call for expert advice. Why not call them first, then see if you need to make a trip? See “Contact.”

  leslie wrote @ December 6th, 2011 at 12:44

I alredy applied for my Greek citizenship. I think that pretty soon they will call me for an interview, they ask me if i have knowledge of the greek language, greek history , etc. Im pretty good with the language ,but i can’t write it correctly . my question is if you could help me if you know the questions involve in this interview, so i can prepare myself.
thanks a lot in advance for your help

by the way I’m Mexican , married with greek and two daughters, 18 and 15, in this country for the last 22 years

Kat Reply:

You should have attended classes and passed tests in Greek history and the Greek language, acquired certificates as proof of knowledge and submitted them along with your citizenship application, as explained above. Are you saying you didn’t?

Asking me to disclose what is asked in the interview is equivalent to cheating, something that carries serious consequences in most countries and something I believe is unethical. If you know the language and history, there’s no need to prepare or gather insider information.

  obi wrote @ December 24th, 2011 at 14:55

hello, my wife is a romanian but have been in greece for 20 years now….. she has a permanent residence b4 the joined eu in 2007, please how will she get her greek citizen?….

Kat Reply:

You didn’t read the article. Follow the step-by-step instructions above to claim Greek citizenship. It’s not as easy as living in Greece for many years.

The information can only help you if you help yourself.

  Angela wrote @ January 14th, 2012 at 15:51

Hi, my Greek boyfriend and I want to get married, we work on boats and travel the world.We want to know if it compulsory for us to live in Greece in order for me to apply for Greek citizenship?

Kat Reply:

Marriage to a Greek citizen alone does not qualify you to become a citizen. Read the section “Marrying for Greek citizenship,” then take a look at the requirements listed, starting from ‘Basic criteria’ and moving through ‘Documents, fees and fingerprints.’ All best.

  shahbaz wrote @ January 25th, 2012 at 20:38

i m from pakistan and living in greece sicnc since 2002. i get paper in 2005 tell me the way how can i applis apply citizenship? well it is possiable possible?

Kat Reply:

You need to meet all the requirements, pay fees and go through the process above to apply for Greek citizenship. Having a paper is not enough.

  marko wrote @ February 12th, 2012 at 15:02

γεια σας,μενω στη ελλαδα απο το 1999 και εχω τελειωσει τη τριτη γυμνασειο και ολο το λυκειο 4ταξεις συνολικα.
και κατεθεσα τα χαρτια μου για τη ιθαγενεια πριν απο 2μηνες.ποσο καιρο χρεαιζεται για να με καλεσουν απτη επιτροπη?
Με εκτιμιση!

Kat Reply:

You should know that Greece has its own timeline, if you’ve lived here since 1999. Two months waiting is not a long time.

The answer is in the article above in the sections, “What happens next?” and “How long does the Greek citizenship process take?” Take a look.

  Ramzi wrote @ February 19th, 2012 at 18:46

This is the best place I managed to get information for the last 18 years.

I have a permanent residence permit as I have been living in Greece since 1994 (no expiry date)
For the last couple of years I have been traveling for long periods due to my work. I declare income every year and I pay of my kids was born in Athens and my wife has the 2 years residency.

My Greek is poor and my cultural/history knowledge is null. Most of the time we speak English. I love Greece, the Greek people and I feel home here.

Next week I plan to consult a lawyer. Do you think I have a chance to obtain the nationality with my poor Greek language?

Thank you and best regards

Kat Reply:

You must sign up for the culture/history classes and Greek language courses described above and pass tests to obtain certificates. Without passing these courses and the certificates, you cannot get Greek citizenship.

There is no need to use a lawyer, as many have no real knowledge on matters pertaining to non-Greeks, or they pretend they have knowledge to charge you money for nothing. You meet the requirements, you take the classes, pay the fee, gather your papers, fill out the application and make the submission yourself.

  kuhu wrote @ March 1st, 2012 at 11:29

Thanks a ton for these informations that you have provided through your website. I just got interviewed for my greek citizenship through naturalisation is there any way to speed up the process now.

Kat Reply:

See the section, “How long does the Greek citizenship process take?”

  Nancy wrote @ March 1st, 2012 at 19:41

Comment 1:
hi am married 17 years and have 2 kids, applied with my papers in 2007 and am still waiting.

Comment 2:
hi am marriage to a greek now for 17year we have 2 kids 15 and 11 they have greek papers.i applied mine 2007 it been 6 year now i was wondering what or why its taking that long .

Kat Reply:

You applied for Greek citizenship via naturalization under the old law, under which processing could take 2-10 years as explained in ‘How long does the Greek citizenship process take?’ Under the new law since March 2010, applications should be reviewed within one year.

Should you want to check the status of your application, you can inquire using the information given above under ‘Contact information in Greece.’

  Alexandra wrote @ March 2nd, 2012 at 03:21

Your comment was moved to “Greek citizenship via ancestry.”

  Thomas wrote @ March 8th, 2012 at 16:43

Your comment and question were moved to “Greek citizenship by ancestry.”

  marko wrote @ March 30th, 2012 at 17:23

Your question was moved to, “Bookstores in Greece.”

  micheal wrote @ April 1st, 2012 at 17:58

Hi, i appreciate ur kind help in meeting the people’s need on how to go about their cases but the fact remains that the place we are is abstract from the rest of the world. why is greek treating people the way they do, Greeks have the highest immigrant populations in the various countries of the world and they are given fair treatment but reverse is the case here. am aware u are using the turkish law as ur colonial masters how are u then europeans if you are not been govern by european law. Your police need total overhauling and orientation, i plead ur indulgence as a matter of urgency to disclose to the government how the police put false allegations on people and it becomes a stigma because they are foreigners. i urge something should be done to this effect. Thanks

Kat Reply:

Hi Michael,

I cannot dispute anything you say because it’s all true, but Greece and Greeks are not going to change and only care about themselves. Blame is always placed on foreigners, and it is said that they can go home if they don’t like it here; it has nothing to do with humanity, lawful behavior or common decency, never mind philoxenia.

For many years I spoke out and this got me a number of death threats, people threatening to hurt my family/friends and co-workers stealing my work. The right path is too often the difficult path.

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment with your concerns.

  zafiris wrote @ April 14th, 2012 at 00:36

here i must appreciate your great work for creating such a useful website for non. Greek speaking people.i have applied for Greek citizenship since last year .i have Greek residence permit since 2001 and i have also a certificate of Greek language ,history and culture .few days ago they called me on cell to ask me whether i have got the invitation letter for interview or not, i said no.My question is ,that i was in my country for five and half month and i just came back in February, may it could affect my application? here i have just submit my residence permit a few day before for renewal .thanks and well don for resolving my lot of questions through this website.

Kat Reply:

You could only endanger your eligibility for Greek citizenship if you are gone for 10 consecutive months. Therefore, I don’t see an issue.

If you would like to share your experience on getting Greek citizenship via naturalization as a way to give back to the website — documents you submitted, cost, the interview process, how long it took — I would be interested in hearing your story. Please let me know.

  Nasar wrote @ May 1st, 2012 at 22:46

im again here to ask like before i ask @ june 4th, 2009 at 21:36

now i want to ask different question that as a permanent residence permanent and having own good business 2 stores from 2002 (Ατομικη Επιχρησησ )

i owe to greek Banks 630,000 euro for business and buying shop store and apartments. Before i had good business in my 2 stores, beside i took 3,000 euro rent from the house and shop and i pay all my credit in the banks very good and much thier required, beside i pay very high income tax and Tebe every where very good payers but now because of this crices, I want to close my business no more customers even the house rent is nothing , all are going down, my biggest problems now how i can pay to the bank. How much I get the rent I spend my own family charges so how to pay to banks and tax or tebe .

they said there have law for νομοσ κατσελη για υπερχρεωμενα νοικοκυρια for make court apeal to make less pay or easy pay or minimum pay.. i have been συνήγορου του καταναλωτή and συνηγόρου του πολίτη but nothing. Nomos said εμπορικη αξια 85%. what can i do because im a business man and business man not allowed to appeal. Beside my property are cost 530,000 euro. But under bank hold properties. if its 85% by law to pay to bank it will be 450,000 the remaining 180,000 euro where I get to pay

i need your advice please, the more big problems now that property prices become less. i want to kill my self because it so so hard impossible to pay with out good business or hard work or good rent from the house but i feel imposible now for long time to see those what im searching .

i have 4 children and they are studying in greek school start at there young age in Παιδικου Σταθμος until now they are getting big still in Greek School. I apply for them ιθαγενια/Greek Nationality on 01/09/2010 by nomos 3838- 24/3/2010,even me I have also submit for me ιθαγενια απο 04/2009.until now no response. all my life invest are here in Greece, I make my second own country the Greece and my children don’t know even my language or their mother language only Greek, what will happen to me and my family, what will be my children future after living 20 years and working hard in Greece … if there is some one who can guide me , i will be thanksfull for all,

  harjit wrote @ May 20th, 2012 at 19:48

i have applied for greek citizenship in dec 2010, although 17 months have passed there is no progress. can i approach to Symvoulio tis Epikratias rather than Greek Ombudsman.I have two chidrens children and my elder son is 3 years old and he has Greek citizenship.

Kat Reply:

You are free to inquire with whomever you wish, but there are no guarantees they will help you. As I say under ‘Challenge to New Greek Citizenship Code 3838/2010′ many municipalities refuse to take applications until after elections, though you can challenge this with the Ombudsman.

  marko wrote @ May 28th, 2012 at 23:45

harjit εγω θα ελεγα να παρεις τηλεφωνο στη περιφερεια που ανηκεις εκει που καταθεσες για τη πολιτογραφιση να σου πουν σε πιο σταδιο βρησκεται δινοντας τον αριθμο πρωτοκολο.

  Ellie wrote @ June 7th, 2012 at 23:34

I have a couple of questions.
So, I have greek citizenship and I come from Ukraine along with my mother. She was married to a greek man years ago and he ‘adopted’ me last year (i was born in Ukraine) so I could take my greek citizenship. My mother has applied for hers years ago and is waiting for the simvoulio to take part this month. However, her grandmother was greek but I’m not sure if she still has the right papers to prove it. Though, since she has a greek husband and a child that’s considered greek, shouldn’t she have an advantage now? She was born in Ukraine and has an Ukraine citizenship but she’s been living in Greece for 13 years. Aren’t I supposed to be the greek child she had with her husband?
Thank you in advance.

Kat Reply:

Your right to claim Greek citizenship came from your father, and your mother did so through naturalization after living in Greece for many years. Marrying a Greek does not entitle a spouse to Greek citizenship; it only lowers the Greek residency requirement if a child is produced from the union.

Greek citizenship by ancestry (by blood) passes from older to younger generation. That’s the meaning of descent. If she has the right papers, she can stake a claim by following “Greek citizenship by ancestry, origin or descent.”

If not, she must go through the naturalization process described above.

  Jasmine wrote @ June 19th, 2012 at 22:26

Comment 1:

Thank you very very much for all your efforts in gathering such useful information. Perhaps you should add one of those Donation Butttons so that we can contribute sth.

My question is that once I apply for a Greek citizenship am I allowed to travel abroad and work outside Greece while my application is being processed? I tried to have a thorough look in your website and I did not find any answers. I hope I am not asking something which is already there.

Many thanks,


Comment 2:
Thanks for your Quick reply.
I have an Iranian Nationality. Currently I hold an adia diamonis, type: Permit for employment services or projects which is valid from 07/03//2012 to 07/11/2013.
I am not married.
I do not have any other permits issues by other countries. I have been in Greece since 2001 but I have been told the frist 3 years do not count as I was a diplomat family member. So I count from 2004 onwards when I have independent permits in my own passport. since then I hold the following types of adia diamonis:

27/02/2004-2006: Adia diamois – type: Studies
2006-current: adia diamonis – type: Permit for employment services or projects.

My question is that once I apply for citizenship, if I find a job abroad am I able to work outside Greece while my application is being processed or am I obliged to stay in Greece until I receive an answer.

Many Thanks for your time.

Comment 3:
Did you forget about me? :(


Comment 4:
Thank you for your explanations. I understand and will be patient.

Comment 5:
Thank you very much for your detailed explanations. Much appreciated. I make sure to share the information that might be useful to others, when I start the procedure of applying.

Have a nice summer,


Comment 6:
Under the section “Documents, fees, and finger prints required” under number 6, what amount is considered “sufficient” in the phrase “If you are single, you must provide evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself.” ?
Do they judge based on my income tax return or should I also provide a copy of my bank savings?
Thank you,

Comment 7:
Thank you for the updates. As much as I would like to stay positive, I am terrified that I have wasted too many years here… and now that I’m finally eligible if the law changes…
Do you know approximately when does the new law take affect effect? Can we have any estimate at all?

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you. What citizenship(s) do you currently hold? Do you have a valid Greek residence/work permit and if yes, what kind? Are you married to a Greek/EU citizen? Do you have any other residence/work permits issued by other countries?

Answer 2:
Will respond shortly.

Answer 3:
I work full time as a journalist, plus I have my own obligations and say up front that I curate the Twitter news feed, run this website, update 300+ articles and answer everyone’s questions in my unpaid spare time.

If a question is simple and takes a minute to answer, I’ll do it. Your question doesn’t fit that category; I’ll need at least 30 minutes to an hour to confirm research and write a proper response. If you’re only interested in a yes or no answer, I can give it to you but you won’t understand why or the options open to you.

Answer 5:

Applying for Greek citizenship and being a candidate for the possible granting of Greek citizenship are not the same as being granted official papers and being a Greek citizen. You would only have free movement within the EEA/EU member states after authorities have rendered a favorable decision and granted you a certificate, which would entitle you to apply for a Greek passport and Greek ID because you need travel documents and identification that prove you are a Greek citizen.

By leaving, you endanger your residence/work permit status and eligibility for citizenship. First, to qualify for permit renewal, you must have lived within the borders for at least 185 days in a 12-month period and not established residence in another country. This is particularly important if you are denied Greek citizenship because then you would be left with no legal status in Greece and cannot come back. Second, your absence from Greece combined with the new government’s threats to change the citizenship law (to who knows what) could also mean you would be disqualified and open yourself to possible denial.

The only ways you could live and work in another EEA/EU member state without restriction would be to:
a) Get a long-term EU-wide residence permit, which grants you the right to live in some (not all) member states;
b) Start from zero and find an employer willing to sponsor your visa and permit.

If you tell an employer in another EU member state that you have a Greek residence/work permit, this means nothing to them because it only entitles you to live and work in Greece.

If you wish to work outside the EEA/EU, you also need to start from zero and find an employer willing to sponsor a visa and permit for immigration.

There are no donation buttons because the majority of people expect information and answers for free, and those who need the most assistance cannot contribute anything. Only five people in 5 years have offered to contribute money even though thousands visit each day. Thank you for being one of them.

What’s more valuable is respect for my work, namely giving back by sharing first-hand experience to help keep articles updated — i.e., if you took notes on docs, fees, offices you visited, tests taken and the process of going through naturalization — recommending me to a friend or forum with a link back, no plagiarism, no copying.

There’s no way I can customize articles to explain everyone’s individual situation. Even official websites don’t. But I do cover a multitude of subjects, and many answers were embedded in several articles.

Answer 6:
The current law doesn’t say. But based on what I know, the minimum income is usually 8,500 euros annually. If you have a work permit, it is assumed you are earning this money and it should show on a tax statement.

As it says at the beginning of the article, the citizenship law for immigrants is being changed. It is widely believed the new government will raise the minimum residency to 10-12 years as it was before 2010. In that case, you will no longer be eligible and your only option would then be the long-term EU-wide residence permit mentioned in Answer 5.

I will update all articles on my website whenever the new law is published into law and takes effect.

Answer 7:
After living here so many years, you should know better than to ask a question like that — Greece does what it wants, whenever it wants; and what it says and what it does are two different things.

  Helen wrote @ July 1st, 2012 at 20:02

Very impressed with the time you take to answer folks queries. Having just read the above, one question mentioning having a problem with names has prompted me to tell you how I took my married name (but not the possesive form normally used by females) . Greek law no longer allows women ( or men I presume) to change their surname through marriage. Being a family-minded woman, the first time I had to renew my British passport after becoming a Mum, I decided to renew it with our Greek family name. I don’t have any problem with this at the bank, on our tax return etc. but I reckon the day I apply for any support from the government, for example collecting my husbands pension (I was insured before I changed my passport to my married name) I will have hell to pay for wanting the same name as my children. Apart from this, my whole name seems to always have some variation wherever it appears in Greek. I was naive for not paying attention to it at the time. Sorry for rambling on, but I will remember to let you know how I deal with this issue in future.

Kat Reply:

My name is spelled a variety of ways, which I caught when it was being done but a non-Greek woman’s protestations rarely garner serious attention and I have no plans to correct my records. Insurance funds are already bankrupt and borrowing millions to pay today’s pensions, so I’ve made peace with giving over my many years of contributions as a gift.

I didn’t think you were rambling, but rambling is welcome. Thank you for your kind words.

  mayval wrote @ July 13th, 2012 at 06:23

Comment 1:
hi im filipina married at a greek man.. i have a visa now type c. duration of my stay in greece is 90 days.. me and my husband just wondering why the embassy give me only 90 days to stay in greece even i am married at the greek man .. my question is how can i be a citizen in greece.. and what do we need to do.. to get a residence and citizenship.. i mean dual citizenship… please help us.. me and my husband feel hard bcos we are going to 5yrs long distance relationship… pls tell us everything what are we going to do and what we need to do.. its very big help for us…

thank you… :))

Comment 2:
we know its not easy even im marry at da greek man… we just only want to know what we need to do whats the 1st step we need to do… if how many years you need to stay in greece to get a citizenship.. how can i stay long time in greece.. to apply residence 1st and how many yrs they give me? also it easy to get residence visa do we need to pay? how much? residence visa its renewal or what? after that i can apply the citizen already? pls tell us we super stress about this… im lucky coz i see this site…

thank you so much…..

Comment 3:
i have 1 more question how can i get or what we need to do so i can permanent residence in greece do i need to be a citizen or even im not a citizen of the greece thanks alot and sorry for too many question hehehe… were just stress about this.. your answer its very big help for and to my husband thanks again

Comment 4:
thank you for that in info.. me and my husband ask many times to greece embassy here in philippines.. and they told husband need to register or declare our marriage at the greece and he need to give me the invitation.. when my husband finish to declare our marriage in greece he send it to me include the invitation… after that ii give all requirements to the greece embassy that they ask me… and now they give me a visa for only 90 days.. and we feel a little disapoint about that… cos before we start to processing the papers i told them that i need complete info how can i immigrate in greece.. so what they told us thats the only we follow.. thats why its big question now to us.. why like that…
Anyway kat thank you so much.. we were going to contact again the embassy about this…


Kat Reply:

To understand how to get a Greek residence permit, read “How non-EU citizens can get a permit to move, live and work in Greece.” There’s no such thing as a residence visa.

Your husband is responsible for helping you get a national/Schengen visa through the Greek embassy/consulate in your homeland in order to immigrate to Greece; ask him why he hasn’t done it or why you are not eligible. If he does not understand the process, he needs to visit a grafeio allodapon in Greece to have staff explain the visa and residence permit process for a non-EU spouse. I cannot provide answers because you did not give enough information.

It takes 5-10 years living in Greece to be granted permanent residence. You are not eligible.

To understand how to get Greek citizenship, read the article above.

Good luck.

  Mike wrote @ August 17th, 2012 at 08:09
  styles wrote @ August 25th, 2012 at 00:54
  hakan wrote @ September 30th, 2012 at 03:39

first i would like to thank you for your great job you did here.
im married to a greek women ,sence 1 and a half year and we have a child together , and im out of greece right now , and i will probably stay for more than 6 months ,will that be a problem for me later if i want to apply for greek citizenship , becouse i didnt read that in the articel , you montioned somting about 10 month for those how need to be living in greece for 7 years ,is it the same for me , and what are my chances to get the citizenchhip ? thank you

Kat Reply:

As it says in the article under ‘Basic criteria for Greek citizenship’ in (3a), you must be married for 3 years, have a child and be living for 3 full consecutive years in Greece. I don’t indicate you can be outside Greece because the meaning of “3 full consecutive years” means no interruption.

When you’re outside Greece for six (6) months or more, you are not considered a resident of Greece.

Your chances of citizenship depend on whether you can meet every single requirement listed in the article. It takes much more than being married to a Greek and having a child. Please take a look.

  Sanura wrote @ November 20th, 2012 at 12:43


i have some questions to ask from wife’s mother currently working in Greece so she came to Greece in 2008 June and she expecting to go for Permanent Residence.she can speak only English and she dose not has any possibility to obtain any letters from her employer.she going to be complete five years in next year June .so i want to know what would be the criteria she has to follow and she has a possibility to go for PR or become a citizen in Greece.

Please tale a look and send me the all the information covering up it

Kat Reply:

For non-EU citizens not married to Greek/EU citizens, permanent residence is only granted after 10 years residency in Greece. Your wife’s mother does not qualify.

To get Greek citizenship via naturalization, she needs to meet the requirements listed, plus follow the steps in the above article. Assuming you read the article, you should know that she does not qualify as the residency requirement is more than 5 years and she does not have fluency in Greek.

A long-term residence/work permit for Greece is available for people who can prove they’re legally working here for 5 years and have fluency in Greek. Click the link for details. However, if she does not have proof, this option is also not open to her.

There are no other options, unless there are circumstances you have not disclosed.

I am a private person, and I do not email or offer personalized assistance to readers, as stated at “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me.” I’ve already researched, translated, written, updated and made articles available for free. The information can only help, if people help themselves. She can visit an allodapon/dimos office and receive advice from government employees, which my taxes pay for.

  Babak wrote @ November 23rd, 2012 at 08:57

Your question was moved to “Long-term EU-wide residency/work permits.”

  James wrote @ November 23rd, 2012 at 20:27

I am a non-EU Citizen studying in the UK, however, my girlfriend who is also here in the UK with me is a full Greek citizen studying in the same University with me, and we are planing to get married anytime soon. Although, she wants to stay here in the UK and work after her studies. But my fear is, if we finally get married what will happen as regards to our staying together since she is an EU-citizen and wants to stay here in the UK, while am a Non-EU citizen and might return back to my country due to the fact that i only have student visa not residence or work permit. Please how can we get to stay together as husband and wife in a country she has chosen to stay in?

Kat Reply:

Your situation and question have nothing to do with Greece and must be directed to the UK Border Agency because that’s where you’re currently living, and this is the country she plans to stay. Find them here:

  Mondi wrote @ December 16th, 2012 at 06:05

I have looked at your website and feel that you have done a great job helping people like myself with question about Greek citizenship.

I was born in Albania, my Dad, step-mother and I moved to Greece in 1990. We are of a Greek minority born in Albania. My sister was born in Greece in 1991. My dad, step-mom and my sister have there their greek citizenship and passports, step-mom and dad are retired in greece, my sister is finishing her final year at the University in Greece. I lived in Greece only 4 years from 1990 to 1994. I’m married to my wife (USA citizen) from 1994 and since then, I have been working and living in the USA. I have my USA passport for 12 years now. I speak read and write Greek very well and I’m very familiar with Greek culture and history. Can I apply for a Greek citizenship and have dual USA/Greek passports. By the way I’m 42 years old.

Thank you in advanced for any advise or direction on how to proceed.


Kat Reply:

As stated in the article above, you must:
a) be descended from an ancestor of Greek origin born in Greece;
b) be a person of non-Greek descent currently living in Greece who meets the ‘Basic Criteria for Greek citizenship’ above and is in possession of everything listed in ‘Documents and fees.’ All applications are frozen as of November 30.

You do not fit (b). If you fit (a), follow instructions at “Greek citizenship via descent, ancestry, origin.” If you qualify another way, the info you gave is incomplete/too little and you need to consult the Greek consulate/embassy nearest your residence.

  Kat wrote @ December 16th, 2012 at 13:30

Note from Kat: Comments are closed as of December 2012, due to 90 percent of people asking redundant questions.

If you ignore this message and find a different article with comments open, I will:
– Direct you back to this message;
– Transfer your comment to this post but not answer;
– Reserve the right to delete your question, per the policy stated in “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me.”

I am only accepting corrections and contributions from people who took notes on their first-hand experience from beginning to end, as a way to give back to the website in exchange for the free assistance they received.

I run the website and news feed in my unpaid time, so it needs to be used efficiently.

Thank you.

Sorry, comments are closed at this time.