Living in Greece

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

Greek passport

biometric Greek passport
Photo from the Athens News

Everyone with Greek citizenship is entitled to a Greek passport. It must be an e-passport or biometric passport with a microchip, which meets EU security guidelines on par with other countries of the world and allows passage through automated customs control now available at some international airports.

Legislation signed within the EU framework says the microchip inside Greek passports held by citizens over the age of 12 must include digital fingerprints from the index finger of both hands as of August 19, 2010, to harmonize with Greece’s entry to the U.S. visa waiver program and a directive that requires all Schengen members to collect fingerprints as of June 29, 2009. It also stores the signature, image and personal data.

Non-biometric Greek passports without the microchip are no longer valid for travel or ID purposes as of January 1, 2007.

*Article last updated January 3, 2015, with a major update from a Greek citizen’s first-hand experience on June 21, 2014. However, answers in Comments reflect a specific case or whatever was true at the time.


The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs plagiarized this article in August 2011 and sourced details from readers’ first-hand experiences for the English version of its official website, then distributed my work in May 2012 to Greek consulates/embassies around the world.

The Greek embassy in the USA has reused my updates and refuses to give credit or write its own material.

Be careful who you trust.

Introduction — Who can apply

Only persons with Greek citizenship are eligible to get or renew a Greek passport. Marriage or simply having a Greek ancestor (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandparent) does not automatically grant you one.

  • If you are a Greek with a birth certificate proving you were born in Greece, a Greek born outside Greece with a Greek citizenship certificate, or a non-Greek who acquired Greek citizenship through naturalization and acquired a citizenship certificate, skip to the next section;
  • If your parents or grandparents were born in Greece and you are of Greek origin and were not, see “Greek citizenship by ancestry, descent or origin” and follow the instructions;
  • If you are not of Greek ancestry/descent/origin, see “Ways to acquire Greek citizenship.”

A passport is not transferable to another person. For example, if you have a Greek passport, your spouse does not automatically get a Greek passport or special privileges if (s)he does not have a Greek citizenship. See, “Spouses of Greek citizens” near the end of this article.

A Greek passport is an EU passport. However, nationality still counts, and there are many Greeks holding dual citizenship with America, Canada and Australia who often opt to not get a Greek passport. See “Dual citizenship with Greece.”

It is the sixth most powerful passport in the world, granting visa-free entry to 167 countries, ranking behind the UK and Sweden (#1), Germany and United States (#2), Belgium and Netherlands (#3), Canada (#4) and Switzerland (#5).

How to get a Greek passport

Whether it is a first-time application or renewal (which is technically issuance of new passport), the required documents and process for getting a Greek passport are essentially the same. In time, e-government services may streamline issuance.

Renewals can start up to 12 months before a passport expires.

*Requirements below reflect current documentation from police stations and real-life experience.

Where to apply

Greek passport applicants must appear in person according to rules set by age:

  • Adults aged 18 and over: Must apply in person.
  • Minors aged 12 to 17: Must apply in person, either accompanied by one (1) parent or be in possession of a dilosi signed by one (1) parent granting permission to issue a Greek passport.
  • Minors aged 11 or under: Must apply in person accompanied by both (2) parents OR accompanied by (1) one parent and a dilosi granting permission to issue a Greek passport, signed by the (1) one parent not in attendance.

Parents must also specify who will pick up the passport.

The official website says that alternative arrangements can be made for elderly, sick or disabled persons under extenuating circumstances, assigning a representative via dilosi or requesting a consular or police officer to collect application, documents and signatures. However, in reality, this is not guaranteed and authorities refuse to accommodate special cases.

In Greece

There are 99 police stations ready to accept passport applications. Some will take walk-ins; some ask that you appear during certain hours with an appointment.

Find a location by using the list of Greek Passport Offices, which provides the address, map, phone number and hours of operation for each location:

The official website says you must apply in the municipality of permanent residence (not registration), though in reality many people I know applied at the station nearest their work or home and were not turned away.

Amongst Greek citizens abroad who came to Greece to renew their passports to speed the process, some police stations were strict and asked them to prove a connection to the area (utility bill from grandfather’s residence, etc.), while others were open to applications from anyone as long as citizens signed a statement/dilosi that they live abroad (monimos).

*Hours may differ from what’s listed on the website.

Outside Greece

Greek consulates/embassies are authorized by the Hellenic Republic to:
a) Collect applications and supporting documents;
b) safely forward documents to Greek police in Greece;
c) receive passports from Greek police; and
d) deliver passports to their rightful owners.

Find a Greek consulate/embassy nearest you:

Most locations require that you make an appointment. Also remember to inquire about accepted methods of payment for passport fees.

Documents and fees

The required documents and fees for a Greek passport are:

1. Passport photo(s) taken in the last 30 days
— One (1) photo for Greek citizens aged 12 and over; two (2) photos for minors aged 11 and under. Note that at Greek consulate/embassies abroad, they sometimes ask for two or three because they keep one on file for tracking purposes.
— Color, sized 40 x 60 mm (1.6 x 2.3 inches)
— White or neutral background, no shadows, and your mouth shut with an expression that is not smiling but not frowning. Women must show their face clearly with makeup applied modestly and hair pulled back.
— There is usually someone to fix ‘red eyes’ and print the photo on high quality photo paper.

*Knowledgeable photo places will know the required specs if you simply say, “for a Greek passport (yia diavatiria).” Different countries have different specs, which is why consulates/embassies sometimes have on-site photographers to ensure that photos will be done right.

2. Document verifying Greek citizenship
According to rules as written, what’s required depends on the applicant’s age and where he/she is applying. In reality, however, many Greek citizens report that they were asked to provide any combination of items listed below.

Please don’t ask me which you’ll be asked for. It will vary greatly depending on who you are, where you apply and the person assisting you.

Greek citizens aged 12 and older:
a) Greek national ID with Latin letters*, plus one (1) photocopy of front and back on the same side of one sheet of paper;
b) Πιστοποιητικό οικογενειακής κατάστασης/pistopoiitiko oikogeneiakis katastasis (certificate of family situation) in cases where a Greek ID has not been issued, usually requested of Greek citizens abroad who do not have a Greek ID and cannot obtain one.
— Can be obtained via a KEP Citizen Service Centre in Greece or direct from your οικογενειακή μερίδα/oikogeneiaki merida; Greek consulates/embassies sometimes offer assistance in requesting it from the relevant municipality, but not always.
c) Πιστοποιητικό γέννησης/pistopoiitiko gennisis (Greek birth certificate) not older than six (6) months from date of application.

Greek citizens aged 11 and younger:
a) One (1) original ληξιαρχική πράξη γέννησης/lixiarchiki praxi gennisis or pistopoiitiko gennisis (Greek birth certificate) not older than six (6) months from date of application.
— Police stations should automatically request it via fax or electronically, if you’re applying in Greece;
— Can also be requested via a KEP Citizen Service Centre or directly from your οικογενειακή μερίδα/oikogeneiaki merida or ληξιαρχείο/lixiarcheio (registry office); Greek consulates/embassies sometimes offer assistance, but not always.

*As of 2011, many Greek police stations require Greek identity cards with Latin letters as part of stepped-up implementation of a 2009 law that says all citizens must swap.

3. Fees
– Citizens aged 14 and older (Five-year validity): Fee is 58 euros + 22 euros + 4.40 euros = 84.40 euros
— Minors aged 13 and younger (Three-year validity): Fee is 58 euros + 13 euros + 2.60 euros = 73.60 euros

In Greece: Pay fees at any Greek tax office/eforia/DOY to get a παράβολο/parabolo (fee/deposit) receipt. An AFM is not required. Look for the tameio (cashier). Sometime in 2013, the Ministry of Finance intends to allow applicants to pay fees online via the TAXIS website ( I will update when it’s operational.
Outside Greece: Pay fees at the Greek consulate/embassy, usually in euros or the euro conversion equivalent in local currency. Each location has different rules and payment methods, so check in advance.

*Fees are refundable if a passport is not issued.

4. Greek passport application, completed in Greek
— Authorities will enter your info directly into a computer determine if you need a red, black, green or blue application and provide you with one or complete the appropriate information on a computer, then print out a paper for applicants to check over and sign.
— There are no online applications
— Ensure that your name is correct, or a new passport will need to be reissued
— Staff in Greece speak Greek, and staff at Greek consulates/embassies worldwide may not speak a language other than Greek. You can bring someone to help translate.

*Readers report that paper applications are no longer being used as of 2012. The official website presents passport application forms to download, which is evidence that their material is outdated and does not reflect reality.

5. Proof of military status for men aged 19-45
— Discharge paper, if military service was recently completed
— Certificate from the military office in Greece stating he is a draft evader or deserter
— Type ‘B’ certificate or certificate of military service that there is a deferment or exemption

*Official website says all documents must have been issued in the past six (6) months from the date of application or be reissued. However, readers tell me that the Type B certificate or certificate of military service is a document without expiration date and can be used indefinitely as long as your status does not change.

6. Your current passport, if applicable
— If you have one but it’s lost, missing or stolen, you must present certified documentation attesting to this fact, such as a police report.

7. Digital fingerprints
— All citizens aged 12 and older must provide fingerprints from the index finger of both hands as of August 19, 2010, a requirement that complies with Schengen and the U.S. visa waiver program, which Greece entered in April 2010.
— If you refuse to give your fingerprints, you cannot get a Greek passport.

8. Statement of facts (dilosi) with the following text will be provided by police or consular staff and edited according to your situation, which you will sign and then be certified:
— Δεν έχει/εχώ καταδικαστεί τελεσίδικα για πλαστογραφία, πλαστογραφία πιστοποιητικών, υπεξαγωγή εγγράφων, ψευδή ανώμοτη κατάθεση ή ψευδή δήλωση, εφόσον τα αδικήματα αυτά αφορούν την έκδοση, τη χρήση ή την απώλεια ή κλοπή διαβατηρίου.
— Δεν έχει/εχώ ασκηθεί σε βάρος του ποινική δίωξη ή έχει παραπεμφθεί σε δίκη για τα παραπάνω αδικήματα.
— Δεν έχει/εχώ έχει κηρυχθεί ανυπότακτος ή λιποτάκτης.
— Δεν έχει/εχώ εκκρεμεί σε βάρος του απαγόρευση εξόδου από τη χώρα.
— Δεν είμαι/είμαι κάτοχος παλαιού τύπου διαβατηρίου σε ισχύ

This translates to:
— I have not/have been indicted for forgeries, forging documents, making false statements under oath or false testimony that concern a passport’s issuance, use, loss or theft.
— I have not/have been convicted or indicted by a jury for the above-mentioned offenses.
— I have not/have been declared as a draft evader or deserter.
— There is/is not an order that forbids me to leave the country.
— I am not/am a holder of an old passport still in force.

Stating the truth is important and does not automatically disqualify you from receiving a passport.

9. Alternative name documentation, if applicable
– Dual Greek citizens who have a name different than the transliterated Latin name should provide a photocopy of a non-Greek passport, birth certificate, driver’s license or other official document specified by Greek authorities.
*Effective November 7, 2011. See section below called, ‘How is my Greek name written in Latin?’ for more information.

Should you already be in possession of a valid Greek passport, you can choose to have it canceled on the spot if you do not need it, or cancel it after receiving your new passport.

After documents are inspected and your file is deemed complete, you will be given a receipt that must be presented upon pickup by you, a legal guardian or a representative appointed by a dilosi or power of attorney that he/she has authorization to receive your passport.

Processing time

The official website claims that issuance of a Greek passport takes 3-4 days. In reality, actual processing time depends on:
a) Whether you applied in Greece or at a Greek consulate/embassy;
b) How many applications are in the queue;
c) How many and how fast employees can process submissions;
d) If police and passport authorities find something wrong with your photos or papers.

In Greece: Most people report getting their passports within seven (7) working days or less. It can take longer in the months of July and August, when the majority of Greece goes on vacation.

Outside Greece: Readers say that it can take anywhere from three (3) weeks to four (4) months. Passports for citizens abroad are supposed to be expedited because it is often their only form of identification, but Greece does not follow this protocol.

Whether staff will call or email you depends on the location, in-house policies and people working there. Notifications aside, you are responsible for your own affairs and can check status at, “Track the Progress of Your Greek Passport Application.”

There is nothing you can do to speed the process. Greece, its bureaucratic process and employees work at their own pace, which is why applicants are encouraged to think ahead; and Greeks abroad sometimes come to Greece to apply, then appoint a relative via dilosi to pick up the passport and send it by registered mail.

If it was a renewal, your old passport should be canceled by police or consular authorities and returned according to the wishes you stated when applying for the new one.

*I have seen cases where old passports are not canceled, but Greek authorities keep track in a database.

Urgent issuance & temporary passports

Greece offers an urgent, one working day issuance of passports but only for emergency reasons having to do with injury, serious health concerns or death of an immediate relative.

Temporary passports are typically issued to persons who had their passports lost or stolen, or for humanitarian reasons.

What if my application and/or photos is/are rejected?

If police find something wrong with your photos, or incomplete/mismatching information on your passport application, you will be notified of the reason for denial.

You will be required to visit the police station or Greek consulate/embassy again and complete another application, resubmit one to three photos (depending on your age and whether you are in or outside Greece) and pay five (5) euros. Why? Because the receipt you were originally given pertains to the rejected file and the new file must be assigned a different protocol number.

How is my Greek name written in Latin?

Latin names in Greek passports are typically transliterated from Greek, following a formula set by ELOT 743 that harmonizes with the International Standard (ISO 843). To see your Greek name transliterated to Latin, click “ELOT 743 Translator,” use the left column and enter your name in Greek.

What this means is you cannot necessarily choose how your name is spelled in Latin in your Greek passport, and it may be spelled incorrectly. It most often happens to those who:
a) Have Greek letters that do not literally transliterate to English, i.e., ψ, δ, γ, χ, ξ.
b) Have a Latin name with letters that do not literally translate to Greek, i.e., B, D, G, J, W, Υ.
c) Started with a Latin name that was translated to Greek, then transliterated back to Latin.

If your Latin name is wrong, you can inquire with a police station in Greece or a Greek consulate/embassy nearest your residence about changing it. They will ask for documentation specified in #9 of section ‘Documents and fees’ and charge a fee prorated to duration of remaining validity to reissue the passport.

As of November 2011, law 401/2011 gives citizens the right to specify a transliterated name AND a translated name, which readers shared and confirmed for me. For example:

  • Ευρυδίκη Σόφια, followed by Evridiki Sofia OR Eurydice Sophia (taken from a comment on November 16, 2011);
  • Γιάννης, followed by Ioannis OR John (taken from a comment on January 30, 2012).

Following complaints from the Greek diaspora that they are being denied their legal right to specify alternate names to match official public documents, the Ministry of Citizen Protection says the law is mandatory and police, who are inconsistent in implementation, must respect the law.

Where can Greek citizens go without a visa?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a table called “Visas for Greeks traveling abroad,” which details where Greek passport holders (diplomatic, service and ordinary Greek citizens) can travel without a visa.

Germany and Greece have a reciprocal program that entitles Greek police officers at German airports to conduct random inspections, and German police officers at Greek airports to do the same as of March 2012, a measure to support in each other in minimizing illegal immigration.

Greek citizens, however, cannot purchase property in Turkey (Ynet). Dual citizenship with another country would be a way around.

U.S. visas issued to Greeks

Greece is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), as of April 5, 2010. See “Greece enters the U.S. visa waiver program in 2010.”

Any previous unexpired U.S. visas are still honored by presenting the invalidated/old Greek passport bearing the original visa along with a biometric passport issued after August 26, 2006. There is no need to secure another visa.

Spouses of Greek citizens

If you marry a Greek citizen, you are not automatically entitled to a Greek passport. Non-EU or EU husbands and wives of Greek citizens who are not Greek citizens themselves must first stake a claim to Greek citizenship if they are of Greek origin (descent) or go through the naturalization process to acquire Greek citizenship. A Greek passport is technically redundant for anyone who is already an EU citizen, though in reality there are cases when the “Greeks first” rule applies but lawfully should not — i.e., university housing, public sector employment.

If you are married to a Greek citizen, are of no Greek descent yourself and interested in acquiring Greek citizenship, see “Acquisition of Greek citizenship by naturalization.”

A residence/work permit for Greece for a non-EU wife or husband and the minor children of a Greek or EU citizen can be obtained with almost no waiting period, no fluency in Greek and no fee, if you apply and pass an interview. See, “Permits for non-EU spouses of Greek/EU citizens.”

Do I need a lawyer?

Those who already went through the process say ‘no.’ In fact, many who hired a lawyer to help with Greek citizenship and passports suffered significant delays from procrastination and paid exorbitant fees of 600-2000 euros. Seriously, that’s ridiculous. My experience over 14 years is to hire a lawyer, only if there is a threat of going to jail, to court or for highly complicated matters, such as property and inheritance. Getting a passport is a straightforward process that only requires patience and perseverance.

Retaining a Greek lawyer is likely a waste of money because:

a) This is Greece — If you followed instructions and provided the necessary documents, all you can do is wait. It is a ‘results may vary’ country, where two people applying under the same circumstances can have completely different experiences.

b) How can you verify whether a lawyer achieved something you couldn’t have gotten on your own for free? — You can never know if a person has genuine influence or knowledge, until after you hire him/her and pay money that will not be refunded if proved otherwise.

c) There are lawyers who take advantage of citizens abroad by claiming they specialize in Greek citizenship issues, overstate qualifications, use info from my website and charge exorbitant fees. If they’re writing articles and advertising on the Internet, how good could they be? The best attorneys are busy practicing law.

If hiring a lawyer makes you feel better, that is a personal choice. My advice is to select one based on a referral or from an consular/embassy list, which gives you the right to complain should something go wrong.

Note from the Author

The only source available in 2007 was the Greek passport website, with the Greek version not matching reality and the English version poorly translated and barely readable.

My May 2007 article was created with documentation received at the police station and the first-hand experiences of Greek citizens, then updated over the years with news articles, information from friends via email, and readers’ experiences shared in Comments.

In August 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plagiarized this article in part for its passport page in English, reusing my translation and first-hand details I collected from Greek citizens. The info was then republished without permission by several Greek embassies and consulates, including London, UK; Toronto, Canada; Johannesburg, South Africa; and nearly all Greek missions in the United States.


— First-hand experience of an American-Greek couple acquiring passports for their three children in 2009 and February 2012
— First-hand experience of a Greek citizen renewing her passport in Greece, 2012
— First-hand experience of my Greek partner, who applied for and received a biometric Greek passport in 2007 and 2012
— Details via email from Greek-American (L.T.), who applied for a Greek passport after being granted dual citizenship in 2013.
— Personal accounts of Greek-American/British friends living in Greece and abroad in New York, California, London, Italy and Florida, who agreed to share their stories with me
— Readers in ‘Comments’ who generously shared their experience
— Interviews and data-gathering from Greek consulates/embassies in the USA
— “Στην Ελλάδα τα διαβατήρια με μικροτσίπ” — Eleftherotypia
— First-hand information from C.E.O. on requirement of Greek ID in Latin letters in 2011, and Greek passport handout in 2012
— “Hungarian nationals caught with counterfeit Greek passports
— “Αναγκαία η επανεξέταση του τρόπου αναγραφής στοιχείων στα διαβατήρια” — To Vima
— “Γερμανοί αστυνομικοί για τους λαθρομετανάστες” — Ta Nea
— “Γάμος με ψηφιακά παράβολα” — To Vima
— “What’s the best passport for travelers?” — SMH

Used for comparison only
— National Passport Center of Greece website: or The English version was rewritten in 2011 but is now laced with jargon. Also note that these websites are not updated regularly to show the latest information

In the News

Man with fake Greek passport obtains six driver’s licenses in Australia” — The Age
U.S. detains two with fake Greek passports” — U.S. Department of Justice
Feds arrest suspects in vehicle-fraud ring with fake Greek passports” — Washington Examiner
Student given fake Greek passport to run money” — MSNBC
Convicted fraudster used fake Greek passport in scam” — Daily Mail
Greek embassy in London grinds to a halt” (partially plagiarized) — BIJ
One of Russia’s richest men caught with fake Greek passport” — This is Sussex
Syrians caught with fake Greek passports in Thailand” — Washington Post
Kurds with fake Greek passports intercepted” — Taiwan News

Related posts

Greece enters the U.S. visa waiver program in 2010
The opposite is true in Greece
Deksi xeri, sas parakalo

The Author

Kat is a well-traveled American journalist and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”

  • was created in 2007 to present meticulously researched original articles that fill a gap left by traditional media, government portals and commercial websites/forums run by people without credentials.
  • @LivinginGreece is a Twitter feed curated from recognized Greek and international news agencies to provide breaking news about Greece, plus real-time updates and insider tips mined from 15 years experience.

Note: Please note my copyright policy and be aware that violations will be pursued.


  EllasDevil wrote @ May 2nd, 2007 at 02:06

I’m like Mr George Greek above… I got me one of those :-)

  Kat wrote @ May 17th, 2007 at 09:46

ED – Yeah, I know, isn’t the name hilarious? :)

  Kat wrote @ January 9th, 2008 at 17:38

Note to everyone — Some people have complained about having a difficult time getting a passport in Greece, however everyone I know had a very easy time and found the process straightforward and simple.

My fiance mentioned that those who seemed to have trouble were those who didn’t/can’t follow instructions, which sounds a lot like my “Deksi Xeri, Sas Parakalo” story about people who couldn’t follow instructions at the U.S. Embassy either.

  Yadira wrote @ July 16th, 2009 at 19:29

Hi! I gave birth in Greece to a daughter (name deleted for privacy) on May 30, 2008. We have onomatodosia and she is registered in Peristeri where we live. I am a US citizen, married to a Greek, got permit here. My daughter has US passport.

We also want to obtain EU/Greek passport type document for her. I was looking through your website for info/details but could not find anything. Did I miss something in your fantastic and detailed site? Could you refer me to a page where I can read in detail the paperwork needed to obtain such document?

We’ll greatly appreciate. Enjoy the summer!

Kat Reply:

Please read the article above. Thank you.

  Alex wrote @ January 20th, 2010 at 16:19


I am a Dual Greek/South African citizen living in London for around 10 years. I lost my greek passport in London and reported it to the authorities and the embassy in Holland Park, London however U have had much difficulty in obtaining a replacement. I cant speak much of my language, both my parents were greek and I have all the papers necessary to prove this, marriage certificates etc…The main obstacle seems to be that there is a period of around 10 months in 2002 that I dont have any payslips or bank statements to prove I was working in the UK, this all seems to be a bit silly as I have letters from HMRC confirming my salary in each tax period

Does anyone have any advice that could help me, I have a 6 year old daughter in South Africa that I have only seen once as I cannot re enter the UK without my EU passport and could really use some help


Kat Reply:

Proof of working in the UK has absolutely nothing to do with getting a replacement Greek passport, so I have no idea why the Greek Embassy/Consulate would be requesting this. My instinct is that I do not know the whole story.

Knowing/speaking Greek is not a requirement for obtaining Greek citizenship or a Greek passport if you are of Greek origin, which you are. All that’s needed to get a Greek passport is to prove you have Greek citizenship and go through the process I detail above at the Greek Embassy/Consulate.

  Dima wrote @ February 19th, 2010 at 07:08

Привет! Посоветуйте как быть!) У меня мама имеет греческое гражданство, я гражданин Российской федерации.. Как я могу получить греческий паспорт? Заранее спасибо!!!

Hi! My mother has Greek citizenship, I am citizen this way .. How can I get a Greek passport? Thanks in advance!

Kat Reply:

It does not matter if your mother has Greek citizenship. If you want a Greek passport, you need to go through the process of acquiring Greek citizenship yourself, then go through the process I describe above to get your passport. The article is clear.

  Chris wrote @ June 7th, 2010 at 03:09

I was curious, how is one’s Latin name/spelling determined on a Greek passport? Does one get to have some say or are there any rules regarding the “Latinization” of Greek names in this case? Thanks!

Kat Reply:

Hi Chris,

That’s a good question. Please see the section I added above called, “How is my Greek name written in Latin?”

  Liz wrote @ June 10th, 2010 at 14:56

My daughter was born in England and has a British passport but her father is Greek. Can he get a Greek passport issued without my consent? We were never married.

Kat Reply:

Whether or not you were married, your daughter is entitled to Greek citizenship and a Greek passport through the father even though she was born outside Greece. However, as it says in the article above, a claim to Greek citizenship would first need to be filed on her behalf, then both parents/guardians must give consent for a Greek passport to be issued if she is aged 14 and under.

  Enrique wrote @ July 9th, 2010 at 06:34

just grateful for the useful information. I am Greek/Spanish,

still wondering why you think as many people think that the Greek passport is inferior to a French, German or Italian? Is it all in the brain, or is it legally Inferior, or do the French have more rights than the Greeks? Or is it just because we are so chaotic and messy that we are seen as less civilized?

Kat Reply:

I state that a Greek passport is perceived to be inferior to other EU countries, and this is based on comparisons people make between which passports give them visa-free access or what they personally deem important (however subjective).

Many hyphenated Greeks think Greek passports are inferior to Canadian, Australian or U.S. passports, which is why they don’t bother going through the bureaucracy, cost and trouble of getting a Greek one. They feel their current passport is easier to renew, plus it and a Greek ID does everything they need.

My opinion is not stated.

  Melinda wrote @ July 20th, 2010 at 14:56


My great grandparents were born in Greece. My granny died recently, but we have her South African Birth Certificate & her parents actual/original passports. Do I qualify for a Greek passport? Does my mother qualify for one? If she does get approved, do I stand a chance of approval because she’s my mom? I don’t want to live in Greece, I just want a Greek passport for travelling purposes.

Kat Reply:

As it says above in the article, you must apply and be granted Greek citizenship in order to qualify for a Greek passport; simply having an ancestor born in Greece is not enough.

Your mother may qualify for one, but she would need to apply for her citizenship certificate using the instructions in “Greek citizenship by ancestry, descent or origin.” After your mother applies and is (hopefully) granted Greek citizenship and a Greek passport, it may make your application for citizenship and a passport somewhat easier. It is best to gather as many papers on the list I give and then consult the Greek embassy or consulate nearest you about how to proceed.

  mohsen wrote @ August 6th, 2010 at 01:21

please give your contact address .i would like to have Greek passport

Thank you

Kat Reply:

In order to get a Greek passport, you must have Greek citizenship. Please read the article.

  Dimitris wrote @ August 13th, 2010 at 13:50

I am a British resident and as far as I know I have a warrant for my arrest in Greece, for being questioned for an illegal financial act. My passport expires on January 2011 and I have to renew it soon. If I go to the Greek Embassy in London to apply for renewal is there any possibility to be arrested inside the Embassy and extradited to Greece?? Are they going to renew my passport???

Kat Reply:

In order to answer your questions, I consulted with both a lawyer and a trusted friend who is adept in consular/embassy affairs. However, please remember that this is a non-judgmental environment and our answer does not constitute legal advice.

All three of us agree that it is highly unlikely your Greek passport will be renewed. When you apply, the application will be sent to Greek police for review and they’ll easily determine that there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.

The Greek Embassy in London is neither the sovereign territory of Greece, nor under the complete jurisdiction of the UK. That means you won’t be arrested inside the embassy, but Greek authorities will notify UK authorities of the outstanding warrant, request you be arrested and then extradited. If for some reason they cannot find or arrest you, they’ll simply revoke whatever privileges were officially granted to you by the UK and force you out of the country somehow. Unless you hold dual citizenship and a passport with another country, you will then be a man without legal residence or travel documents, since you cannot use your Greek ID to travel anywhere from the UK because the UK is not in Schengen.

You’ll then have two choices: Surrender yourself at the Greek embassy, accept the travel documents authorizing your return to Greece and be arrested on Greek soil; or hire a Greek lawyer to negotiate your return. Given the current economic climate in Greece, I can assure you that there is a lot less tolerance for anyone committing financial crimes since you were last here.

Thank you for your inquiry, and good luck.

  hola wrote @ August 30th, 2010 at 05:46

hello, nice info

i have a very old-expired greek passport and i’m not sure if i can find it (propably not), should i report that i lost it, even though i’ve lost it for many years now? or can i make a new one?

thank you

  Renie wrote @ September 18th, 2010 at 18:56

Hi all

I am so so frustrated. I have been trying to get through to the Greek Embassy in London over the past four weeks – calling between 10 – 15 times a day and leaving voicmeail message after each attempt. Not once have I managed to speak to a human being. I need to renew my sons’ Greek passports.

Do you know if there is any other way to get this done? If only for once renewing a greek passport was not an absolute nightmare

I have all the relevant paper work as requested on the website, all I need is an appointment. Should I just pitch up at the Embassy in Holland Park and refuse to leave until somebody assists me. This has to be the most unprofessional office I have ever had to deal with. Same goes for the Cape Town office. What is their problem????

Kat Reply:

Hi Renie,

I’ve heard and experienced first hand that service at Greek consulates and embassies worldwide varies greatly — some quite horrible, unhelpful and incompetent (if they answer the phone); and others quite efficient, friendly and knowledgeable. It’s a lot like public services here in Greece.

I read the consulate’s instructions, and it does say an appointment is needed so I’m not sure what you can do if they don’t answer the phone. You could certainly go in person if it’s not a huge inconvenience, as they can’t turn you away if it’s done during posted opening hours. Just don’t be disappointed if all you get is an appointment.

I empathize and wish you the best.

  Michael wrote @ September 23rd, 2010 at 00:11

Hello, my question is, I’m greek citizen and I applied for the new biometric passport at the consulate in Belgium, after 40 days my application form was rejected, so what is next? Do I have to go back to Greece or I can apply for the second time at the Greek consulate?
Thank you.

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information to advise you properly, so I’ll give a general answer. Because you are a Greek citizen, you are lawfully entitled to learn the reason your application for a Greek passport was rejected. Did you ask? If not, call or go back and ask.

Can you reapply? Depends. What’s the reason you were rejected? If the reason for denial can be fixed, then it makes sense to apply again after you put things in order. If the reason it was denied cannot be resolved, there’s no point reapplying; they’re just going to reject it for the same reason. In this case, you need to ask them what your options are.

  tracey wrote @ October 28th, 2010 at 14:23

i live in greece and my children were born here. i am trying to get a greek passport for my youngest son who is 13 months but having difficulty because they say he can’t have one unless he has a name. now here in greece they are only given a name when they are christened and my son hasn’t been christened yet. please could you help me in what i need to do. i really have to get to the uk because of my dad’s health problem.

Kat Reply:

I suppose my first question is who is “they”? Who is telling you he can’t have a passport? Your Greek relatives? The police station issuing passports? The municipality issuing documents? Are you saying he has no birth certificate (ληξιαρχική πράξη γέννησης) and isn’t registered in the dimotologio? Because those documents, a photo and paying the fee are the only things you need to apply for a child’s Greek passport. Without knowing the actual obstacles you faced, I cannot address them.

Assuming you are a UK citizen born in the UK, your son also qualifies for a UK passport through you as I found in “Eligibility for a British passport through a mother.” If you don’t have a Greek birth certificate, you can use the consular birth registration certificate, assuming you already registered his birth with a UK embassy or consulate. According to the UK passport website and UK Embassy in Athens, UK citizens in Greece need to apply for a passport at the UK Regional Processing Centre in Madrid. Follow the link, download the form and read the instructions.

  Tom wrote @ October 30th, 2010 at 00:28

Hi there. You’ve noted above that “documents must have been issued in the 6 months previous to date of [passport] application.” I visited my local Greek Embassy recently to ascertain whether my military certificate of deferment (Τύπου Β) issued a few years ago would need to be renewed. I first asked the receptionist there, who seemed clueless. Afterwards, a guy said that my existing certificate would do (though with a hint of uncertainty). Finally, another guy said that I should simply tick a box on the application form confirming that I’m a μόνιμος κάτοικος εξωτερικού using my existing certificate. Could it be that the six-month validity applies only to documents issued by Municipalities? Or perhaps the folks at the Embassy weren’t briefed properly? I’m quite baffled…

Kat Reply:

Hi Tom,

I state that because the official government website says so, the police departments in Greece say so, and the Greek consulate/embassy personnel I interviewed for this article said so. Readers tell me the Type B certificate has no expiration, but authorities initially said “all” — municipality docs, receipts, dilosi, the photo.

As you know, different people have different levels of knowledge and equally varied levels of implementing rules whether or not they know them. I like to say, “results may vary.” As long as the documents are accepted and processed and we get what we want in the end, it’s best to just go along with whatever they say and smile.

When we don’t get what we want in Greece, even quoting the law and presenting a copy isn’t guaranteed to get results.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. It helps.

  George wrote @ October 31st, 2010 at 11:41


Congrats for this really helpful site. What if a child is born in Greece and only the mother is a Greek citizen? Is the newborn automatically entitled to a Greek Passport?

Kat Reply:

Hi George,

A child born in Greece to a mother who was a Greek citizen during her pregnancy and at the time of the child’s birth does qualify for a Greek passport. Please look at the article above and gather the papers required to apply.

All best.

  Billy wrote @ November 14th, 2010 at 00:24

I want to renew my Greek passport without being fingerprinted.

I believe that my right to obtain a greek passport is a natural, ineliable and constitutional right; one that cannot be made conditional upon me having to provide fingerprints, DNA or iris scans. I believe that the police or government do not have the lawful right to deny me a passport because I do not conscent to being fingerprinted.

How do I go about getting a passport without being fingerprinted?

Anyone have any experience with this?

This fingerprinting business is a scam! It is a way for our fascistic governments to get all the population’s DNA, fingerprints or iris into a database and has nothing to do with security.

Kat Reply:

In the country you’re now living, they take fingerprints for visa applications, citizenship and medical school. That’s much more strict and widespread than Greece.

Fingerprinting is not a business in Greece. The police do it for free when you apply for a Greek passport. As I understand, you cannot get a Greek passport if you do not consent to having your fingerprints taken and are free to challenge this law in court at the EU level.

  Thalia wrote @ November 17th, 2010 at 23:21

I hold greek passport. i am in UK. i woud like to change my name and surname by my choice. can you tell me what is the right procedure.

thank you

Kat Reply:

You need to inquire with the proper UK or Greek authorities about changing your name according to the law, then present these official documents at the Greek embassy/consulate nearest you to begin processing the bureaucracy for your Greek passport and oikogeneiaki merida.

As I am not in the UK or a Greek passport holder, I cannot advise you on how to legally change your name and surname there.

Follow-up: I did NOT tell you to go to the Greek embassy to change your name. I said you must legally change your name according to the law, then go to the Greek embassy to change your Greek passport. I am not a lawyer and cannot assist you.

  Paul wrote @ December 16th, 2010 at 11:06

Hi Kat,

Thanks for your reply. I ended up applying for a Greek passport at a consulate here in France. It took 4 1/2 weeks to arrive but there were no problems. This was my process.

I called the Greek consulate in Marseille and told them that I wanted to apply for a passport. They asked me if I had a copy of my municipal roll certificate. I didn’t so they obtained it for me (it took a few days).
Next I attended an appointment at the consulate. I brought with me my Australian passport and my military exemption document (Which i had earlier obtained from the Greek consulate in Melbourne, Australia).
The appointment went smoothly, all I had to do was provide the above stated documents, give a fingerprint from each hand and sign the application. They enter the application on a computer and at the end they print it to send off. There was a slight problem in that the latin character translation (That the computer did automatically) of my name from Greek didn’t match my name on my Australian passport. They overrided this with what is on my Australian passport. The consulate officer seemed to have a bit of doubt about doing this so I asked him if there will be any problems. He replied “Perhaps…” whilst shrugging his shoulders :D
4 1/2 weeks later I have my passport. This seems to be the current timeframe because my father recently got a passport through the consulate in Melbourne and it also took 4-5 weeks so being in Europe didn’t make the process any quicker.

I’m intending to get an id card when I’m in Greece next so I’ll let you know how that goes. I was reading your tales about learning Greek. I too studied with Roza a few years back and I agree that she’s great. I always try to say hello to her when I’m in Athens.



Kat Reply:

Hi Paul, nice to see you here again.

In the Greek ID article, I mention that a certificate of registration is required to renew a passport, and above I mention fingerprints are taken and the Greek-Latin/Latin-Greek transliteration is based on a set formula. Your experience helped me confirm those things. Whether someone can have the spelling overridden is highly dependent on which passport came first, the location of application and the person who processes the application.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out and share your experience with me. After I get at least one more person, I will post an article dedicated to renewing a Greek passport since much of what’s written above applies to first-timers.

Roza, yes. A memorable teacher, not to mention a wonderful person I reference in “Why don’t you speak Greek fluently?” I encourage people to enroll in her classes if they have a choice, and people thank me afterward. Because you know who she is, I’ll tell you a story. In the beginner’s class, we often heard side stories that helped us understand the nuances of Greek life. Her explanation of, “Po po!” was particularly entertaining with the faces and full-body gestures, and she used it whenever someone was late or didn’t do their homework. One day she came 15 minutes late to class, disheveled, and launched into a story about her son, traffic, a near accident and I don’t know what else. We all fell silent, looked at each other and in unison said, “PO, PO!” and she nodded her head, laughed and called us ponyra. :D

  Kathy wrote @ January 4th, 2011 at 09:16

I would like to know the difference of the colors of Greek passports. I understand that there are light blue passports and dark blue passports. I would like to know if any of these color passports had been issued during the 1950’s from Greece. Do you know if they were and what is the difference of the colors?

I was adopted from Greece in 1956 and I am living in the US. I was trying to get documents (i.e., birth certificate and court adoption records) but have had no luck for over two years. Is there anyone I can contact who can assist me in my search for these much needed documents? I would like to obtain this information so I can get a Greek passport. Please help me if you can with this matter.

Kat Reply:

As I understand, Greek passports were issued with a light blue jacket from the 1930s until the monarchy in the 1970s when the jacket became dark blue. The difference in color has to do with the whims of whoever was governing back then; it has nothing to do with special status. The Greek flag was once light blue and has darkened in color with time also.

I’m sure you know from reading this article that the first step to a Greek passport is to apply for Greek citizenship, and there is a guide on where documents may be found at “Greek citizenship via origin, descent or ancestry.” The only people allowed to access family records are members of that family or a representative legally designated by the family, so it’s necessary to do it yourself, ask a family member for help/advice or carefully screen and hire someone with real credentials.

All best.

  Faidon wrote @ January 4th, 2011 at 17:41

Hi I am a greek citizen living in the UK. I recently managed to get my passport and ID while in greece with a bit of help i might add, and I still need to submit a few docs which are my marriage certificate apostilled and my children’s birth certificates.

With these docs submitted my family meritha will be in place. To apply for Greek passports for my kids, will they have to be present, or can I do it on behalf of them? They are in South Africa and want to come to the UK.



Kat Reply:

You did not provide enough information to help you, but I suspect the article already answers your question.

This is quoted from above: “Children aged 14 and under must be accompanied by both parents/guardians or present a certified statement of facts (dilosi) by the one adult absent; or in extenuating circumstances, certified statements by both parents assigning a close relative (i.e., grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle).”

Being accompanied means the children must be present.

  Tom wrote @ March 8th, 2011 at 22:36

Hi Kat

In late October, I visited the Greek consulate to enquire about my military certificate (see above) as well as to book an appointment with the passport officer… for January. I’ve duly received my renewed passport today after several needless follow-up visits.

Despite Greece undergoing fiscal chemotherapy to improve itself, its bureaucracy has worsened exponentially. Last time, my renewal took about 3 weeks; this time, over 4 months. Shall I mention the misspelt birthplace and sloppy photo cropping?

Many thanks for this great website :-)


Kat Reply:

Hi Tom,

Yes, I remember you.

Perhaps with the salary and staff cuts, those who retain their jobs are working even slower in protest? I’d like to say it’s because of the Kallkratis reorganization of municipalities, but modernization of processes should be speeding the process not hampering it. Hard to say why it’s taking so much longer for Greek passports to be issued and the sloppiness in which yours was done, which no doubt will take you even longer to correct.

Thank you for again coming back to share your experience. It helps me monitor changes (good and bad) in the system and gives me insight on how to assist others. It’s a pleasure to provide this website for people like you.

All best! K

  Pags wrote @ March 8th, 2011 at 22:44

I am a Greek citizen living in UK. I am going to greece to get my passport renewed as I need it urgently. Will I be able to get my old passport back and travel back to the UK and then return to get my new passport before the old one expires?
Many thanks

Kat Reply:

Unfortunately, what you’re planning to do in getting your Greek passport issued more quickly won’t work. Why?

As the article says above, one of the requirements in applying or renewing a passport is to hand over your old one. Authorities will either cancel it on the spot and give it back to you or keep it until your new one is issued because it is assumed that you have thought enough in advance to renew it and won’t need it for travel while your new passport is being processed. It is also the reason Greek citizens abroad are expected to apply at the Greek consulate/embassy nearest their residence, not travel to Greece to have it done.

If you come to Greece to renew your passport, you must stay in Greece until the process completes. Depending on the location you apply and how fast staff are working, it could take up to a week or 10 days (or more), assuming you submit all the correct paperwork and there are no issues. There is an expedited process, but it is only for cases of serious illness/injury or a relative’s death, and evidence of this is required to qualify.

*Commentator ‘sdelic’ says he was allowed to keep his old Greek passport while his new one was being processed, but this is the only case I’ve heard. There’s always a chance in Greece that something exceptional can be done due to its inconsistency, but I wouldn’t want you to get stuck without your passport.

  nikolas wrote @ March 11th, 2011 at 16:27

Comment 1: I used some of your information provided yes for free to aquire my greek passport. I am very disappointed after reading your story on this site on how you came here and why you stayed that you would password protect something as important as how a spouse of a greek citizen can aquire his/her residency permit. Yes i have read your comment as to why you have protected the information. Because others have used them. But at what point are you just hurting the people you are trying to help. I assume you spend the time you do to HELP those that don’t read greek and need the help. You don’t seem to be in this for money and you seem active in your site but even if someone took your hard work and used it on there site at what point do you ask yourself, “hey isn’t that helping more people”? Don’t you remember that day at Syntagma when you had that feeling that fueled all of this? When you heard the national Anthem playing? Did you give credit to someone or something for that moment? No because no one needed it. It was FREE and God given. Whatever you have done on this site has been of YOUR free will. Why can’t you just be grateful that so many of us that needed the help have received it. Why is CREDIT so important to you.

Comment 2: Hi I am wondering what happened to my post? I find it interesting that any criticism of Kats website isnt deleted. I didnt curse. I was respectful but my opinion is censored. Wow this coming from a fellow American. I would appreciate a response Kat as to why my post was removed.

  sdelic wrote @ March 14th, 2011 at 20:36

Both in May 2006 (at the Passport Office located at the Police station in Kifissia) and in January this year (at the Greek consulate in Moscow) I was able to apply for new passport and keep a valid previous passport until the new one was handed to me. Only then was the old passport invalidated. In first instance it took 3 days (application submitted on Wednesday and passport picked up on Saturday) and this year 10 calendar days (I’d submitted the application on January 21st and I had the passport back on January 31st, while the passport was actually printed on January 27th.)

Kat Reply:

I’m glad that worked for you. However, four others I know who went to the Kifisia location had their old Greek passports kept by police while their new one was being processed, as did dozens of others who had the same experience I describe in my answer to the previous commentator. They had their Greek IDs and no travel plans, so it wasn’t an issue.

As you can see from comments above, and the article based on people’s real-life experience, processing time varies greatly. I’ve said clearly on many occasions that this is Greece and results may vary.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

  Laura wrote @ March 15th, 2011 at 03:13

Hi Kat,

No questions, just a big “Thank You” for all of your hard work! This site has proven invaluable to me, as I am helping my SIL obtain a Greek passport. Your thoroughness is very much appreciated.

Efharisto para polli !!!


Kat Reply:

Comments are always welcome in comments. It’s a pleasure to provide information for people like you. Thank YOU for your kind words!

  Nikos wrote @ March 23rd, 2011 at 17:56

I am a dual citizen of the U.S. and Greece, my wife and I were married in the U.S and we moved to Greece about a year ago, she is from an E.U country. My questions are what papers does she need in order to work in Greece mainly during summer for hotels? We have not declared our marriage here yet and if we did a politiko gamo in Greece could she obtain a Greek passport for instance?

This website is very helpful, Greece needs more people like you!

Kat Reply:

Hi Nikos,

Many questions you asked were answered in articles I know you read on this website — including “How non-EU citizens can live and work in Greece” — so either you didn’t read carefully or perhaps didn’t understand what was written.

Pertaining to your questions. Let’s start from the beginning and work to the present.

1. When you and your wife were married in the USA, you should have registered your marriage at the nearest Greek consulate/embassy.

2. You said your wife is from an EU country, but you did not state her nationality or citizenship. Why is this important?
a) If she is an EU citizen, she has the right to freely live and work in any EU member state, which includes Greece. Technically, she is obligated to register as a permanent resident in Greece after 90 days, but she does not need a residence/work permit. Her marriage to you has no bearing.
b) If she is a non-EU citizen, you should have gone to the nearest Greek consulate/embassy before arrival in Greece to see if she needed a special visa that denotes intent to immigrate. And then when you both arrived in Greece, she would have needed to apply for a residence/work permit as the spouse of a Greek citizen within 90 days of arrival in the Schengen zone.

3. What does your wife need to work in Greece?
a) If she is an EU citizen, she needs an AFM (Greek tax number) from the eforia.
b) If she is a non-EU citizen, she needs to have (at least) applied for a residence/work permit.

4. Politiko gamo: Your first marriage is valid and legal, so you cannot legally get married again in Greece. Even if you tried to do it from ignorance or for fun, they will not give you a Greek marriage license because there are sworn statements and documents that attest to your single status to qualify, and neither of you is single.

5. Greek passport: As it says in the article above, your wife is not eligible for a Greek passport. Why? Please look at the sections “Introduction” and “Spouses of Greek citizens.” All requirements are listed at “Greek citizenship by naturalization.”

Since you didn’t register your marriage in #1, you need to do it now. How?
— Follow the procedure I give in “Greek citizenship via ancestry,” paying specific attention to instructions for the marriage certificate until you get a praxi gamou.
— Find out where your oikogeneiaki merida is located (ask your mom/dad), and go to a KEP Citizen Service Centre and send/fax the praxi gamou to the city hall or mayor’s office where it’s located. Now your marriage is registered.

Whether your wife is an EU or non-EU citizen, go to an eforia location nearest your legal residence and get her an AFM. You can find one online, in a map book or in English at “DOY/Greek tax office locations.” You also need an AMKA. Click the link.

If you have health insurance (IKA, OGA, etc.) and she does not, go to the nearest branch office and add her to your policy to make sure she’s covered.

If your wife is a non-EU citizen, which I’m hoping is not the case, you’ll need to see the Greek Ombudsman and take their advice on how to proceed with applying for a residence/work permit because, as I said in 2b, it should have been done already. Because you arrived in Greece about a year ago, she would be in an illegal resident status and what they normally demand is she exit for 90 days and re-enter Greece to be eligible to apply.

In exchange for the help you received, please consider recommending this website to a friend or giving back by sharing your experience on any topic that may need updating. It is 2:00 now, and I need to stop.

Good luck, and all the best.

  nikolas wrote @ March 24th, 2011 at 20:44

can you please let me know why my post was removed? it had helpful information and personal experiance!! please reply

Kat Reply:

If you read “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me,” it says all comments enter moderation. Your post wasn’t removed; it was just never published. This website belongs to me, I pay for the domain and hosting, the content I create is my property, and I am responsible for how information is disseminated. I am not obligated to give a reason, but I’ll give you one anyway.

The “helpful” information you attempted to dispense was copy/pasted from a different website with inaccurate information. This not only opens me to copyright infringement, but it means you’re lying about it being from your personal experience. And the text you didn’t plagiarize either repeated information already on this website or did not apply (was irrelevant) to the commentator’s questions.

What you did was hurtful, not helpful. It would have been better to do nothing. All best.

  Surbitonvalley wrote @ March 30th, 2011 at 17:04

I finally managed to get an appointment with the Greek embassy in London to renew my passport. My Greek is a bit rusty so I am slightly worried about filling in the forms in Greek. Does anyone know whether they have forms in English? Tnx

Kat Reply:

In most of my embassy/consular experiences, the application is bilingual or staff will help you fill it out if it’s not. Their Greek passport web page gives no hint of the answer, and I have no plans to visit London, so the easiest way is to contact them and ask.

  Arnold wrote @ April 3rd, 2011 at 22:52

1) I became a Greek citizen by giving an oath at a Greek consulate a few months ago. I would like to apply for my Greek passport but I am still not registered at a Greek municipality. Based on your experience how long does it take for the registration process to be completed once the oath has been given and all of the papers have been signed? Have there been times when it has taken more than a couple of months for this process to be complete?

2) The greek consulate is doing it for me but they sent it a couple of months ago. When I call the municipality what is the document that I need to ask for? Is it my pistopoilitikos Genesis that I must have to apply for my Greek Passport? Does it have to go trhough many levels before it reaches the municipality? Sorry I am being so inquisitive but I am new to this.

Kat Reply:

1) If you’re talking about being registered in the oikogeneiaki merida, it’s immediate unless:
a) There’s a problem;
b) there’s a delay because you’re not doing it yourself and depending on the Greek consulate or another person to do it for you; or
c) you haven’t completed the necessary papers (i.e., you haven’t registered for the military draft if a male between 19-45). If you’re in Greece, call the municipality. If you’re outside Greece, call the Greek consulate.

2) In “Greek citizenship by ancestry,” it says the Greek consulate/embassy gives you the pistopoiitiko gennisis if you’re outside Greece. If you didn’t get one, you should be asking the Greek consulate since you’re going through them. Also, edo Ellada. There’s nothing you can do to make the process go faster, and bypassing the Greek consulate and going straight to the municipality may cause more confusion.

The documents necessary to apply for a Greek passport are listed in the article above.

Nothing wrong with being inquisitive, but please understand that I’ve already written out the entire process for everyone and all you need to do is help yourself. If you don’t wish to do that, contact the Greek consulate directly for answers.

  David wrote @ April 13th, 2011 at 21:22

Dear Kat,

My wife and I have been attempting to obtain a passport for my Greek mother-in-law for close to 9 months. She has been in the United States for well over 60 years but retained her Greek citizenship, living here on a green card. Her dying wish is to return to her country one more time, to visit her very elderly and ailing sister. She has had 3 valid passports but never renewed her last one, after having travelled to Greece, for only the third time since emigrating, in 1993.

After having made a journey to the closest Greek Consulate (over 8 hours from her home), which is arduous for her at her advanced age, she was told that the passport could not be renewed because she was not “properly registered” in Greece. She left her hometown as a single woman, was briefly in an arranged marriage (later annulled) and has been married for over a half-century to my father-in-law. It appears she had been issued 3 passports previously, and though she travelled under her married name, with her husband, she had never registered as married to him. Now authorities are denying her a passport until she can be properly registered as married once, annulled once and married to her current husband, before a birth certificate can be issued, which will allow her to be “properly registered” and finally receive a passport.

My mother-in-law has an original birth certificate in Greek, a certified copy of which was sent to the consulate. She was informed that this was no longer valid and that she needed a newly issued one. Initially, Greek officials could not even find her birth registration or place of birth, though they received copies of said original birth certificate. Ultimately, they did find it, with above-noted comments and complications.

At the Greek consulate, we were told “hire an attorney” when we questioned how passports could have been initially issued without question, but no longer could be now. We then hired an attorney (over the Internet, which I later read you did not advise) who has been advising us in this matter. He is professional, courteous and responsive. We are willing to afford the expense of an attorney, if that will help us to achieve our goal of allowing my mother-in-law to see her country and family one more time. We hope we can achieve this before she is too frail to travel. We have been advised to anticipate it will now take another 9 months to obtain a passport, though who knows? Is this story unusual, or is it common to encounter such roadblocks. Any advice that might expedite the process would be sincerely appreciated.

Ultimately, as an aside, we hope to one day obtain a Greek passport for my wife and to retire to Greece, in 4-5 years.

Thank you for your time. I just discovered the wealth of information on your site.


Kat Reply:

Hi David,

I apologize for my delayed response, but I was hoping to give you answers in a rested state of mind and it seems that won’t happen because it’s 3:00 a.m., and I’m going to bite the bullet because I cannot allow more time to pass with your mother-in-law’s circumstances. My approach will be to address what should have happened and why, what you asked and what I know or can suggest.

Greece is historically notorious for bending or not implementing the rules, which is why people have different experiences at different times with the same office or bureaucratic process. In essence, “results may vary.” This is probably why your MIL’s passport was issued three times in spite of her records not being in order, but authorities have no reason to publicly make this admission, implicate themselves and give you grounds to file a complaint.

In reality, your MIL’s records have been an issue for more than 60 years. The only difference between now and then is enforcement in today’s Greece. Those who respect law and order say this change is for the better; those who like to cheat say it’s for the worse. I realize she’s not trying to get away with anything, but unfortunately the responsibility rests on us to ensure our family records are in order and she had ample time and opportunity to do that.

What I understand is her oikogeneiaki merida (family record) is not in order, not her birth certificate. After all, you cannot change a birth certificate. And until her oikogeneiaki merida (family record) is in order, they cannot issue a pistopiitiko oikogeneiaki katastasis (certificate of family situation) verifying that she is registered as born, presently alive, previously married, first marriage annulled, still married to her current husband and has X number of children/grandchildren (if applicable). This certificate is required to issue/renew a Greek passport if she does not have a Greek ID, as stated in the article. Also, the family record is not necessarily stored where she was born, as it can be moved to wherever the head of family (male) wants them, which in her case was her ex-husband or father.

The purpose of the pistopoiitiko oikogeneiaki katastasis (certificate of family situation) is to verify a family’s current status — life, death, divorce, marriage, children, etc. Officials cannot do this if the document is several months or several years old.

In my 13 years doing bureaucracy without help, and listening to the stories of others, I’ve heard a lot of unusual stories. Like I said, “results may vary.”

I do NOT advise hiring an attorney in the majority of cases for the many reasons stated, but I also say it is a personal preference. If you, your wife and your MIL are happy with the service, price and time frame, that’s all that matters.

Based on experience and knowledge of the process, I believe it can be done in much less than nine months, but it will entail finding an attorney who will dedicate himself/herself to your case without preying on the situation (aka, using your MIL’s frail state to charge exorbitant fees) or doing it yourself — perhaps your wife, since she is the daughter. Any relevant documents issued in the USA could be translated and certified at the Greek consulate before coming to Greece. Then in Greece, going to various offices to obtain documents, having them certified (they tell you where) and registered, and traveling to the location of the oikogeneiaki merida (family record) to watch them correct her registration could take as little as two weeks. After that, your MIL’s Greek passport application already started at the Greek consulate could be completed and then it’s just a matter of waiting for issuance. I’ve heard renewal times of a week (applications in Greece) to three weeks or up to four months (applications outside Greece).

I feel for your MIL as I had a grandfather who had a similar wish, and I hope hers comes true. Wishing you all the best.

  Surbitonvalley wrote @ May 7th, 2011 at 10:57

For those, who are renewing their passports in London. I applied for my new passport a few weeks ago, so I thought I would share my experience here.

First of all, a lot of people who came to the embassy did not have an appointment, and all of them were sent back. I remember authorities in Greece being more flexible than that ;). After arrival they ask for some additional information (address, height, etc.) and then ask you to wait. You are then taken to another room where a staff member has already completed an application form for you (in Greek). They take your fingerprints, you pay, and that is the end of it. About one-third of applicants did not speak Greek. Overall, it took me 1,5 hours from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. The passport will be ready in 8 weeks. Hope some people will find this information helpful.

Kat Reply:

Hello, nice to see you here again.

Thank you for giving back to the website and sharing your experience. It does help me to help others, and it’s a good way to monitor how long it takes to get a Greek passport these days, as organizational changes are made and services (supposedly) improved.

  Evie wrote @ June 7th, 2011 at 23:15

Comment 1:
I have an expired Greek passport and am now a US citizen. I want to renew my Greek passport. Unfortunately, my relatives back home are of no help and the embassies here in the US are useless and absolutely apathetic. Can you give me some good/clear information on the steps I need to take to get this done? I will be traveling to Greece this August but not sure I will go to Athens due to all the problems we see in the media. Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated!

Comment 2:
1: Thank you for your reply and I apologize if you feel like you are being redundant. I did read the article, I should have given more information in my comment. I was hoping to get things started here in the US. My time in Greece will be quite limited – about a week. Can I go to any police station from your list or do I have to go to a specific one? The SFO Greek Embassy folks stated I have to go to the station closest to where I was born. I have called them (unfortunately my Greek leaves a lot to be desired) and I didn’t get very far. The SFO embassy requires I make two trips to them to begin the process and then fly back to verify I am who I am (funny as I would be the one showing up the first time) in order to finally complete my passport processing. All this sounds a bit funky to me but maybe its standard? Should I extend my stay in Greece and try that route or muddle through with the folks in SFO?

Sorry – am I driving you nuts with all my dorky questions? I have called the SFO embassy quite a few times over the last two years and haven’t gotten anywhere other than a run around. I didn’t even realize this National Passport Center website existed till I found your website. So thank you. I am just looking for some sort of direction. I tried to hire an attorney and he just told me to call my relatives in Athens.

2: Yes – of course – absolutely my decision. My aunt just visited the Police Station in Pireas and they stated I will need the following items: 2 passport photos, copy of my local driver’s license in the US, copy of my US income tax returns, and a copy of my birth certificate. I will prepare all these items and take along a copy of the dilosi to sign in their presence. Of course, the fees as well. So, not sure why they are now requesting US income tax returns and driver’s license but will be prepared. Thanks.

3: Thanks for your response – didn’t make sense to me either but she also sent my cousin to the same office and they told him the same thing. So – maybe requirements have changed?

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
I get the feeling you didn’t read the article.

Under the heading ‘How to get a Greek passport,’ the first section is called ‘If you are in Greece. It gives a link to all locations you can visit in Greece to apply (not just Athens), that’s followed by a list of documents you need to collect and fees to pay, including where to get them and how much it costs, and then how long it takes and how to check on your status. It’s all laid out step by step.

I seriously doubt you’ll find a more clear article in existence, and I won’t repeat myself when it’s already been researched, translated and combined with first-hand experience from people who went through the process.

Answer 2:
1: You cannot start the process in the USA at the Greek Consulate General of SF and finish the process in Greece. You start and finish in the same location.

The majority of people I know who applied for Greek passports in Greece just went at the location nearest their current residence or workplace and were not turned away, so I seriously doubt what you were told.

There’s no way to predict how long it will take to get a passport in either place. I already answer the question “How long does it take to issue a Greek passport?” in both sections and factors that can impact its issuance. There’s no reason to hire an attorney, as I also explain above.

All the direction and guidance I can provide is 3000 words based on factual information and first-hand experience of readers, plus previous comments. Personal decisions that impact your life are yours alone to make.

2: What your aunt was told doesn’t make sense. Based on my 14 years doing Greek bureaucracy and the first-hand experiences of hyphenated Greeks having their Greek passports issued, a driver’s license and tax statement are never necessary to apply for a Greek passport. However, you are free to believe whatever info you wish.

3: I think not. If requirements for the Greek passport had changed, the Greek consulate general would have asked you for them. They didn’t. Other readers who recently renewed their passports would have also said something. They didn’t.

  Elise wrote @ June 15th, 2011 at 03:52

Comment 1:
Firstly, thank you so much for putting up this site, so very helpful!

My situation is this. I am a registered Greek citizen (with dual nationality Australian / Greek) and living in London UK. My Greek passport expired in 1998 and I am looking to renew. I have just obtained a municipal roll certificate (pistopolitico oikogeneakis katastasis) which states my ex-husband’s name. I have since re-married, actually 18 years ago. I am wondering if this is going to cause me any problems in renewing my passport. My previous Greek passports have been issued in my maiden name.

Also with regard to the oath I must sign. On the Consulate website in London, it states I must swear that ‘I hold a valid passport’. It is not clear to me what they mean by that and whether they are referring to a Greek passport. If I am applying to renew a passport then obviously I do not have a current valid passport, unless they are refer to any other national passport. Are you able to clarify this for me.

Your advice is much appreciated.

Kind regards


Comment 2:
Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.
When i had my greek passport extended/renewed in the past i had not been required to have this document, i guess times have changed. In any case ignorance on my part as it never entered my mind that i was required to inform them of any personal family changes. Again ignorance on my part, but as my passport was in my maiden surname i had no idea that the Pistopoihtiko gennhzhz would even include husband details. I am learning ! No doubt if they will not issue a passport because of this, it would imagine it means i will have to lodge an application with the greek authorities to update the details together with the divorce papers to my first husband and marriage certificate to my second husband. I imagine they will also want these documents legalized and then translated? Do you know if i can do this through the Greek embassy in London? I am calling them daily and either they don’t pick up the phone or it is engaged, of course i have to keep trying as i have no choice! Again if you are able to give me any further info, it would be appreciated. kind regards.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
The pistopoiitiko oikogeneiakis katastasis is a certification of your current family status, so it should reflect your current status. Doesn’t sound like it does, and it’s grounds for Greek authorities to deny issuing your passport. They could look past it, but I’m under the impression that laws are being implemented more strictly, i.e., See David’s comment regarding his mother-in-law, who is in a similar situation. There’s no way to predict what will happen in your specific case.

It’s your responsibility to keep your oikogeneiaki merida in order, notifying them of your divorce, remarriage and name change.

If you don’t hold a valid passport, the Greek consulate makes the necessary accommodation in altering the document since not everyone getting a Greek passport has a previous or unexpired one.

Answer 2:
A few clarifications:

– A pistopoiitiko gennisis (birth certificate) is different than a pistopoiitiko oikogeneiakis katastasis (certificate of family situation). The birth certificate (obviously) cannot be changed. The certificate of family situation, as I explained before, documents the current status (name, marital status) and relationships of all members (spouses, children) connected to a particular Greek citizen and needs to be updated whenever something changes.

– When you apply for a Greek passport renewal, they will ask for one or both of these documents. There’s no way for me to know what they’ll ask for. The only way around is to have a Greek ID.

– Even if they don’t ask you for a pistopoiitiko oikogeneiakis katastasis, the fact remains that it’s outdated and it’s your responsibility to fix it. You can fix it by gathering the relevant documents, have them translated to Greek and certified/processed by the nearest Greek consulate/embassy or fax them to the municipality’s mayor’s office where your oikogeneiaki merida is located. If you don’t know where it is, you should ask a family member or check in the place your family was born or last registered to vote.

Readers tell me the Greek Embassy in London is difficult to reach, and they require appointments for most transactions. Keep trying.

  Rebecca wrote @ June 21st, 2011 at 20:03

Hi – thanks so much for the excellent site.

Do you happen to know whether the San Francisco consulate allows passports to be renews by mail?

I need to get my husband’s passport renewed by the end of the year. We live near Seattle. Having to go there for the process would be a hardship for a number of reasons (he’s disabled, finances are tight, we’re foster parenting). Any info/suggestions appreciated.

Kat Reply:

I’ve never applied for a passport renewal at the SF Greek consulate, but Evie’s comment above suggests they require an in-person appearance and physical application. Definitely call and explain the extenuating circumstances, perhaps they have an alternative solution. Phone number: (415) 775-2102.

  Kosta wrote @ June 28th, 2011 at 13:56


I have come across this website by accident today, and let me tell you it’s a relief to know that I’m not the only one with issues.

I have been living in the UK for the last 11 years and my Greek passport expires in a few weeks (I am dual South African/Greek). It’s taken me awhile to get hold of the Greek consulate and finally managed an appointment, which was today. The whole process took 3 months, only to find out that they will not see anyone for the duration of this week and my appointment became void.

I planned ahead for their incompetence and booked flight to Greece this Thursday morning (for 4 days) just to make sure and to sort out and renew my passport. But I did not plan on them not seeing me today and my biggest concern is I don’t have this Greek military exempt sheet that I need but have all other documents. Will I be able to get this in Greece?

Maybe my last hope is to get a Greek ID card so that i can at least travel around Europe?? I have planned my wedding in Greece in August and have over 70 guests coming from all over the world, so my situation is getting desperate because my passport will have expired by then. I read with interest that some people have managed to travel with their ID Cards.. What would you do?

Kat Reply:

Hi Kosta,

You can definitely apply for a Greek ID as requirements are fewer, and this should facilitate travel within Schengen/EU in most cases. I say most cases because some readers reported UK border authorities asked for a passport. See “Greek national ID” to see where to apply and what you need. It should only take a few minutes, and the good news is a Greek ID can help you renew your Greek passport when you get back to the UK.

My distinct impression is they only issue the permanent resident abroad military certificates outside Greece because in order to qualify, you must reside permanently outside Greece. There’s no way for me to verify otherwise first hand because I’m not a man, and everyone I know already served military. Therefore, I do not believe you can apply for a Greek passport.

Be aware that draft evaders (don’t know if you’re one or not) are subject to a 6000-euro fine as of April 6, if you have not clarified your status. As you’ll only be here for 4 days, it is unlikely anything will happen.

I appreciate you sharing your experience, and I hope everything works out for you. Congratulations on your impending marriage!

  Rebecca wrote @ August 20th, 2011 at 22:06

Firstly thank you for collating all of this information in one location and also allowing the information to be so freely available. Combined with the published commentators, all of this information is very helpful.

You mentioned in a previous comment that you were waiting on another response before publishing an article on renewing a Greek passport – my first question is whether this has now been published? If so, please would you be able to direct me to this as I can’t seem to locate it (although, this may of course be because it doesn’t yet exist)

Failing that, my understanding is that the process for renewal is essentially the same as applying for your first passport per the above article. Are you able to confirm please if this is correct? In particular, I’m trying to clarify whether all of the requirements that you have specified are still needed for a passport renewal or whether the requirements are less stringent since a passport has already been issued previously?

By way of background, I am an Australian & Greek passport holder currently residing in London. Along with so many other people here, I have had significant difficulties in contacting the Embassy in London, and then further difficulties in obtaining helpful information from them so believe it will actually be simpler to travel to Greece for my renewal. I intend to make the trip in September so hopefully the processing time will be within a week.

Thanks for your assistance and my apologies if this question has been dealt with elsewhere.


Kat Reply:

Legitimate questions are always welcome, and thank you for asking.

I do not typically write articles without combining the first-hand experience of at least three people, so the response I needed was from readers since I have no desire to acquire a Greek passport. I renew my passport by mail with a simple fee, application and photos.

As I understood from the generous people who shared their experience, they had to submit the same papers and give fingerprints as the latter is a recently added requirement. I wanted to split the articles to cut word count for the sake of readers, but doing that only repeats the same information. Therefore, it will stay ‘as is’ until further review.

If your experience is different than what I have listed, please come back and let me know. This is how I gauge changes and assess the priority for new articles.

Yes, lots of complaints about London. It will definitely go quicker if you have time and money to come to Greece and renew your passport, especially if you have an updated Greek ID with Latin letters. The ID can only be done in Greece, while the passport can be done in Greece and abroad.

All best.

  Tina wrote @ August 31st, 2011 at 06:17

I have just had my passport issued in Abu Dhabi and the process was quite smooth as I have the necessary documents. I just had to ensure that I booked the appointment ahead of time. I was most suprised that it took less than 2 weeks to process. However, I have the issue that the way in which my name has been translated into English does not match that as on my S African passport. When I last had the Greek passport issued, in Ithaca (where I am registered), I was able to sign a form at the Police station there which allowed them to issue the passport with the spelling as per my SA passport. However, the Embassy in Abu Dhabi advised me that they are no longer allowed to do this. They gave me a letter to say that I am also known as per the spelling on my expired Greek passport.

My concern is that all my papers here in Dubai (residence visa, bank account) are based on my Greek passport and I am very reluctant to change them. I am travelling to Greece soon as was wondering if it would be worthwhile going to Ithaca to seek the advice of the Police in Ithaca. I spoke to a lawyer in Athens and he said it could be ‘difficult’ to have the name updated.. However, he felt that the back-up letter from the Embassy should help me in some cases.

I read your section, how is my name written in latin and have read some of your other comments but was wondering if you have any more info or suggestions that I should consider.

Many thanks

Kat Reply:

I’ve heard of some cases where the spelling of the Greek passport was adjusted to the passport issued first (country of origin), but it needed to be stated up front upon application/renewal.

The trend does appear to be a strict adherence to the ELOT/ISO formula, so I agree with the lawyer that it could be difficult. However, I do see it from your side also. After all, your last Greek passport was spelled that way and matched your SA passport, and all your official papers use this spelling.

If you’re going to be in Ithaca anyway, it never hurts to ask and do show the letter, your previous passport and anything else that supports your case.

Thanks for your question, and good luck. I’d be interested to know if they find in your favor.

  Bosun wrote @ August 31st, 2011 at 18:48

Am following instructions re contacting you. Are you aware that there have been six cases of malaria in Greece, in Laconia and Euboia, since June 2011? I feel this needs to be brought to the attention of all ex-pats living and working in Greece URGENTLY! It has been publicised by the Centre for Disease Control and in the British press in the last few days, but I can’t see any references in the English language Greek press. Can you publicise it through this website please?

Kat Reply:

As someone who lives and breathes news every waking moment, I’m hyper-aware of everything.

Are you saying these stories by mainstream media are insufficient and aren’t read by English speakers? I’m fairly sure people in Greece have seen them.

Kathimerini has limited space and staff, and their hands are tied. The other “newspaper” is owned by someone without publishing credentials, and most of its staff are not journalists. You must take up the issue with them.

Experts were quoted as saying the risk is negligible, and most people sensitive to mosquitoes (me included) take precautions year round.

I cover issues that concern everyone, not just expats, and I already broadcast the news via Twitter to 12,000+ followers. I did my part.

  Jacob wrote @ September 22nd, 2011 at 02:12

I am in the process of applying for my greek passport but I have still not received my registration certificate. I live stateside so I am dealing with my local consulate here. I took the required oath more than six months ago so I don ‘t know why the consulate hasn’t received my certificate yet. In your experience has it taken this long in the past for the registration process to be completed? I realize that dealing with Greece is a totally different situation than the US, but it does seem to be taking a long time.

One more thing. I find your website to be very valuable and I have learned a lot from the articles you have posted.

Kat Reply:

“Results may vary” is a phrase I often use to describe the mysterious workings of Greek bureaucracy. Read the experiences of others who went through the process, as well as my last comment on “Greek citizenship via ancestry, descent and origin.” I have nothing more to add.

Thank you for your kind words. All best.

  Sophia wrote @ September 22nd, 2011 at 11:24

Hi there,
we are travelling on the 30th of September from NZ to Australia. My father was renewing his Greek Passport and it was going to be ready in time to travel. The consulate in wellington made a mistake in the paperwork and he needs to re-apply. this now means that my father cant travel on our break to Melbourne. can a temporary passport be assigned then because of the STUPID mistake from the Wellington Greek Consulate??

Kat Reply:

Greece offers an urgent, one working day issuance of passports but only for emergency reasons having to do with injury, serious health concerns or death of an immediate relative. Temporary passports are typically issued to persons who had their passports lost or stolen, or for humanitarian reasons. None of these applies to your father’s circumstances.

You need to contact the Greek Consulate of Wellington’s passport unit and press them politely, unemotionally but aggressively for an immediate solution.

  stephanie. k wrote @ September 22nd, 2011 at 21:57

Reading comments posted on here since 2010 the Greek embassy in London has not improved service at all. They have a contact number on their site that is never answered by ‘staff’ but an answering machine, which they never do get back to. It is very unprofessional, considering that they are centrally based in London. I would have thought the Greeks would work up to their environment’s standard. I just cannot get my passport renewed. The online booking system is poor, I have emailed them and they advised I cannot book as all appointments are booked right through to next year February. If I want an appointment I have to keep checking there site, refreshing their page every minute of the day (like I don’t have a job) to see if anyone has cancelled so I can grab the slot. When enquiring about booking beyond Feb they refer to the website again which is the worst site I have ever encountered. I am sorry to go on and on and on…my advice, especially to Greek South African, take a holiday home – sort your passport out there, you will end up waiting a year for a new one in London.

And also, when I renewed my passport in Greece in 2006 , my dad had my consent in Greece to collect it on my behalf. I travelled back to London and posted the passport back to Greece where my dad obtained my new passport on my behalf and posted it back – this took a much shorter time than getting an appointment. I would not advise this as it is risky but it is a solution.

Kat Reply:

Many Greek citizens do opt to renew their passports in Greece, if they have time, opportunity and funds, because of issues encountered with the London embassy. A majority of complaints I’ve heard about all Greek embassy/consular staff pertain to Greece’s problems being exported abroad, not exported staff coming up to local standards. Considering the importance of passports to citizens abroad as their only identity/travel document, it would make more sense for Greece to give them priority as other countries do but “The opposite is true in Greece.”

Having an immediate relative collect a passport via dilosi is an option I give above. I’ve found that the post office is very reliable and opting for registered mail adds a bit more security if not using a courier like DHL or Fedex. It is risky as you said, but a passport can be reported lost/stolen immediately, then canceled.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

  Rebecca wrote @ October 17th, 2011 at 23:14

Hi Kat (and readers),

I wrote in previously querying the process for renewing my Greek passport (dual passport holder with Australia) while based in the UK. As I found the site a great help given that dealing with Greeks is inconsistent at best, I now had my passport renewed and am posting my experience here in the hope it might help someone else.

Firstly, I tried going through the embassy in London. This got me basically nowhere and their advice was actually to go to Greece. While they are apparently able to assist with this, I believe they take quite a long time. In addition, the embassy advised they could not issue the national ID required and this could only be done in Greece.

I went with my cousin to the local police station and confirmed the requirements for both the ID and then the passport so we could get everything in order. The requirements for the ID were essentially as has already been specified here being:
– Appropriate photos
– Taxes (fees), all up I paid taxes of about €100 but can’t remember the breakdown of these
– Greek birth certificate no older than 6 months. Note that I only had my family registration certificate and while I had been advised by the Greek embassy in Australia that this family registration would be right, it wasn’t and I had to request my birth certificate from the municipality my family is from. While not difficult, this took a number of days to arrive from the relevant island and held up the whole process. The family certificate was used to authenticate my birth certificate request but otherwise not used.

For the passport, again as has been specified on your website:
– Appropriate photos
– Taxes (fee)

After my birth certificate arrived, we returned back to the police station with photos, taxes (fees) and my cousin serving as witness. They viewed my passport but didn’t take it. The only other thing required was because my last name contains a double z which doesn’t exist in Greek. I had to write a statement specifying my passport details and my name in Greek with the translation in Latin characters. The ID was then ready 10 minutes later.

For the passport, took the ID, photos, remaining taxes (fees) and old passport to the office (downstairs). The form was completed and in addition, as I was not able to collect the passport myself, a form authorising my cousin to pick up my new passport. The new passport was ready in 4 working days. I was allowed to keep my old passport to return to the UK but had to then send this to my cousin so it could be returned and the new one issued. Both passports have now been sent over to me so overall a relatively painless process.

Thanks Kat for providing and maintaining this site and forum.

Hopefully that helps someone!



Kat Reply:

Hi Rebecca,

Nice to see you again, I remember you.

Just a few notes on what you said.
— I do say in “Greek national ID card or tautotita” that it can only be issued at a police station in Greece.
— Too bad you cannot remember the breakdown on the fees you paid because the Greek police insist that the passport still costs under 85 euros.
— Some people report they were able to use certificates older than 6 months, but officially it does say “not older than 6 months” for passports and “not older than 90 days” for Greek IDs.

A lot of people come to Greece to renew their passport and get their ID because Greek consulates/embassies take too long. Sad, really, because it shouldn’t come to that. But I’m glad you had time and opportunity to get it done, and I’m happy this website played a part in the process.

Thank you so much for coming back to share your experience. It helps me monitor changes and make updates much faster than official sites.

  Georgia wrote @ November 14th, 2011 at 00:42

Hello , i am a greek citizen living in Jordan and married non- greek citizen , i will give birth my baby in jordan how can i have a passport for my baby from the greek embassy in amman … and how much time needs ?

Kat Reply:

This question is already answered in the section, “How long does it take to get a Greek passport outside Greece.” Good luck.

  Eurydice Sophie wrote @ November 16th, 2011 at 14:15

Apparently there is a new rule as of this month, whereby they will write your greek name, then the transliteration, and then “OR”, then the way you’ve been writing it for your whole life.

So I’m going to end up with:
Evridiki Sofia OR Eurydice Sophie

Despite having had mutliple passports and extensive official documents (local and foreign) with the latter name for 32 years. This includes several social insurance registrations, diplomas, employment contracts, bank accounts…

Whoever made ELOT 743 must’ve never learnt a foreign language or lived abroad… I feel ashamed of being Greek. :(

Kat Reply:

That’s good news for a lot of people renewing their Greek passports abroad and having their ELOT name conflict with the spelling on official documents they’ve had their entire life!

In a lot of people’s opinions, many of these laws and standards are half-baked, which explains why amendments are passed later and cause more confusion. Ti na kanoume?

I’m ashamed to be American at times, but what matters is if we’re good human beings.

Thank you for being one of the good ones and for sharing your experience. It helps me monitor changes and make updates before official websites announce anything (if ever).

  Vasilis wrote @ December 2nd, 2011 at 01:55

I’m a Greek citizen living in London. My Greek passport expired on September, and I need to renew it as there is scope to either work for an NGO in Bangladesh in the summer of 2012. There is also a possibility of being invited to attend an assessment centre in Madrid on February 2012.

Unfortunately, even though I have my expired (biometric) passport and my ID card, it looks like I cannot renew it. The one thing that’s missing, is the certificate type “B”, which confirms that draft dodgers like me live permanently in the country they reside. A core pre-requisite to get the certificate is to provide evidence that you have worked in that country for a minimum of 7 years.

Apparently, I am not eligible for a type “B” certificate because most of the jobs I’ve done in the UK were either cash-in-hand or via agencies or on a voluntary basis. Therefore, I cannot show pay-slips or bank statements indicating that I was under paid employment for the minimum of 7 years.

People have suggested me to give it a go anyway, but is it worth it?

Kat Reply:

Hi there,

The assessment in Madrid is no problem because you can use your Greek ID to enter and exit Spain. However, yes, you need a Greek passport for Bangladesh.

Is it worth trying to renew a passport without the Type B certificate? Judging from the many Greek men between the ages of 19-45 who shared their experience with me, I’d have to say ‘no.’ They’re going to ask you for it. The only time they accept a sworn statement in lieu of a pistopoiitiko is when Greek citizenship has been newly granted and the man hasn’t had a chance to apply for it yet, but it’s clear he qualifies. That doesn’t apply to you.

More than that, I understand from Greeks in London (and you may have read above in comments) that it’s difficult to get an appointment to renew a passport at the consulate/embassy, which is why many citizens come to Greece to get it done. So you may make an appointment, wait a long time and then get nothing in the end; or you may come to Greece and try to renew, thus alerting authorities you’re in the country and be served with papers and a 6000-euro fine, which has been effect since April 2011 for draft dodgers.

If there’s way for you to apply for a different exemption, get the certificate another way (residency, school records) or prove you’ve worked abroad without pay slips and bank statements (work contracts, etc.), only then would I suggest going ahead.

Added December 13: Also see John’s comment to you on December 13, 2011 at 3:01 (below).

  sam wrote @ December 5th, 2011 at 06:52

i am living in uae and i hold iranian passport ..ı am married with greek lady. its almost a year . how do ı get greek passport? how long its does take to be issued?

thanks for your help ın advance

Kat Reply:

You didn’t read the article.

In the first sentence, it says you must have Greek citizenship in order to apply for a Greek passport. You do not have Greek citizenship; you are not eligible.

In the “Introduction,” it says that a Greek passport and/or citizenship is not transferable to a spouse.

In the section “Spouses of Greek citizens,” it says that you must go through naturalization after several years of marriage and residency in Greece. You do not qualify after only one year of marriage, plus you do not reside in Greece. See all of the requirements: “Greek citizenship via naturalization.”

  Alec wrote @ December 9th, 2011 at 22:41

Hello: Thanks for your great comments and information.

I was born in Greece and my applications to gain Greek passports for my two sons are stuck in Greece. I started the process in December of 2004. Attorneys in Greece want to charge me 2500-3000 Euros to expedite the process. I refused to pay for clerical tasks such as this. I have given up temporarily on that effort.

Separately, as I was born in Greece, and I have an expired Greek passport, I am now trying to get my own Greek passport. Once that succeeds, I will revisit my previous project for my sons.

Keep up the great work. Cheers, Alec

Kat Reply:

Hi Alec,

In “Greek citizenship by Greek origin, descent or ancestry,” I explain the step-by-step process and documents necessary to stake a claim and I am against hiring attorneys/lawyers for reasons you found out first hand. I do believe you’ll have an easier time once you have your passport and make sure your family records are in order.

I appreciate you leaving a comment to share kind words and your experience. If something you encounter differs from the information above, please come back and tell us about it.

Wishing you all the best.

  Nick wrote @ December 11th, 2011 at 04:46

Hello Kat, long time no talk. Hope all is well with you. My question is this.

On May 09, 2011 I turned 45 years old. After January 01, 2012 I will be in my 46th year of age, and by reading all the information on this site and in your responses, I will be 100% exempt from military service having reached the magic number of 45, and going on 46.

Therefore, to get a Greek Passport, do I have to present proof of military status, or is that now Not Applicable in my case.

I dont have to submit this paper now when applying for the passport, is this correct.

Thanks alot


Kat Reply:

Hi Nick, nice to see you again.

The answer to your question is obvious, as stated in #5 above and the first sentence of “Mandatory military service in Greece.” 1 + 1 = 2

  John wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 03:01

To Vasilis above,

7 years of work is only one of the ways to get a Certificate of Permanent Residence Abroad in order to get a Type B from the army office. The other type of proof is 12 years of continuous residence. To prove this, Greek consulates typically accept school records or other offical documentation of residence. In the UK, you can even get records from the UK Border Agency that attest to your time within UK borders; the Greek consulate will accept this. Keep in mind that the consulate only issues the Certificate of Permanent Residence Abroad; the Greek Army where your MA is registered issues the Type B certificate upon receipt of this document.

Kat Reply:

Hi John,

A notification was sent to ensure he sees your message. Thanks for taking the time to leave a note and help Vasilis, and also help me understand a bit more about what Greek authorities are willing to accept.

All best.

  Hellene wrote @ January 7th, 2012 at 15:47

Having my Greek passport renewed, and been told that it will be done according to a new rule whereby they will write your greek name, then the transliteration, and then “OR”, then the way you’ve been writing it for your whole life.
This is the first I’ve heard of this and have been searching to find something official that states this new rule, but haven’t found anything. I am worried that I will have a problem when travelling to my other country because the passports don’t match. I have to proceed on Monday with the process and was hoping to find some reassurance before I continue. Hope for a reply soon. Thank you!

Kat Reply:

In the section, “How is my Greek name written in Latin?” I already say that a reader checked in and said transliterated and translated names are done as of November 2011.

You will not find anything ‘official’ on this in Greek or English because changes are almost never announced and official websites are way behind the times, rarely updated and frequently wrong. This is why my website was started in 2007 and is constantly updated with details from people’s real-life experience. Someone I know is going through the process right now, so my updates are in real time.

Reassurance in a ‘results-may-vary’ country? Edo Ellada.

  Niko wrote @ January 12th, 2012 at 00:00

This is Niko, I don’t know if you remember me but I hope you do! I’m the student from the Philippines (half-Greek) and currently 22. First of all, I’m glad you’re still around and Happy New Year!

Alright. So I went to the Greek Embassy here today. I want to renew my passport because I might travel in the summer to the States and seeing how Greece is still part of the VWP, I could take my chance.

Anyway, they told me that I need my taftotita (which I have with me), a pistopoiitiki typou B from the Greek Army a registration document.

I hope you can be kind enough to answer my questions because I really don’t have any family member who can help me out, plus I’m unfortunately not fluent in Greek.

1) To obtain this Typou B certificate, do I call the army directly? And which particular branch? Or do I call the office/place where I am registered? (which is in Drama because I remember me and my father obtained the Greek ID there)

2) What are the usual requirements the army would ask of me if they are to issue me this certificate? Note: I’m in the process of getting a ‘permanent resident abroad’ certificate. The man in charge told asked if for the past 11 years have I stayed in Greece for more than 6 months? Definitely no, because I’ve only stayed in Greece for a month tops and that’s on rare occasions. So he told me to bring in documents, old passports, school papers to prove I’ve been living abroad since 2001.

3) Having said that. I can’t even remembered being called up by the army. And its funny how the past 4 years (since I turned 18) I was never asked to go to Greece or when I did visit Greece (as early as 2010 of April) they didn’t stop me or asked me questions regarding the military. Is that normal?

4) So you can see I’m quite confused, who or what is the best place to call/ask (heck I’ll even call them at the Greek Embassy for translation purposes if I have to) regarding my status in the military? Same thing I have to clear up with my brother as he’s 21 and his passport is expiring next year.

Finally, the consul kept on telling me he would help me but he just needs the address or phone number of where I am registered in Greece. So I’m guessing its the Army thing that I have to fix first.

I just want add after reading some of the comments, I can see some consulates/embassies Stateside and London particularly have poor services. I can testify that the one here in Manila, Philippines are extremely helpful, diligent people. So maybe not all Greeks are bad :)

If you can help me once again, believe me I would truly appreciate it! You’ve been of unbelievable service not just to me but for other ‘confused’ Greeks out there.

Best regards and thank you very much!


Kat Reply:

To answer your questions, I will start with the past and move to present day.

A record of your birth was established in Greece, when you were registered in the oikogeneiaki merida (family records) by your father. This is why you were able to get Greek citizenship, a Greek passport and Greek ID. This is also how Greece knew you were of military draft age, which is 19-45.

It’s not a matter of being called up for the army. You are obliged to declare your military status at age 19, either to the Greek consulate/embassy or in Greece; it’s the law and it’s your responsibility to know that as a Greek citizen as I explained previously when you asked questions in July 2011 on “Mandatory Greek military.” Your father and grandfather did the same.

In order to get the Type B certificate from the army office, you first need the Permanent Citizen Abroad certificate, which is what the Greek consulate/embassy is helping you with now. First things first.

The place you’re registered in Greece is listed on your Greek ID under ‘Dimotis.’ It’s usually the mayor’s office or city hall of whatever city/municipality is listed (Drama?). Do a Google search to find the address and phone number.

Please consider taking detailed notes on your experience in getting a Permanent Citizen Abroad certificate and Type B certificate and sharing the information with me, as a way to give back to the website and the hours I spent answering your questions on five separate occasions over 18 months.

All best.

  Yiannis wrote @ January 16th, 2012 at 18:47

To Hellene above;
It is not really a new rule. As it was explained to me in the 3rd week of Nov’11, their ‘passport application’ software was updated in early Nov. to allow them to input a user defined name. What is not specified is the documention required to support the alternative name but in my case I provided a Canadian passport which was photocopied and sent along with the application. I am still waiting for the new passport so I cannot report success or not.

Sorry, I didn’t want my comment to be interpretted as a reflection of how quickly your site is updated – a site which I consider a valuable resource.
To share a bit more, coincidentally also on 21 Nov., I asked the Consular Officer three times to produce JOHN on the passport. Twice I was told no, and on the third I was told of this software upgrade/application revision which they would try and we would see what happens. At the time, they didn’t seem confident in the process and so I remain skeptical as well. My experience beyond that closly mirrors that of Eurydice’s in that I was promised an ‘OR…’ tack on.
But in the absence of any published guidance or positive result as evidence I think it is jumping the gun to see this as a policy change or “new rule”. Hopefully, Eurydice will be able to confirm the final outcome to her application once her passport is in hand.

Kat Reply:

Eurydice gave me the information November 16, and the article was updated the same day, which I then relayed to Johnny M on November 21 at “American and Greek dual citizenship.” Two months ago can be interpreted as “new” by Greek standards, especially since the gov’t never announced or posted it anywhere.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

  Antonio wrote @ January 16th, 2012 at 23:54

Excellent web site and advice. I have a problem myself. I’m greek citizen, living in Venezuela. I already had 2 issued greek passport in the past. About to expire the newer one in may 2011, I went to the consulate and began the process to renew it. Since I’m 47 year old, I just needed my Old Passport and my TAFTOTITA. One month later they call me from the Consulate saying “somebody” in Greece rejected my application because in my venezuelan papers my name is spelled ANTONIO and in the greek is ANTONIOS. I was shocked, since in my Taftotita and pistopitiko genisio is written ANTONIOS, translated, and now some dumb head don’t want to renew my passport because of this. So far I sent the application twice (the second one with a dilosi saying that I want my Name in the new passport as the old ones and as it is in my taftotita and in my pistopitiko) and both times they rejected them. Is very frustating, what should I do???

Kat Reply:

Explained in the section above called ‘How is my Greek name written in Latin?’, it is allowed to specify up to three names since November 2011. So in your case, it should be Αντώνιος (Greek name), Antonios (transliteration according to ELOT), Antonio (alternate name). Proof of the alternate name is usually a birth certificate or passport, so your Venezuelan documents are more than sufficient.

I do not know what to recommend because everything is in order. Request that the Greek consulate/embassy help you further. If they cannot, then the only thing I advise is calling/writing the Head of Greek passports:
Διεύθυνση Διαβατηρίων
Χίου 8, Καισαριανή
16121 Αττική, ΕΛΛΑΔΑ
Τηλέφωνο +30.210.7298000

We encounter illogical situations like these on a daily basis for even simpler transactions, such as getting mail. Many times, also, it is the fault of the public sector or translation office for spelling our names wrong, then we must fight for months with lots of papers to fix them. I wish you luck.

  Renie wrote @ January 17th, 2012 at 18:52

PS. I forgot to mention Kat, that you do an absolutely AMAZING job. Apart from anything else, I feel that I’m not the only one going round in circles when it comes to the ‘red tape’. Although I love Greece and its people soooooo much – this side of it is enough to make a normally level headed sane person – start tearing their hair out. ;-) Thanks so much

Kat Reply:

Stating reality does not make one a hater of Greece or anti-Greek, so no worries. What’s frightening is bureaucracy today is an improvement over 10 years ago, and it’s still frustrating. Imagine.

Thank you for coming back and your kind words.

  James wrote @ January 23rd, 2012 at 17:38


I’m currently living in the UK, I have British nationality. My fiance, has dual nationality Greek, and Belarussian. We are wanting to get married this year. However there are couple mistakes on his Greek ID card and passport namely D.O.B and his first name is the greek spelling of his name and do not match his Belarus passport. My fiance’s family have been fighting to get these details changed in the court and recently lost now they are denying his family their greek citizenship. They are now appealing in the EU court on basis of discrimination. The last time we travelled on holiday on the way back border patrol took his passport, saying that the Greek authorities reported his passport as stolen, but the immigration officer let him back in on his Greek ID card. We want to marry this year however my fiance wants to marry on the spelling of his Belarussian and D.O.B not how the Greek’s have spelt his name and stated his D.O.B. I am curious. If the registrar see’s the discrepancies between the two documents can they inform the UK immigration office & border patrol, do they have enough evidence to deport him?

Kat Reply:

There’s no way I can answer this question because I am not familiar with UK laws and authorities, nor am I in a position to predict how the registrar will act. If an issue arises, I assume the UK border and immigration agency will give him a chance to show documentation of these discrepancies and his attempts to correct them, plus present other documents that establish him as a Greek citizen. Lots of Greek citizens do not have Greek passports.

  Antonio wrote @ January 25th, 2012 at 23:18

Hi Kat, went yesterday to the consulate again and they are frustrated as I am. I did the request for the third time, stating that they can use either Antonio or Antonios. They told me it come from enforce the ELOT 743. I said Ok, but in the new documents, not in the already issued as my pistopitico genisis or my Taftotita. How they will issue a new passport with different names that already are in my original documents?

What they pretend? to change my name?

Have the greeks ever heard about the non-retroactivity of the laws?

Thanks for the telephone number

  Tina wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 18:30

Comment 1:
Hello, as someone who had my passport issued in Sept 2011 with my name translated into English in a manner which differs from the name by which I am registered in South Africa and am commonly known by, I was most interested to read the info re. the possibility of now having names spelt in the ‘alternate’ way on Greek passport. I currently feel as if I have a split identity so will definitely follow up with the Embassy in Aby Dhabi (where i reside) to see if it’s possible for me to have my passport reissued. Actually, when it was issued in Sept I asked them why my name could not be translated into English in the way by which I am commonly known and they said that it was a ‘computer thing’. So, I am now hopeful.. I can imagine that there were a lot of complaints! I will keep you posted when I get some feedback. Many thanks for your updates

Comment 2 (May 23):
Hello, I would like to advise you of my recent (good) experience in applying for an updated Greek passport as I faced an issue which has been discussed on this forum. I have both a Greek and South African passport. I had my Greek passport renewed in Abu Dhabi last August August but the spelling (translation) of my name from Greek into English did not match the spelling as per my S African passport which is the name by which I am commonly known and the name by which my bank accounts etc are held. Understandably I was not happy about this as I felt as if I had two ID’s. I heard via the grapevine and via this forum that the way in which the passports are being issued was updated recently so I phoned the Embassy in Abu Dhabi and they confirmed that if I could provide some documentation proving how my name is commonly spelt they could apply for the passport to be reissued. They said that, as my S African passport is a valid travel document, they could apply using that as proof. Well, I applied about 2 weeks ago, paid a renewal fee of about Euro 60 and I have just collected the updated passport. It is not a new passport in the sense that it is only valid for the balance of the duration of the period that the old one was valid for – but it’s still valid for over 4 years which suits me fine. So both my surname and fist names are written in Greek and then under that, traslated into English as per the original translation but with “OR” alongside each name with the spelling as per my request.

So, as per usual, if you can collect the correct documentation and have some patience you should be OK. I have to say that the Embassy staff were most pleasant and helpful…

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
They could not issue your Greek passport the way you wanted back in September 2011 because the software wasn’t installed to accept alternate names until November 2011 as stated above. If they allow a reissue, you will likely be charged to have it done.

Answer 2:
Hi Tina, I remember you. Thank you for coming back to let me/us know how you fared in having your Greek passport amended with the spelling of choice. Though I see they charged you a pro-rated amount for the 4 years, it was a good result, you’re satisfied and you were treated well. That’s all that matters.

Wishing you all the best and kalo kalokairi!

  Yiannis wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 16:19

I am happy to confirm that my new passport picked up today in London, UK contains both my ELOT standard name followed by ‘OR’ and then my usual name in latin script. Example : IOANNIS OR JOHN This is again repeated in the 1st line of text (in the bottom section of the photo-page which is typically used to run the passport through a reader.

Kat Reply:

Thank you so much for coming back and reporting your experience. I added you as an example of alternate names in the relevant section.

  John wrote @ February 8th, 2012 at 06:10

Comment 1:
I’m somewhat surprised to see so many wanting their alternate names written in their Greek passports, to the extent of serious frustration. I can understand the simplicity of keeping all documents consistent, but your Greek nationality can (and maybe should) be a distinct identity–unique to you and your relationship with Greece.

Clearly there are some serious conflicts shown above, but even while everyone’s situation is different, the name not being spelled exactly as you want it (i.e. the non-Greek way) in a passport, in normal circumstances, shouldn’t be too profound. There are many, many other records that establish a person apart from a passport; in fact, a passport represents somewhat a culmination of those pre-requisite documents and identities.

I told my consulate that I *don’t* want my alternate name listed–and instead asked them to give me a certified Pistopoitiko Taftoprosopias explaining that they have verified that the two names belonged to the same person, should I ever have a serious complication.

My Greek passport represents who I am as a Greek, with a Greek name. Any action I make with that identity should be linked with only that identity.

I have, as everyone else, the documents to prove who I am as a single person with any nationalities I may possess.

That said, I’m not sure that I can fault the Greek authorities too much for being “late” in instituting a mechanism to specify an alternate name as it may be in another country/nationality. It’s a Greek passport, after all, not a world passport.

All of the foregoing is my personal opinion only, but I just found it interesting that many commentors seek to combine their other identit(y/ies) on an inherently national Greek identity document when they could be (and, in most cases, should be in my opinion) distinct.

Comment 2:
Yes, I completely understand. I’m not referring to the constant inconsistencies *within* Greece with regard to name spellings. This is clearly a serious problem when the country will spell names inconsistently on its own documents and cause the problems to which you are referring. But this is the rationale behind using a standard like ELOT going forward, and then citizens, at the same time, want to override it and use their own system.

I just mean that I don’t believe it is Greece’s responsibility to make official note of other names (not just spellings) you may have *outside* of Greece, just like the US or many other countries won’t record my Greek name on the front page of their passports.

Nonetheless, I agree with you about the freedom of choice and using that freedom when it is available.

Full disclosure: I know I may sound like a nationalist of some type, but I was neither born in Greece nor have a serious connection to the country as a 2nd generation immigrant. I just thought I’d make an observation. Thanks for continuing to provide probably one of the only forums for discussion of this type. I enjoy reading.

Kat Reply:

Comment 1:
One aspect is Greece is inconsistent with applying its rules, i.e., Spelling a name one way on a Greek ID or Greek birth certificate, but not a Greek passport; putting the burden on citizens/residents to correct errors made by the public sector; spelling a name one way 5 years ago on a former passport, but refusing to honor that same spelling today for a renewal. That’s what most people are frustrated with. It has nothing to do with their relationship with Greece; it has nothing to do with policies being late.

Another is that not everyone with Greek citizenship and a Greek passport was born in Greece, lives in the patrida or is proud to be Greek.

The beautiful thing about life is the freedom to choose when given a choice, whether it’s navigating legalities of the real world, passport control or honoring dual identities.

Comment 2:
But that’s my point. Greece allowed passports to be done several different ways before, then decided to use ELOT, then changed it again to use ELOT and allow alternate names. That’s called waffling. It happens all the time with policies and laws of all types (i.e, EETIDE was revised a dozen times since September 2011), not to mention conflicting rules on the same subject. It’s not about people overriding the system and wanting it their way.

  Orgesa wrote @ February 12th, 2012 at 18:51


May I please ask you a question? My husband has taken recently the Greek passport, but the problem is that his native surname has been first written to greek letters and after that to latin letters, by changing his surname. for example: from Menduri to Mentouri.

The problem is that all his documents such are, university diploma, our marriage certificates etc, are written with is native surname. Does Greece have any law predicting these cases and any solution to the certification of all documents under the same surname?

Thank you very much

Kat Reply:

Your question is already answered in the above article under, “How is my Greek name written in Latin?,” which explains the ELOT standard being followed, plus how to specify an alternate name as of November 2011. You can also read similar cases of people above you (Eurydice Sophie, Yiannis, Tina, Antonio).

  Simos wrote @ February 18th, 2012 at 13:00

Hi Kat

Thank you for all the work you do on this great site. I used a lot of the information and was always looking other people stories and comparing it to mine. It took me a good one year to renew my passport at the embassy here in london simply because someone in the embassy gave me the wrong information about the military certificate abroad. Not to mention that i booked 3 appointments to see someone at the embassy with a wait of 3 months each time totalling 9 months before they bothered to see me :o (they canceled each appointment one week before for no reason). During this process I lost my job with my employer as I couldn’t travel outside the Eu and though I told them this, no one cared :( finally I got it and pray that next time it will be much faster.

Many Thanks again

Kat Reply:

Hi Simo,

So sorry to hear about the difficulties you faced in renewing your passport and how you lost your job over it. Simply horrible. Lots of complaints about the embassy in London, as you saw; in many ways, an extension of how things are done in Greece and the trouble it can cause.

If you happen to be in Greece on a layover or for vacation and don’t already have one, consider getting a Greek ID to streamline renewal in the future.

Also, if you took detailed notes on getting the military certificates and would like some good to come from your pain, please come back and tell me what documents they asked for, how long it took, etc. I’m collecting information from two other men in the process and will compile a step-by-step process to help others.

Always a pleasure to help people like you, and thank you for coming back to share your experience. All best.

  Jo wrote @ February 24th, 2012 at 16:23

Hi Kat

Firstly, many thanks for this website. I found most of the information very helpful.

I went last week to have my Greek passport renewed in London and thought perhaps my experience could help someone else.

Appointment – you must book an appointment through their website. Anyone who showed up without an appointment was turned away. Most of the phone calls to reception were from people unable to book one. Even those who said they did not have access to computer/internet, or perhaps elderly and had no idea how to go about it, were told to find a friend or relative to help them. No bookings can be made or accepted over the telephone. From what I understood the system only allows about 5/6 appointments per day. When booking, you must choose the correct category, i.e. passports. If you book an appointment under any other category, such as visas, power of attorney, etc, they will turn you away and you will have to book another one. Because they allocate only a few appointments each day, the next available one could be several months away. However, it is true what they told me, that if you keep trying (even several times a day) you can find one for an earlier date when there’s been a cancellation. I realize most of us have jobs and a busy life, but Greek bureaucracy has never been easy, in fact quite the opposite. I also found out that if you do book an appointment several weeks/months ahead they will send you an email 10 days before the appointment asking you to confirm. If you do not reply and reconfirm the appointment within 5 days, they will automatically cancel it. I was witness to a huge argument involving a woman and her young baby, living in another city about 3 hours away from London, who had booked an appointment in November but had failed to respond to the email confirmation request.

Photos – they do check your photos to tell you if they think they are acceptable and avoid your application being denied. However, ultimate responsibility for the acceptance of your photos lies with the Greek police authority, not the Consular staff.

Greek citizenship document – oikogeneiaki katastasi (or Municipal Roll certificate, as they call it at the Consulate). Like many Greeks living abroad most of my life I do not have a Greek ID card. The Consulate in London will request one these certificates on your behalf from the Municipality (demos) where you are registered if you ask them to do so. I was told that some Municipalities are very slow to respond and therefore this request must be made a few weeks ahead. I guess I was lucky that I am registered in Athens, because they responded in only 3 days. It’s a good idea to call or email the Consulate a few days before your appointment to find out if your certifcate has arrived. If it hasn’t arrived in time they may cancel your appointment.

Application and Statement of Facts – both of these are completed direclty on the computer by the staff on your behalf. They then print copies for you to sign. I can’t remember if they were entirely in Greek or had an English translation as well.

Spelling of names – what you said in the relevant section above is correct. If you want your name in English to be spelled in a specific manner you must request it, and it will appear after the transliterated version and the word OR. If you do make such a request you must provide proof in the form of other documents: different passport if you are a dual national, driving license, tax forms, pay slips, bank statements, UK Council Tax bills, or anything else that is remotely official. Bring with you as many as you can.

Payment – cash ONLY, euros or pounds sterling.

Receipt – my existing/old passport was returned to me and I was also given a receipt with a bar code. I was told that I must bring both of these with me when I go to collect the new passport. The old passport will then be cancelled. I was also told that by using the numbers of the bar code on the receipt, and my name in Greek, I could track the progress of my application on the Greek police authority website (I think I’ m not sure as I haven’t tried it yet. They said that on average it takes about 5 weeks for a new passport to be issued and arrive.

General comments – be prepared to spend most of the morning there. They book the first appointment for 9:30am, but that’s when they open the gates. There’s usually a small crowd of people already waiting outside, so by the time they check everyone into reception it’s already 10am. I had the second appointment at 10:15am, but was not called until 11:40am. The girl who had the first appointment at 9:30am was called in at 11:15am.

Although most, if not all, of the Consular staff speak English, they are not as helpful, and can even be downright rude, if you speak to them only in English. Even if your Greek is very limited or a bit rusty, you must find the courage to speak it. You will find that your effort will be matched by their helpfulness in return. If, however, you do not speak any Greek at all, I suggest you bring someone with you who does.

Many thanks again for all the updates and keep up the good work.

Kat Reply:

A few notes:

Appointments – The London embassy website says that appointments are a must. However, it’s not just about booking an appointment; commentators also remark that the embassy canceled their appointments without reason, so booking and confirming does not guarantee a spot.

Photos – Under ‘Processing time’ I say that police and passport authorities do the final review and could reject them.

Greek citizenship document – I’ve heard people call it the municipal roll certificate, even in Greece, but that’s not how oikogeneiaki katastasi translates. As I say above, some embassies/consulates offer assistance with the dimos and others do not. Many citizens passing through Greece on a layover or on vacation take the time to get a Greek ID card since it only takes a few minutes if all papers are in order; they feel it’s worth it to streamline renewal.

Application/dilosi – Some embassies complete the application via computer, then print; some do not. As I’m told, both the application and dilosi are completed in Greek alone (sans the alternate name). I provided the translation above as a courtesy.

Payment – Some embassies/consulates accept cash only; some accept other forms of payment.

Receipt – In ‘Processing time,’ the direct link to ‘Track your progress’ is provided. I’d be interested if 5 weeks is an accurate quote for turnaround, since others report much longer.

Thank you so much for taking detailed notes on your experience, then coming back to share it with me and others. Because the article above is used by Greek citizens worldwide, I will not be changing the content, but your comment will definitely help others looking for information specific to London.

  kuhu wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 08:53

After receipt of greek passport is there any regulation regarding stay in Greece .I mean is there any timeline that one must stay in greece after that.
best regards

Kat Reply:

No. If you plan to go somewhere within the EU, you could even get a Greek national ID and be on your way.

  rosemary wrote @ March 11th, 2012 at 00:05

My husband’s just tried to set up an appointment online at the Greek Embassy in London (the website says you NEED an appointment to do anything) but then when he selects the calendar it says ‘we are not currently accepting appointments’. It says this regardless of the type (e.g., passport, military docs) of appointment you select.

If the only way you can get an appointment is via the website and they’re ‘not accepting appointments’ how can you possibly set one up? This is a bit urgent as he just realised his passport expires in two months and he doesn’t have an up-to-date military exemption form or the municipal roll doc.

Kat Reply:

Based on the first-hand experiences of generous readers who posted here, two months is not enough time to allow renewal of a Greek passport at the Greek Embassy in London because their appointments are booked well in advance (as he found).

You can read about London from commentators above: Jo (Feb 24, 2012), Simos (Feb 18, 2012), Surbitonvalley (May 7, 2011), Renie (Sept 17, 2010). Also Rebecca (Aug 29 and Oct 17, 2011), Stephanie K (Sept 22, 2011) and Kosta (June 28, 2011) gave up on the London embassy because of the long wait and came to Greece to take care of it.

I encourage your husband to start gathering as many documents as he can and take a look at requirements for the permanent resident abroad status, which leads to an exemption certificate.

  Athena wrote @ March 12th, 2012 at 23:56

The web site for the National Passport Centre in Greece gives out the recent anouncements and press releases on the latest laws on passport application, transliteration of name in Latin, application for new identity with police, validity of official documents, etc. The site can be found at

Kat Reply:

I appreciate the link, but ‘anouncements’ (should be announcements) are typically incomplete and several months late. This is why I do not rely on official websites.

Regardless of what’s written about police identities being valid in the EU and Schengen, individual member states can still ask for a passport. See “Greek ID” if interested.

Transliteration has been a part of my article since 2009, and I already sourced information about alternate names direct from circulars in Greek and from first-hand experiences of generous readers back in November 2011, which is why my article is more detailed.

All best, and thank you again.

  Elina wrote @ March 23rd, 2012 at 18:51

Hello, I am a greek studen but I am currently studying in Belgium. My passport expired on December 2011 and didnt have a chance to renew it and now I urgently need to travel to UK. Ive been informed that I need a passport to go to uk and that my international id is not enough. my question is the following, since i know that going to the greek embassy in Belgium will take ages and i need it urgently like i said, do i have an option of sending it to my parents so that they can renew it in greece? I mean renewing is easier than issuing a new one, right? So i thought maybe that could be an option! fingers crossed. Thank you in advance for your time and effort :)

Kind regards

Kat Reply:

The first sentence in “How to get a Greek passport” says the process for renewing a Greek passport is the same as issuing one for the first time. That’s why there aren’t two different sections with two different sets of requirements.

Your parents cannot do it for you because, as I say in the article above under “Where to apply,” you must appear in person.

In most cases, a Greek national ID/tautotita is sufficient to travel but only if you have the updated bilingual version.

  Alex wrote @ March 30th, 2012 at 15:39

Great site! After dealing with the rude unhelpful cow at London Embassy I’ve read lots on your site and know my pain is felt by others.

I want to come to Greece to shorten the process to renew my passport which expires in a few months. I will need someone to help me as I dont speak Greek. I will happily pay for such a service but dont know anyone. Can you hook me up?

Kat Reply:

Please see ‘Recommendations’ in “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me.”

And for the record, the London embassy prefers you speak Greek also. Being resourceful and persistent gets me through life in Athens, in spite of not being Greek. Certainly you can manage, especially since I already detailed the the process above.

  Chris wrote @ April 5th, 2012 at 17:17


I am greek and my wife is phillipino.Your newborn baby is born in Phillipines and we are still there.My questions is if baby can get greek passport from greek embassy and what papers is needed for it.Tyvm in advance :)

Kat Reply:

Your questions are already answered in the article.

Quoted from the first sentence: “Everyone with Greek citizenship is entitled to a Greek passport.”

Did you register your baby with Greece and get a citizenship certificate?
— If yes, follow the instructions, collect the documents listed above and go the Greek embassy.
— If no, Greece is unaware you have a newborn. See the ‘Introduction’ section and look at the second bullet, then follow the link for staking a claim through ancestry for him/her since you are Greek. Alternatively, you can call the embassy and ask if there is a special process for babies.

  Gordon wrote @ April 6th, 2012 at 00:34

My fiance was born in south africa, her father is a greek national and her mother was south african. My fiance is now residing in the UK and has been for the last 7 years. Her parents have been divorced for over 20 years. We are looking to move her mother to the UK, as all her children are in the UK, However because she is not a UK national we are unable to get her mother a UK passport to reside here. Is there any way that we can obtain a greek passport to allow her mother to enter the EU indefinetly?

Any help or advice that you could provide me with would be very helpful.

Kat Reply:

No. As disclosed in the first sentence of this article, only people with Greek citizenship are entitled to a Greek passport, same as the UK. Her mother cannot get Greek citizenship because citizenship rights pass from parent to child (ancestry), not child to parent. I assume that’s how your fiancee and her siblings got Greek citizenship and a Greek passport, from her father.

Getting a passport isn’t the only way her mother could live in the UK, which UK authorities say clearly on the UK Border Agency website. Did you call to inquire or take a look at the extensive information they have available? I’ve never lived or worked in the UK, but I know from previous research that EU nationals have the right to bring non-EU parents to live with them, but the mother/father must be completely dependent on them (be elderly with no income) and the EU adult child sponsor must meet income requirements.

  Thanos wrote @ April 7th, 2012 at 15:33

I need some serious help here, I’m on meltdown and running around like a headless chicken.

A family emergency resulted in me rushing to buy tickets to travel to the US. I knew I had a valid US Visa, so I went ahead and bought my tickets. I live in the UK (where I also work) and I have a Greek passport.

It seems my passport’s expiry date was Jan 2012. At the airport, on 07 April 2012, I was turned away – not surprising considering my passport expired. I did not notice this in the midst of the chaos.

I have to renew my passport. Can you give me an idea what the process to renew an expired passport involves, and how long it will take to be issued a new one? I want to re-schedule a flight asap so I would need to reschedule before I even apply to extend the passport – when is a good idea to schedule the new flight so I don’t end up missing it due to my passport still being processed?

I appreciate your assistance on this matter. Please feel free to email me, I’ll be on standby while making random phone calls screaming for help!


Kat Reply:

I’m a bit confused by your questions because they’re all answered in the article above.

Under ‘How to get a Greek passport’ it says that renewing is the same process as getting one for the first time.

Under ‘Documents and fees’ it details what you need and the entire process.

Under ‘Processing time’ it says how long it takes, both in and outside Greece. In the same section it says urgent cases can be expedited in one day BUT you must show proof of an emergency.

In comments above yours, you will see many complaints from Greeks in the UK who struggled with the London embassy to get an appointment, which is required for them to accept a Greek passport application. Most recent one is March 11, 2012. Take a look.

If you have a Greek national ID, I recommend flying to Greece using that, apply for a passport here, see if you can get it expedited, wait for its issuance and then fly to the UK and/or USA from there. If you don’t have a Greek ID, I have no suggestions for you because the London embassy is an obstacle.

  Stefanos wrote @ April 25th, 2012 at 02:23

Hello Kat,

I am one of many people having troubles with the Greek consulate in London.

I dont want to take your time by writing my whole situation but was just wondering if you could advise me how I can make a complaint on an embassy worker and eventually take her to court for discrimination.

Thank you very much for all your time and effort for us.


Kat Reply:

Looking through the “Where to file complaints” category, I think it’s most appropriate to file with the Greek Ombudsman.

  Michael wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 21:31

Comment 1:
Have been looking through your website at length and have recommended it to many friends, as they are all in the same boat as me at the moment (renewing greek passport but unfortunately in this situaion i reside in london). I am coming to greece to renew my passport and have all required documents but am just unsure about the payment process at the eforia.

Do i have to do this when i arrive or can i ask a friend in Greece to do this for me in advance?

I am an Australian living in the UK but dont have a tax ID or tautotita (something else i will aquire when in Greece). Should i go to the expats eforia or is it ok to go to anyone. My Greek is pretty good although i will take a Greek friend for backup.


PS. ive had to jump a few hurdles like all to get this far but once renewed and successful i promise to share some valuable information for Greek citizens residing in the UK to avoid having to deal with the London embassy in certain situations

Comment 2:
Have spent a lot of time reading through this website and have recommended it to friends. I am an Australian living in London but as all others have stated, having issues with the consulate here.

I am coming to Greece to renew my passport but wanted to know if i personally need to go to the eforia/tax office to pay my fees or can someone do this in advance for me to save time.


Comment 3:
Thanks for the research and comments.

Ill be spending about 10 days in Greece so should be able to pick it up before i return to London (i hope!).

If all goes relatively smoothly, i will share some information that may aid people living in London to enable them to avoid having to deal with the consulate in London for certain situations.

Na’ste kala.

Kat Reply:

Good questions, which I’m answering based on recent first-hand experiences of two friends I polled last night.

— A friend/relative can go to the eforia and pay the fees.
— The location does not seem to matter, so whichever is closest or most convenient.
— There’s a space on the receipt for an AFM, and they do ask for one, but it can be left blank. They appear to care about money, not who paid it or if he/she has a tax number.

Definitely take advantage of getting a Greek ID/tautotita while here, and don’t forget to do a dilosi to assign a friend/relative to pick up your passport if you won’t be staying to do it yourself.

Thank you for stopping in and recommending my website. All best.

  MrBill wrote @ April 30th, 2012 at 17:46

Comment 1:
The London embassy is a shambles. You have to book an appointment online. Except there are no appointments available! I keep checking every day, and managed to get one for passport renewal in – September! I’d gladly go to Greece to get it renewed, except this is impossible. I’m a male under 45 and need a type B army certificate. This can ONLY be acquired at a foreign embassy – as only they can determine if you have been resident abroad. Sadly there are no appointments available – at all. They don’t give you any idea of how long the appointment book is open for – i’m guessing until September like the passport applications.

So i’m stuck – and even though i’m starting the renewal process 6 months before my passport expires, It looks highly unlikely that i’ll get my passport renewed before that.

The sad thing is that I may end up taking part in what I hate most about Greece – pulling some political strings through relatives/friends with connections.

I think this will be the last time I ever renew my Greek passport – i’m going to acquire British nationality. I really can’t handle the ineptitude any more.

Comment 2:
So a bit of further investigation – and it seems that some staff at the Greek embassy in London only work 3 days a week – and those 3 days are half days – no appointments beyond 12:30 (and only 3 appointments per day). I determined this by looking at bookings for other categories which have appointments available.

I’m going to give them a couple more weeks to get an appointment – if nothing comes up, I shall have to compromise my principles and do things the Greek way – raise a stink via connected friends and family in Greece.

Comment 3:
Thank you PH – this is exactly what I intend to do. I’m wondering if I start now if I can get a passport in my hand within 6 months before my Greek passport expires.

It is only through the grace of God that I was not tempted to register my children as Greek citizens. They are British – where you can renew your passport online, and have it posted back to you within a few weeks.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
It’s terrible, I know. Just make sure to look in your email box to confirm your appointment; I understand that’s how some Greeks in London had theirs canceled.

Many of my Greek-American friends opt to hold a U.S. passport and Greek ID only because, in their words, “it’s the only way to cut the cancer (bureaucracy and horrid service)” and saves a bit of their sanity. On “10 tips for flying with Olympic Airlines,” reader Matt said he switched to Singapore Airlines half way through his trip because he couldn’t take it anymore.


Answer 2:
Using connections works less well in today’s Greece and also makes one complicit. We’re also in the midst of crisis and elections. Lodging a complaint may not get the attention you’re hoping for.

Commentator PH right below you read your comment and is applying for UK citizenship also.

Answer 3:
He’s renewing his Greek passport and applying for UK citizenship at the same time, seeing which will complete faster.

Like the U.K., the U.S. also allows us to renew online or by mail. If we’re outside the U.S., we can renew our passports at the embassy/consulate and have them back in less than a week.

  PH wrote @ May 3rd, 2012 at 17:05

I was just reading Mr Bill’s comments above and also faced the same problems. Logging onto the website on most days in the morning I managed to get a military appointment to renew my type B in August (I had been trying since January) and a passport appointment in September.

Based on the above my results may sound promising but I started the process in October and was only told that my type B form would no longer be accepted in January, after I had managed to make a passport in appointment for May!
It was also made clear to me (the appointment system is awful but they do reply to emails) that if I turn up for the appointment in May without the updated type B my application will just be rejected.

In the stress of not being able to book a military type b appointment for ages I decided to also submit an application for UK citizenship. Although this sounds like a nicer option it can also take some time to complete.

Below is a brief summary of what this process and the costs involved are. (Ok, this is a Greek passport thread but I know of other Greeks living here that have also gone via this route, so this info may be useful to others also considering this approach. I suspect this will mainly be males under the age of 45 who also need a type b form and are not in the position to be travel and stay in Greece).

1) pass the life in the UK test – approx. £40

2) submit application – if you dont want to send all your originals you can go to your local council officers who will check them for you and send signed copies to the home office (another £40).

3) cost of actual application £850. Application may take up to 3 months to process. (this is the stage I am at, having only started the process at the start of April).

4) If you are granted citizenship you then attend a ceremony at the mayors office where take oath, after which point you become an official citizen. This may also take some time.

5) After the ceremony you can apply for a passport. This has its own processing time which is around 4 – 7 weeks given that it would be your first passport application. Cost is a further £100.

So in short, if you don’t want to end up like me waiting almost a year to get the Greek passport renewed via the London office, then if you can afford it and meet the criteria, I would suggest that you also start your application to become a UK citizen sooner rather than later.

  Michael wrote @ May 18th, 2012 at 00:59

Comment 1:
Hi Kat,

I have just returned from Greece and successfully obtained a new passport. I was lucky enough to not have to deal with the London Greek embassy in the end and as promised i want to share how i did this for the benefit of all those who have suffered the same pain i have in the past dealing with the Greek embassy in London. Note the below information only helps if you are willing to go to Greece to renew your passport.

If you look through the Greek embassy in the UK website you will find that there are several honorary consulates throughout the UK (Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Leeds, Edinburgh). I have found that if you call one of these you can at least speak to someone immediately and they are a lot friendlier and happy to provide advice and guidance. Most significantly they can also provide you with a ‘certificate of permanent residence abroad’ and subsequently request your ‘military certificate type B’ if required from your relevant military office. These are the most difficult documents to obtain for Greek residents abroad in support of their passport application. You will need to provide certain evidence/documents for the honorary consulate to issue you with these certificates but they can advise you of what you need (I needed to provide them with documents from the UK tax office showing i was a permanent residence in the UK which itself can take some time, as well as a letter from my employer). Once i provided these however, i was issued with the permanent residence abroad certificate within a couple of days and received my military certificate within a couple of weeks. All this for a relatively small fee of 25 pounds. They could probably also request your certificate of registration on the municipality roll (oikogeniaki katastasis) from where you are registered but i phoned the municipality office my self and they sent this to me directly.

The only thing the honorary consulates cant do is actually accept passport applications but they can issue you with the required supporting documents you need so you dont have to spend hours getting frustrated with the less than helpful staff in London.

With all these documents i was able to go to Athens and get my passport within a week without a hitch. You will need a local Greek to vouch for you though (sign a dilosi) as the police asked my friend who was with me to do this but i think if i was on my own they may have still processed the application (i would recommend taking a friend/relative with you if possible just in case).

Thanks for your guidance on getting a friend to pay the fees in advance for me at the eforia. They had no problem getting the ‘parabola’ for me without issue.

I was always shocked at how the London embassy staff spoke to non-Greeks (and Greeks!) and was ashamed at times in the past that i wanted to burn my passport. I hope the above can provide some useful information to people living in the UK who like me would rather not make the journey to the London Embassy ever again.

Keep up the good work Kat

Comment 2:
Hi Kat,

In relation to your comment on May 20th, i would be happy to help.

Feel free to email me directly if you need.


Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
Hi Michael,

They would have still helped you if your friend hadn’t accompanied you. Police would have just asked you to sign a dilosi saying you live abroad, as noted in my article above and sourced from other readers.

Other readers (Greek and non-Greek) have complained about condescending staff in London, New York, California, South Africa and a host of other Greek embassies, which is basically an extension of how we’re treated in Greece on a daily basis.

Thank you so much for coming back and leaving useful tips on the permanent resident abroad certificate and Type B exemption. If you happened to take detailed notes on applying for these (required docs, etc.), I’m looking for three men to share their first-hand experiences with me to compile an article to help everyone. Let me know if you’d be willing.

I’m glad everything worked out in getting your passport. It’s a pleasure to help nice people like you.

Kalo kalokairi!

Answer 2:
Excellent! It won’t be right away, but I’ll be in contact when my time frees up.

  mina wrote @ May 18th, 2012 at 18:44

hi!! Im greatful grateful I found you here. I have a phillipine passport but I am a greek resident in Greece and I want to have a greek passport is it possible for me. what should I do to make a greek passport?? thank You very much for you best help.


Kat Reply:

As it says in the first sentence of the article, you need to have Greek citizenship to apply for a Greek passport. Do you have Greek citizenship? If yes, follow the step-by-step instructions given on this page. If not, look at the section “Introduction” and read and follow the links to see if you are eligible.

Good luck.

  Niko wrote @ May 23rd, 2012 at 03:39

Comment 1:
I just want to update people about my status in applying for a new Greek passport. I started by February and until now it hasn’t been completed. The local Greek Embassy (here in Manila) said I need my Type B certificate so right now I am trying to get that from Greece. Unfortunately it seems the army is taking forever to reply (although they do have my document as I faxed it to them). I even have my cousin as my representative in Greece should they need to send the certificate to someone local.

So Feb – May, a total of 3 months, not yet done.

I’m not sure if you would know but.. in Greece, is there such a thing as collecting your pension as a whole? Instead of monthly payments, can you collect the whole amount as a whole already?

Would love to hear from you again,

Comment 2:
Hello Kat! It’s Niko the student from the Philippines. Last I checked I said I was in the process of getting my new passport. I finally got the Permanent Resident Abroad certificate. And now I am dealing w/the Greek Army to obtain my Typou B exemption paper. But unfortunately these guys are taking months! I started all the way back in January..

I think I am getting fed up and might as well go to Greece to do it myself. I just have a question. Will I be stopped at the airport because I haven’t done my military service yet? And when I get to Greece.. do I go straight to the police station to renew my passport or to the army and get the Typou B certificate? If I go to either, will I be stopped again because I haven’t completed my military service?

I’d love to hear from you and from time to time, I’ll update you with my “Adventure” in trying to get a new Greek passport.

Started – January. Obtained Permanent Resident Abroad certificate – February. Contacted army for Typou B certificate – March. Waiting – March to July so far.

Comment 3:
I just got the typou B exemption paper, well… at least I think I have it. This is what it says (to paron epexei thesi pistopoiitiko stratologikis katastasis typou B, pou provlepetai apo to arhtro 25 tou kanonismou esoterikis leitourgias kai organosis stratologikon ypiresion). Is this the correct document? I have followed all the steps to get the typou B and this is what they gave me. And in the second page although I can’t fully understand, it does talk about not staying in Greece for more than 6 months, that I break the rule I’ll be considered an evader etc.

I am now planning to go on Monday to the embassy here in Manila to obtain my new passport. The consulate told me it takes about 1 month. So as soon as I get it, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, thank you so much, you cannot imagine how much your site has helped me.

Comment 4:
OK so I apologize for asking the question. I’m here to provide what I’ve been through in order to get this document. First off I got the permanent resident abroad certificate from the Embassy. With this, I sent it to the Greek Army in Komotini and they replied with the document I have now. It was given to my representative in Greece. She said she has not dealt with situations like mine (obtaining Typou B) and she mentioned it’s a new thing for her. I asked her to scan it to me anyway because it can be useful. And what I wrote the last time was what I saw.

Since no-one has actually given an explanation to their documents related to this topic, I’m afraid only the Embassy can answer my question now. Sorry I asked it a bit too early I guess. It took a while for me to get this so I was just making sure it was the right one. I’ll update this site a little later today. Thanks!

In any case, I can always send you a copy if you want to look at it. I left my e-mail so you can contact me if you wish. If not, no big deal of course.

Comment 5:
Just a follow up, do you have any idea whether this Typou B or permanent resident abroad certificate have to be renewed at a certain point, or at all for that matter?

Comment 6:
I am writing to you on this day letting you know that I have successfully obtained my new Greek passport. It was long procedure (starting from around Feb). But the hassle was mainly getting the Typou B from the Army because if don’t persist or consistently follow-up with them, they’re not going to do the work. When I received that document, it took about 2 months to get my passport. I was surprised, it was rather quick! But finally, I have it.

Thank you for this website, it had served as my starting point to get the passport.

Comment 7:
Well in that case I apologize. I’m going make a full write-up with all the details of my ‘journey’ and post it here for others to refer to. Especially if they have been or are in the same situation as me.

On a side note, I reviewed both my Typou B and permanent resident abroad certificate, nowhere here it says that I’m a student (which I am) although it indicates that I do live in the Philippines. So assuming that I don’t change countries, then both certificates are true and I don’t have to even ask for a new one. Right?

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
No and no.

Answer 2:
a) Yes because you don’t have the exemption yet;
b) As the article says, and I’ve told you many times before, you need the Type B exemption to get a Greek passport;
c) No.

In addition to the fact Greek bureaucracy does not move very fast in general, Greece has had five different governments in office since November 2011. Your expectations are completely unreasonable.

After assisting you almost a dozen times, I’d appreciate if you gave back to the website just once. I’m interested in detailed notes pertaining to the resident abroad certificate and type B exemption, not the Greek passport.

Answer 3:
It’s impossible to answer your question because:
a) I’m not a Greek man;
b) three Greek men have not shared their first-hand experience with me, which is why I’m unable write an article and asked you to take detailed notes on the Type B process (what papers they requested, fees, offices you dealt with, how long it took in between each step) as a way to give back for all the help you’ve received over 2 years;
c) I cannot see what you’re looking at.

Why not ask the person who issued you the document?

Answer 5:
Based on what other men told me, the certificate is good as long as it’s true. If you change countries or your status (aka, not a student anymore), you’re required to get a new one.

Answer 4 and 6:
When I asked you to share details on getting the Type B in exchange for me answering (now) more than 12 questions on multiple subjects over 2.5 years, I was looking for details in order to create an article. Take a look at my articles: They’re step by step, walking people through all documents, what they were called in Greek/English, where people applied for them, how long it took, what fees were paid.

Now take a look at what you shared with me. Could I write a step-by-step article with all the details necessary to guide people, based only on what you gave me?

Unfortunately, what you shared is way too general and therefore not helpful.

  Kelvin wrote @ May 31st, 2012 at 14:10

Hi, My wife was born in Athens and her parent took her to Nigeria when she was about 3years old. She has a her birth certificate and baptism certificate to show as prove proof. How do we go about obtaining her passport? Is it possible? I await your reply please and will so glad to her from you. thanks!

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to give a customized answer. However, as it says in the first sentence of the article, she needs to have Greek citizenship in order to apply for a Greek passport; it takes much more than birth and baptism certificates.

This is the same answer I gave commentator ‘mina’ above you on May 18. Please take a look to see what I advise. Good luck.

  B wrote @ June 5th, 2012 at 18:06


My husband is a dual American/Greek passport holder, his Greek passport is about to expire and we live in Ireland. He asked about getting a Greek passport for me (I’m Australian on a working visa) and they told him no it wasn’t possible, but that he needed to register our marriage with the Greek embassy in Australia where we were married as soon as possible. Is this true? We have not lived in Greece as a married couple and have no immediate plans to do so. Do we have to legally register our marriage with the Greeks? At the embassy they gave him the impression there would be problems renewing his passport if we didn’t do this. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Kat Reply:

Spouses of Greek citizens are not automatically entitled to Greek citizenship, as detailed in “Greek citizenship through naturalization” and “Ways to get Greek citizenship.” A period of residency in Greece, speaking the language and attending culture classes are all required, after which the granting of citizenship entitles one to a Greek passport.

Your husband is obliged to update his oikogeneiaki merida (he should know what that is) with marriages, divorces, births and deaths as long as he is a Greek citizen, just as Australians abroad are obliged to report the same to Australian authorities. If he doesn’t, there might be a delay in processing official documents.

For example, one element for renewal is a document verifying Greek citizenship, either his Greek ID card or oikogeneiaki katastasi (a paper that details all current existing family relationships). If your marriage isn’t registered, that paper is technically inaccurate and authorities are within their right to delay issuing his passport until he amends his records.

They may not catch it now and issue a passport, but it will be an issue down the road as other readers have reported from first-hand experience.

  Katerina wrote @ June 8th, 2012 at 20:20

Comment 1:
Does anyone know of a photographer’s near the embassy (Holland Park Avenue) to have my picture taken for a Greek passport? Last time my pictures were rejected twice prior to the Embassy staff telling me where to have my picture taken. Unfortunately that place has shut down since and I’m struggling to find anything on the internet. I am six months’ pregnant and I cannot walk far, so I need a photographer’s near the embassy. Thank you.

Comment 2:
Sorry. Yes, I mean the embassy at Holland Park, London, UK

Comment 3:
Mr Bill thank you for your posting. Unfortunately that place has shut down now and it was the only photographers’ in the area to take photos for the greek passport specifications…

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
My website is read by a world audience, so I’m assuming you’re looking for a photographer near the Greek embassy in London, UK.

Answer 2:
I will source my 18,000+ Twitter followers and see if anyone knows. Three readers recommended snappy snaps – they have a lot of locations ’round London, photos were accepted by Greek embassy, and their passports were successfully issued. Another reader recommended a shop by Notting Hill Gate tube station next to Nando’s and another on Oxford str opposite Selfridges.

Also follow Mr. Bill’s recommendation and take a copy of the specs with you or write them down (link in his comment), no matter where you go.

  Sherly wrote @ June 12th, 2012 at 21:42

Hi ,

I juz wanna know How can I get the Greek passport through naturalization? I have been in Greece since 1996 and currently I have residence and work visa for 10 years. Im a Sri Lankan citizen . Once I get the greek passport can my parents apply for greek citizenship? plz let me know the official procedure ( without approaching Lawyers ) and the total fee? plz reply.


Kat Reply:

As it says in the article above under ‘Introduction’, people are only eligible to get Greek citizenship if they are of Greek origin with rights passing from grandparents/parents to child or by living legally in Greece for many years.

You cannot get a Greek passport through naturalization. You must first get Greek citizenship through naturalization, then apply for a Greek passport after it’s granted. See “Greek citizenship through naturalization.” In exchange for the help you received, please consider taking notes on your experience and give back to the website by relaying any differences or changes since I last updated the article.

  MrBill wrote @ June 13th, 2012 at 10:07

Comment 1:
When I went 5 years ago, there was a stationery/art/greeting cart shop around the corner from the Holland Park tube station which did photos. Is that the one you are referring to which has closed down? He seemed to take the photos properly.

Further to my previous posting here – I managed to get my military exemption. I got a last minute appointment by constantly checking the online booking system (several times a day for weeks). Now I need a passport appointment – but I may well fly to Greece to renew.

Apparently the reason for the long delays at the London embassy is the lack of staff. They have been reduced from 15 staff to 5. Quite a problem for Greeks living overseas.

Comment 2:
I think it is a bit of both. 5 years ago there was no booking system, you could just show up and wait in a queue (though they would turn people away if they got too busy). Now you need an appointment and they said it is a direct result of the staff shortages. Were they busy? No – the lobby was fairly empty, as was the visa office.

In any case – one other caveat to watch out for in London. They recommended I go to a photoshop Kensington High street (they didn’t say which one). Whichever you go to – be sure to take the specifications listed here:

In typical Greek fashion, the specifications linked from the UK Consulate website are actually INCORRECT (possibly outdated). A good passport photo place should know the specs – but take it with anyhow. In my last attempt to renew my passport 5 years ago I had it rejected twice based on the photo. In particular, make sure there are no ‘hot spots’ on your skin due to flash. Your skin tones should be as even as possible with no over-exposed parts and no shadows, and within the specifications of the link above.

Good luck!

Kat Reply:

That was the photographer who shut down.

Readers reported delays years before staff cuts were made, so I don’t see that as a legitimate reason.

Male Greek citizens in the UK can have their ‘resident abroad’ certificate processed in Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Leeds, Edinburgh, then request the Type B exemption (see ‘Michael’ on May 18). It does not need to be done by appointment at the London embassy alone.

  Tom wrote @ June 15th, 2012 at 00:41


How is it possible for Greek men to renew their Greek passports in Greece whilst maintaining an exemption from military service? Wouldn’t they need to declare a Greek address (thus becoming permanent residents of Greece)? And if they declared an overseas address in Greece, wouldn’t they be sent back to the nearest Consulate in whichever country for their renewal? And can Greece really afford to continue this buffoonery called national service? …


Kat Reply:

As long as men meet requirements and obtain the certificate of permanent residence and Type B exemption from the Greek embassy/consulate in the country they’re residing, they can apply for a passport in Greece on a temporary stay (vacation, business trip, etc.).

Most people doing this are citizens in the UK because the London embassy has a 6-month backlog for appointments, but anyone can do this for both passport and Greek IDs. When in Greece, they sign a dilosi saying they are residing abroad.

There are a lot of 19th-century laws keeping this country from moving forward and new laws layered on top that create loopholes or just plain don’t make sense. It’s not just conscription.

  Claire wrote @ June 16th, 2012 at 18:17

Comment 1:
I reported my sons lost Greek passport yesterday and was told that I have to wait 3 months to get a new one. I have since found his passport but it is in pieces. The back page is torn but shows his details and the passport number. If I take it back to the police station will I still have to wait 3 months or can I apply for a new one as I have the old one to send back albeit in pieces.

Comment 2:
I’ve been on the passport website and it says there that it’s a 3 month wait for a lost or stolen passport this is also what the police say. I’m hoping after finding the passport it will just be a case of a simple renewal.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
This website caters to a worldwide audience, and you didn’t say where you are, but I’m assuming you’re in Greece being as you mentioned the police station.

According to my readers, it takes 7 days or less to get a new one as it says above in “Processing time.” There’s no reason to wait three months, as there are no laws forbidding an application for a replacement as long as you reported the original one stolen or lost (which you did) and subsequently found it.

Edit: The only reason I can fathom a waiting period in applying for a passport is if the Greek male is approaching age of military conscription.

Answer 2:
True. The website says “up to 3 months,” which means it can complete sooner. But in your case the passport is no longer lost or stolen, so that no longer applies. At most, it’s damaged.

The passport website is outdated, inaccurate in many sections and does not reflect reality, as is typical with many official websites, which is why I create articles like the one above, combine laws with first-hand experience and update on a regular basis.

  andrea wrote @ June 25th, 2012 at 19:48

My passport was due to expire in June this year. I had been trying since January to get an appointment to renew my passport and only managed to get one in September this year – 9 months later. My passport has since been stolen while holidaying in Spain. The greek embassy in Madrid, issued me with an emergency document to fly back to the UK where I am living. I cannot speak to anyone at the embassy in Lonon. No one answers the phone – ever, and no one responds to my emails. I don’t know what to do. I need to obtain a passport ASAP as I had planned on going away but cannot leave the UK until I get a new passport. Can anyone assist and give me some advice?

Kat Reply:

This question has been posted and answered more than a dozen times (see commentators: Michael, PH, MrBill, Stefanos, Thanos, Alex, Rosemary, Jo, Simos, etc.), and you didn’t provide enough information to receive a customized answer.

— Most Greek citizens skip the London embassy, fly to Greece using their still-valid passport or Greek national ID and renew, following the instructions I give above.
— Those with dual citizenship have a passport issued by the non-Greek country.
— Some Greek citizens have opted to file for dual citizenship with the UK to bypass Greece completely.

When a passport is reported stolen or lost, Greek police will often insist on a waiting period of up to three (3) months before accepting a new application. See ‘Claire’ above you. If this happens to you, then your options are: a) have dual citizenship and issue/travel with that passport; b) travel only within the EU with a Greek ID; c) have the consulate/embassy issue you an emergency travel document to Greece (and only Greece), come here, apply for a new passport and stay until it’s issued; d) postpone travel plans.

  Thomas wrote @ July 18th, 2012 at 00:43

Your comment was transferred to “Greek citizenship by claim of origin, descent or ancestry.”

  andrea wrote @ July 25th, 2012 at 21:16

Is there a link to a site where I am able to read about law 401/2011 that took effect in November 2011 regarding the ability for citizens to specify how they want there their names spelled when applying for passport etc in greece? Thank you

Kat Reply:

As it says in the article, it applies to all Greek citizens applying for Greek passports everywhere, not just in Greece.

All my sources and links are quoted in “Sources.”

However, most of my information comes from the first-hand experience of readers, which is more accurate and comes well in advance of official announcements and online updates (if any). Official government circulars and Greek news tend toward two extremes: the vague or highly complex, jargon-filled publications that are unclear on documentation and how it’s applied.

That’s why my articles are verified with actual experience, unique and easily spotted when plagiarized.

  Tina wrote @ August 10th, 2012 at 21:41

Comment 1:
I hold a greek passport and would like to travel to Turkey and Northern Cyprus (from Istanbul). I would like to check the visa requirements but was unable to get any info from the visa link that you provided in one of your posts. Would you mind advising if I can enter Turkey on a Greek passport – without any reperucssions when entering Greece in the future. the same question goes for Northern Cyprus altho’ I believe that you can reqest that they do not stamp your passport. I hope my question is not out of line. I will contact the local Greek Embassy as well to vet their advice. Many thanks for your help.

Comment 2:
Many thanks for your reply. I’ll let you know how I get on if I decide to go. Regards, Tina

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
Hi and nice to see you again.

It’s a good question. However, I see that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is broken or being revamped, which is typical after a new government takes power. The Greek embassy may know, but their mission is to help citizens with affairs pertaining to Greece.

From a simple Google search, I found Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs web page “Visa information for foreigners,” which says Greek passport holders do not need a visa for a stay up to 90 days. You could also verify this with the Turkish embassy.

I know lots of Greeks with stamps in their passport from Turkey; some even live there. They suffered no repercussions, but of course you should inquire if concerned. I do not have definitive advice on the subject because Greece is a ‘results may vary’ country; in my opinion it comes down to personal choice. All best.

Answer 2:
Please do. It helps me monitor implementation and events. Thank you and have a nice trip.

  Johnny wrote @ August 24th, 2012 at 16:20

Further to the questions above about traveling to Turkey as a Greek, I recently (May 2012) did this using my Greek Tautotita. The point of entry was at the airport at Constantinople. The officer completed some details on a small passport-sized card including the date of entry and handed it back to me. You need to keep this to show on your way out and I did not add any further info to the car even though the officer left some blank fields.. In my case I left from the same airport.

There is a website which notes a fairly recent (2008 crisis era onwards) law implemented to facilitate easier travel between the two nations. I had my Greek passport on hand just in case. If I spot the Greek website that I have in mind I will post it. I believe I was searching for a bus to Turkey…and within their FAQ section they had a link to a Government webpage noting this recent law change. I will need to retrace my steps and if it comes to me I will post it.

  kleopatra wrote @ September 30th, 2012 at 15:52

hi, i just found your site today and found it very interesting. You see, my father is a Greek citizen however, because he married my mother who is a U.S. citizen he decided to move in with her which of course is on U.S. territory soil. My point is, is that some how within the fix of everything, he lost his passport and cannot find it. Where can we get a replacement passport for him? the nearest Greek embassy is in Los Angeles, California. We are struggling very had on cash, and my father needs to see his father(my grandpa) because he is currently ill. is there some way that he can acquire a new passport or travel paper? please help, thank you (if not i still gladly appreciate it)

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to give a customized answer, so I can only provide you with general info.

a) Your father is still a Greek citizen, unless he renounced it.
b) If your father’s passport was still valid (unexpired) and he lost it, he should have already filed a report with local police, then reported it to the Greek consulate/embassy. As commentator ‘Claire’ and I discussed on June 12, 2012, and commentator ‘Andrea’ and I on June 25, 2012, there can be a waiting period of “up to 3 months” before a new one can be issued. There’s no such thing as a replacement, as all new papers, photos and fees must be submitted.
c) If your father’s passport was invalid/expired, there’s no need to report it lost and there’s no waiting period. Just apply for a new passport following the instructions above.
d) In section ‘Urgent issuance and temporary passports,’ I list under what circumstances they can assist.

As it says in the article under ‘Where to apply’, Greek consulates/embassies are the only entities outside Greece authorized to accept applications for Greek passports. If it’s nowhere near your current location and you are unable to travel there, you need to call and ask them about other options.

  Harjit wrote @ October 29th, 2012 at 20:47

My 3-year old son is a Greek citizen with Greek passport but I have Indian nationality. I am living and working in Greece for the last 12 years. Can I go to Norway and work?

Kat Reply:

I’ve answered this question several times. Please see the last two comments at “Long-term EU-wide residence/work permits for Greece.” All best.

  Douglas wrote @ November 7th, 2012 at 04:33

Hi, could someone please help me with as much advice as possible?!!

My girlfriend and her son, Christos, who are both Greek by birth, moved to Aberdeen, Scotland(UK) in July 1992. Christos was born in September 1992 so was 9 years old when he moved to the UK and has been living here ever since. He went to school here and is currently at College studying an HND(2nd Year) and hopes to go to Uni next year.

His passport is due to expire in July 2013 and we are trying to arrange for it to be renewed. The Greek Embassy in London have so far been impossible to contact and having read the comments in this link we have given up!

In October 2011 the Consulate in Edinburgh provided us with an official certificate confirming that he is in full-time education and we duly sent this (special delivery) and faxed it to the Army office. However, to date we have still not received the Type B certificate from the military.

We want to take Christos to Athens to renew his passport there but are worried that despite having the letter from the consulate that his application will be refused and even worse, he will be taken away and forced to join the army!

We contacted the Edinburgh consulate again and were informed that they could provide us with another letter/certificate that would enable him to travel to Greece and renew his passport as long as this was done within a month of receiving this document. Is this information reliable or just more misinformation?

I would prefer to wait until we actually have the Type”B” certificate in our hands but by then his passport might have expired. He has the new ID card with the Latin letters – is this sufficient for travel from the UK to Greece? I have heard conflicting information about this too!

Please help!!!

Kat Reply:

I cannot verify what the Greek consulate in Edinburgh told you because I’d need the specifics on what they’re promising and why. I can only tell you what I know.

The Greek identity card has and has not been accepted by the UK as a travel document, as I say in ‘Greek national ID card/taftotita.’ I get the impression you read that article based on the vocabulary you used. I have no way of predicting a particular border guard’s perspective or actions, but my opinion is he could use the ID to exit the UK and come to Greece, get his passport, then use his Greek passport to exit Greece and enter the UK.

Here’s the bottom line: Christos won’t be able to apply for a new Greek passport anywhere in the world without the Type B certificate as it’s one of the required documents for men aged 19-45. See section, ‘Documents and fees.’ So your preference to wait until it’s in your hands is also a necessity.

Thank you for your question and for having a look around before asking it. I also commend you on taking action in advance, as too many people wait to the last minute and don’t realize how slow Greek bureaucracy works.

Wishing you all the best.

  Justin wrote @ November 20th, 2012 at 06:16

Hello, I’m hoping you can help with what might be a common question. I just can’t find the answer anywhere.

I hold both Greek and Australian passports. I am Australian born, and acquired Greek citizenship through a parent. The issue is, the Greek authorities turned my non Greek given name of Justin into a Hellenic version – Ioustinos. So, I have two passports with two different names. I’ve never used the Greek passport.

I’ve been assured that I will be OK if I travel directly to Greece, but if I travel to anywhere else in Europe, I’m not sure if I’ll have entry/exit issues.

I have to fly with tickets in the name Justin in order to leave Australia. So, the concern is that if I enter the EU (somewhere other than Greece) on my Greek passport, when its time to exit and return to Australia, will I have issues due to the tickets being in a different name to the passport?

I dont want to have to explain all of this every time I travel. I don’t know if there’s a solution, but looking for anyone who knows how this works and if I’m worrying needlessly.

Thanks, Justin

Kat Reply:

As it says above in sections ‘Documents and fees’ (#9) and ‘How is my Greek name written in Latin?,’ you could have simply requested the name ‘Justin’ be added to your Greek passport with a supporting document. The embassy/consulate should have informed you of this option when you inquired or complained. You can still have it changed by reissuing the passport as commentator ‘Tina’ did (see above on January 26, 2012 at 18:30).

If you come to Greece, you can also pick up a Greek ID, also with the name ‘Justin’ on it, which entitles you to travel within the Schengen/EU zone.

There’s nothing wrong with using your Australian passport in Europe, in fact the majority of border authorities require passengers to use the same passport from start to end on a trip.

  SKS wrote @ January 25th, 2013 at 22:15

I want to help my Greek grandmother who lives in Athens renew (re-issue) her passport so she can visit us in the US. Thanks for the detailed and helpful info you give here. My question is – do you have a sense of whether there are very long delays/problems/additional fees note noted here already given the current crisis in Athens?

Kat Reply:

My information is sourced from actual first-hand experience of Greek citizens. Everything I know with regard to documents, fees and time frames is clearly organized and noted; and all my articles are updated on a rolling basis with news, amendments and feedback. It is the most complete, accurate and current article in existence and was plagiarized by the Greek government for the English version of its official website, then copied by embassies/consulates without my permission.

Delays are usually caused by applicants not having their own records (oikogeneiaki merida) up to date.

If you find something to enrich the article, come back and leave a comment as a way to give back in exchange for the assistance you received. It helps everyone.

  panagiotis wrote @ February 6th, 2013 at 02:15

iam married with a woman from moldova, i have 2 children with greek paspports, my wife involve social services and i cannot see my children. she is with viza of eea family permit in uk, what can i do

Kat Reply:

What can you do regarding what? Seeing your children? Getting a Greek passport and traveling to the UK?

This article is about Greek passports, so your question should pertain to that subject.

  Brett wrote @ February 6th, 2013 at 08:56


My fiance is Greek we live in South Africa and she currently has a Greek passport/citizenship. We would like to know what issues she may encounter if she takes my surname when we get married. Will she encounter problems when trying to re-enter Greece as her new name will not match the records in Greece?

Please explain the issues and how we can overcome these as well as what you would recommend in this situation. She obvioulsy wants to keep her Greek passport.

Thanks for your assistance.


Kat Reply:

Many Greeks living abroad take the name of their spouse without incident. However, I do not represent the Greek government and cannot predict what difficulties she may encounter given so little information.

In general, citizens are required to submit official documents and update their oikogeneiaki merida (family records; she should know what that is) to register the name change, then reissue their travel documents (Greek ID, passport) to match. Please contact and/or visit the Greek consulate/embassy nearest your residence to have them explain it and assist you with the necessary transactions.

  spiro wrote @ February 28th, 2013 at 10:52

Your comment was transferred to, “Greek citizenship by claim of origin, descent or ancestry.”

  alexandra wrote @ April 5th, 2013 at 21:21

hola vivo en los estados unidos y tengo nacionalidad griega por mi mama y su marido,naci en republica dminicana y quiero renobar mi pasaporte,cuales son los pasos a seguir

Kat Reply:

To renew your Greek passport, follow the step-by-step instructions above.

  MJ Scordilis wrote @ May 11th, 2013 at 02:40


i noticed your article was written a few years ago, and i wondered if the information was still pertinent for us in 2013?

my husband is greek and was born in greece. we have a daughter (13 y/o) that we’d like to obtain greek citizenship and a greek passport.

she was born in hawaii–where we currently live and holds an american passsport.

your site is very detailed and amazing…but before we start following all the steps; i wondered if the information is still valid for 2013?

i know that there may always be exceptions to anything with the greek gov’t…but if we can get most everything together before we go to the authorities to start the process, it would be most helpful.

mahalo, MJ :)

Kat Reply:

Quoted from the first section, “Article last updated March 21, 2013. However, answers in Comments reflect a specific case or whatever was true at the time.”

If your daughter does not already have Greek citizenship, she first needs to stake a claim, which is explained in section “Introduction – Who can apply” under the second bullet.

All 300+ articles are in a state of constant update, and I keep this website in my unpaid spare time. See “About” and “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me” for more background.

  spiro wrote @ June 3rd, 2013 at 15:24

I would like to share my recent experience with my greek passport issuance.

After 2 years of getting documents, submitting and waiting i finally got my pistopiko gennisis, greek birth certificate through my parents being Greek.

I contacted the local consulate here in Australia., booked an appointment and went to the interview. I was advised that my greek birth certificate was only valid 5 months from issue date, so not to wait too long to apply.

I turned up for the interview, the passport officer from what i could tell only wanted to converse in Greek, My Greek is fine, so not an issue.

A few things to have ready is, your exact height, I was asked, gave him my height, he looked at me doubting i hadgiven right height and was asked to stand next to the wall to be measured with a tape measure(which turned out to be height i advised him).

Next was slight issue with Photos, getting the right size is not the issue, but face position is, some doubt was placed in ones i submitted, He couldnt offer if they may be rejected by the Passport office in athens, i offered to go the the recommended one next door to the consulate, which did the trick, but he made no offer of saying is photos meet specifications or not, just submit and see what happens was implied.

Name was next issue, I found out both Greek spelling translation and my known name here was put on appliaction, So Spiro or Spyro was submitted with similar slight spelling difference for my surname, i asked him about it, he just replied that how it goes,

The fingerprinting was electronic, which i actually anticipated the finger on an inky pad for some reason.

The whole process took all of 20 minutes. Paid my Aud $120.00, was given a sheet of paper with a barcode,
and was advised was to be contacted by email once passport arrives.

Four weeks later i got an email, advising to go in without an appointment and just pick it up.Which really surprised me as was resigned to waiting at least 3 months.

As i thought my names came though as Spiro or Spyro and the two alternative Spellings of my Surname.
Ihope my experiance helps anyone ready to go for their passport application at a Greek consulate/embassy.

  Christos wrote @ July 1st, 2013 at 01:43

Your question was moved to “American and Greek dual citizenship.”

  Xian wrote @ July 13th, 2013 at 13:10

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

  Annette wrote @ August 2nd, 2013 at 20:18

Your comment/question was moved to “American and Greek dual citizenship,” an article linked in the ‘Introduction’ section above.

  Stephen wrote @ September 6th, 2013 at 16:09

Thanks for an unbelievably comprehensive and helpful site.
My question is regarding the information you posted on Latin spelling of names. Does the new law apply to surnames, as well as first names. The spelling of my surname was “officially” transliterated on my Greek passport, but it’s different from the way it’s legally spelled in the US. it would be helpful to have legal US spelling included as an alternative.


Kat Reply:

Alternative spelling of names is already covered in #9 of section ‘Documents and fees’ and section ‘How is my Greek name written in Latin?’

Commentators above you also shared their successful experience in achieving this when submitting the application or changing it after passport issuance.

  Petros wrote @ October 1st, 2013 at 00:15

Your question was moved to “Greek citizenship by claim of origin, descent or ancestry,” same link given in the above article in section ‘Introduction – Who can apply.’

  George wrote @ December 23rd, 2013 at 17:19

I’m not happy with the Greek passport application process, it has been extremely frustrating the past 3 months. I had made an appointment in London to apply for a new passport and even had the required paperwork sent from Greece. I booked a train ticket for the day of the appointment only to have the embassy call me and cancel the appointment less than 18 hours notice. That’s £82 that I’ve lost. The excuse the embassy gave is that the person that processes passport applications is not available, I argued that it’s ridiculous that only one person can process passport applications.

I then made another appointment to renew my passport at a later date and this time bought refundable train tickets at a cost of £124 in case the embassy cancelled again. All seemed to go well on the day, the paperwork was checked and fees paid and I was told that it would take a month to hear back from the embassy. I was called today and told that the passport application was rejected due to an issue with the photo. I now have to wait another month for the paperwork to be returned from Greece.

I cannot believe how ridiculous the process is to apply for a new Greek passport. In order to apply for the “new biometric” passport:

1.) One has to make an appointment at the local embassy so that fingerprints can be taken.

2.) Provide paperwork that is recent issued from Greece that you are registered at a local municipality. Another BS requirement, surely the “authorities” can verify you without this paper when you apply for the passport, especially if you submit your old passport.

3.) Provide photos that are very specific (I have seen other passport photo requirements for non Greek passports and the Greek passport photo requirement is ridiculous. It’s easier to plan a manned space mission to Mars than to satisfy the requirements for these photos). OK, that’s an over exaggeration but my passport photo was rejected due to light reflected on my forehead, which is hardly noticeable. You can clearly identify my likeness that it definitely me in the photo, no doubt about it. Yet, it was rejected.

I’m even considering applying for a passport in Greece, with the costs of the plane tickets plus a hotel for a week.

Does anyone know how long it will take for a passport to be issued if you apply in Greece?

Do you have to make an appointment to apply for a Greek passport at the local offices in Greece or can you simply walk in and apply in person?

I’m even considering changing my nationality so that I never have to deal with this ridiculous red-tape process for a Greek passport.

Kat Reply:

I get the feeling you didn’t read the article or its comments since your experience mirrors what’s already been stated and the article above already answers your questions.

What you describe is nothing new. It’s been going on for years, and you can see dozens of other readers above you with the same and more severe issues: Spiro, Michael, PH, MrBill, Stefanos, Thanos, Alex, Rosemary, Jo, Simos (who lost his job over it and applied for UK citizenship). Dozens of these people also flew to Greece and applied for passport here to get it done faster.

Section, ‘Processing Time’ for in and outside Greece.

Regarding appointments and walk-ins, see section ‘Where to Apply.’

  Pasco wrote @ December 26th, 2013 at 23:09

I wonder if i could have some advice please.I have dual Greek and South Africa passport.I did 8months greek military service in 2010 and took holiday,i was told verbally not on paper to return in 6months but i did not return as through health reasons i could not go back.I am in the U.K for 10years now and i have not received any reminders to go back to the army.So my Greek passport expired so i sent application from Greek Consulate in London to renew my passport.I was really disappointed to receive a phone call stating my application was declined,passport blocked due to not completing the army hence i cannot get my Greek Passport.I have been traveling like in and out of Greece on several occasions with my Greek ID and no arrests have been made up to now.I want to find out how can i solve this army problem as i have no thoughts of returning to the army to complete due to what it done to me.I had been to the Greek Army Hospital in Greece Athens and doctors did see i was unfit for the army but they still sent me there of 18years old with poor vission.Hope there could be something i could do or even pay a penalty to get off it.Thanks.

Kat Reply:

Being Greek, I’m sure you understand that any transactions done verbally mean nothing. It only matters what you can prove, and that means papers. Your passport application was declined because you don’t have the appropriate military papers to show an exemption or completion.

If you’re ready, the easiest thing to do is visit and contact the Athens office on how you can make amends. If you qualify for an exemption, you can inquire what papers you need and officially file for it, clear your record and then reapply for a passport.

  Ioannis wrote @ April 3rd, 2014 at 11:58

I would like to change my first name, what are the procedures and how long would it take?

Thank you

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough info for me (or anyone) to help you. Inquire at the police station, tax office, transport ministry and lixiarcheio, as all will demand that you provide documents. Once done, don’t forget to submit everything to your oikogeneiaki merida. All best.

  Lina wrote @ April 4th, 2014 at 14:13

Hi basically my friend was borin born in Greece, athens

His parents do not have a Greek citizenship, or have the Greek passport. His parents are both iranian. He was born in Greece, Anthens Athens but moved back to Iran after 6months. He was wondering if he could apple apply for the passport now? Even though he’s not living in Greece? Is their there any possibility that he could apply for the passport now? Does he have the right to the passport or not? Please could you get back to me as soon as possible. If your you’re not sure what the answer would be, if you could guide me to website that could help me out with this problem I would be very grateful.
Many thanks

Kat Reply:

In a word, no.

As it says in section, ‘Introduction – Who can apply,’ only those born in Greece to parents of Greek descent/blood can acquire Greek citizenship, a passport and national ID.

In the same section, there is a link to an article for those not of Greek descent. Since you didn’t click and read before asking your question, see ‘Greek citizenship via naturalization‘ to view the very long list of requirements, including current and many years residency in Greece.

The act of being born in Greece is not enough.

  giannis wrote @ April 20th, 2014 at 16:01

pos boro na vro erotisis sti sinevexi gia apoktisi diabatiriou

  Yannis wrote @ May 21st, 2014 at 14:12

Your comment/question was transferred to, “Ways to get Greek citizenship,” the same link in the article above under section “Intro – Who Can Apply.” I suspect you did not read it or saw that comments were closed, ignored my advice and came here instead.

  Keary wrote @ May 26th, 2014 at 06:41

Great article, very helpful. Just a few questions, does the info listed (particularly the numbered points) relate to U.S citizens only? I’m an Australian trying to obtain my Greek passport as my father was born in Greece.
In relation to point 2.Documents and Verifying Greek Citizenship. If I supply my fathers National ID card as well as his Greek Passport. Will this be sufficent enough infomation to prove I;m eligble for the Greek passport?
I will also supply other documents such as:)
a) My fathers Greek passport and National ID as stated above.
b) My fathers birth certificate
c) My own christening / baptism certificate (Greek Orthodox church in Australia)
d)My parents marriage certificate (Married in Australia in a Greek Orthodox church)
e)copy of my current Australian passport

I’ll make sure to bring originals and copies of all documents.

Is there anything else I might need to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible?

Thanks and kudos on such great infomation again.

Kat Reply:

As it says in the first sentence of the article above, only persons with Greek citizenship can get a Greek passport. You do not have Greek citizenship, so you are not eligible. Period.

This is further clarified in section, ‘Introduction – Who can apply’ where it says: “Only persons with Greek citizenship are eligible to get or renew a Greek passport. Marriage or simply having a Greek ancestor (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandparent) does not automatically grant you one.” In the second bullet of that section, there’s a link to a step-by-step article on how to apply for Greek citizenship through a parent or grandparent.

All articles on this website pertain to everyone. I have special insight as an American, non-EU citizen (same as Australians, Canadians and everyone outside the EU) and woman, but my gender and citizenship have nothing to do with factual requirements and information.

Good luck.

  George wrote @ July 4th, 2014 at 18:37

Kat – thank you for such an extensive look on this painful subject. I am considering getting my Greek passport re-issued in order to get both my first and my middle name translated properly (George Charles, instead of Georgios Karolos ) but I’m a bit hesitant considering how airlines, government departments and various other bodies ask you by default to write your name ‘as written on your passport’. If I go ahead with the transliteration and the translation in the passport, would I have to write down the entire thing when asked that? Or do I get to pick? I’m also a bit curious as to whether other countries employ this method of listing two (or sometimes and in my case, more) names and separating them with ‘OR’. For some reason, I can fully imagine a situation where even the word OR is assumed to be part of the name by some hapless official… Any advice on the matter would be appreciated by all of you. All the best!

Kat Reply:


If you submit the correct documentation showing George Charles and Georgios Karolos, all translated/transliterated/Greek/English names are shown in your passport. This gives you the option to list whatever name suits the situation. Meaning, if your travel docs say ___, you use ___. If your Greek tax docs say ___, you write ___. You don’t need to list every single name.

I understand your concern (LOL, hapless official). Sometimes the post office questions if I’m the same person when they see Kat instead of Katerina, even though this is an obvious shortened version of my original name.

Other countries do employ the OR method because some languages (i.e., Asian, Arabic, Russian, etc.) cannot easily be read by authorities and/or dual citizens often adopt a local/translated name (i.e., My friend George is Jorge in Mexico).

Thanks for your question, and all best.

  Angie wrote @ August 23rd, 2014 at 02:15


I have a feeling I am going to run into some major issues with my two passports (Greek + Australian) once I move from Greece to the UK next year. You guessed it – the names don’t match.

Having been born in Melbourne, my surname is written with a “D” on my birth certificate + Australian passport. Upon coming to Greece and getting an ID card + passport, my surname was wrtten with a “NT” which is also the way it appears in its Latinized version. Naturally, “NT” is not readable in English.

I will have to use my Greek passport nonetheless to get into the UK, but in cases where I would have to present documentation such as birth certificate, the name wouldn’t match my Greek passport. I imagine that, if I use my Australian passport as documentation (even for simple things like opening a bank account), I may be prompted to go through Immigration (or even be considered an illegal immigrant), because I never presented a non-EU Visa to enter the UK in the first place!

The thing is, I don’t like my Greek Latinized surname. Who can read a surname that begins with “NT”?? I don’t even sign that way. But my Greek passport is the only document I have that can get me into another EU country without a Visa.

So my question is: When I get to the UK on my Greek passport, can I generally use my name as it appears on my Australian birth certificate / passport (“D”) or would that cause a problem, as I will have entered the country with a different name (“NT”) as a Greek/EU citizen?


Kat Reply:

I’m not qualified to answer your question as it pertains to UK authorities, and only they can advise. And even then, there may be variation depending on who you talk with and what the situation/document/transaction concerns.

My advice is to have your Greek passport reissued before you move with the name spelled the way you want (to match your Australian documents with a D), as detailed in #9 of section ‘Documents and Fees’ with further explanation in ‘How is my Greek name written in Latin?’ The name in your Greek passport would then be spelled three ways to cover everything: 1) in Greek with Greek letters, 2) in Latin letters, the ELOT 743/ISO 843 way with NT, and 3) in Latin letters, your way with D.

Other commentators have done this successfully without issue, as long as they presented the correct documentation (which I detail above); and Greek authorities pro-rate the fee according to the time remaining on your passport. Take advantage of this option while still in Australia.

All best.

  Hurara wrote @ September 9th, 2014 at 00:32

Hi,I am 14 and half years old and I am a resident in Greece since 1999 when I borned that means that I‘ve was borned here in Greece. And also I live in Greece since I born. My nationality is Pakistani and I want a Greek passport. So my question to you is that can I have a greek passport according to the greek law and if I can what documents do I need to provide to get the Greek passport?

Please reply me as soon is possible because I am very worried about it.

Thank you

Kat Reply:

The answer to your question is in the article.

As it says in section “Introduction – Who can apply,” only people with Greek citizenship are eligible for a Greek passport. The section also gives information on who can apply for Greek citizenship and, at this time, it only includes people of Greek origin/ancestry/blood. The act of being born and/or living in Greece is not enough.

I reply to people when I can, as I am a private citizen. If you require confirmation or more assistance, my taxes pay for state employees to help you at the mayor’s office, KEP or Ministry of Citizen Protection.

  Emma wrote @ October 23rd, 2014 at 07:37

I am Greek citizen and live abroad.
My passport has expired.

Can I travel from Colombia (south america) to greece only with my greek ID Document? Would I have problems at the airport in Athens with an expired passport and only ID Document??

My passport expired april 2012.

Please let me know!!!!!!!


Kat Reply:


As it says in the article ‘Greek ID‘, this document is only good for travel within the EU/Schengen and most countries only recognize the newer version. Further, authorities and many airlines have the right to ask for a biometric passport.

I highly doubt Colombia will allow you to even check in at the front desk, let alone board the plane. This should be your concern, not Athens.

  Eleni wrote @ October 23rd, 2014 at 10:23

One reason to get your Greek passport in Greece if possible, is because it takes longer and costs a lot more to do it at a Greek embassy.

Kat Reply:

This is already discussed above in section ‘Processing time’ and dozens of comments from Greeks in the UK who have been flying here since this article was published in 2007 to avoid horrid waiting times.

  shahid wrote @ December 15th, 2014 at 21:50

How can i get a greek passport if i have a swedish passport or swedish nationality what is the easiest way ?
and are there any requirements for that ?

Kat Reply:

Please read the first sentence and the section called ‘Introduction.’

  Andi wrote @ January 18th, 2015 at 20:26

Hello and thank you very much for putting this up in English.
I am an Albanian citizen who’s parents have obtained Greek citizenship (hence the Greek passport as well) since they are of Greek origin (homogenis). I too have the special Greek ID card which is given to aliens of hellenic descent. I lived in Greece for about 5 years and the past 7 I have been living in another EU country (I have working residence). I am eligible for the Greek passport, however I have refused to take it since I have to do the military service. My question: Can I qualify as a anypotaktos and skip military service and obtain the Greek passport? I dont want to live in Greece in my future. Also, could you please share some more info regarding this anypotaktos law? I visit the local Greek embassy and the representative said there is no such law. Thank you once again for the great job.

Kat Reply:

To qualify for a Greek passport, you need Greek citizenship. I have the impression you don’t have Greek citizenship because Greece forces you to register for the military and file an exemption BEFORE the oikogeneiaki merida is updated that you’re eligible and BEFORE they give you the citizenship certificate to apply for the initial passport, which is explained at “Greek citizenship via descent.” Greece tracks all men of Greek descent/ancestry/origin over the age of 18, regardless if they have a Greek passport. There are also cases where men outside GR are contacted to serve, even when they don’t have Greek citizenship.

There’s no way I can answer your question about an exemption based on so little information. I also don’t represent the Greek military or Greek government, which are the authorities that make the decision.

All my articles are combined with first-hand experience. Because I’m not male or Greek, I need at least three men to contribute their experience to consider researching, writing and updating an article for the life of this website, which I run for free.

I recommend consulting directly with the Greek military and defense authorities. Get in touch via the section ‘Sources & More Info” at the end of the article, “Mandatory military service in Greece.”

  Steven wrote @ January 22nd, 2015 at 12:17

My children recently applied for a Greek passport in Sydney, Australia.

Their Baptism certificates correctly set out their greek names. For example on the baptism certificate my son’s name is Nikolaos.

However his Australian Birth Certificate his name is spelt : Nicholas.

When we tried to use his “Greek Christian Name” the Greek Consulate refused to recognise the Greek name and insisted we use the name on his Australian birth certificate instead. Is there any way we can change his name after registering it in Greece to his Greek name ?

Kat Reply:

It’s not necessary to change them.

Alternative name spellings are allowed, as explained in #9 under section ‘Documents and Fees’ and in section ‘How is my Greek name written in Latin?’ Therefore, I don’t understand why the Greek consulate is refusing to accept them.

Several Greeks who left comments above you and have different spellings on birth certificates were successful in issuing Greek passports with all names covered.

  Ama wrote @ March 12th, 2015 at 09:28

Hello…… Am from africa , married to greek citizen, what document do I need to have greek passport

Kat Reply:

As it says in the first sentence, you must have Greek citizenship to get a Greek passport.

As it says in section Introduction – Who Can Apply, first paragraph after the bullet points, Greek citizenship is not transferable to spouses.

As it says in section Spouses of Greek Citizens, you cannot get a passport or citizenship by marriage alone.

If you already have Greek citizenship, see section How to Apply for a Greek Passport.

Please read these sections. Thank you.

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