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Greece: Requirements and procedures to acquire citizenship, including through the process of naturalization

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 19 February 2014
Citation / Document Symbol GRC104755.E
Related Document Grèce : information sur les exigences et la marche à suivre pour obtenir la citoyenneté, y compris au moyen de la naturalisation
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Greece: Requirements and procedures to acquire citizenship, including through the process of naturalization, 19 February 2014, GRC104755.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/53b1382f4.html [accessed 29 September 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Greek Citizenship

The 2004 Greek Citizenship Code (consolidated version 2010) outlines the requirements and procedures to acquire Greek citizenship, and a copy is attached to this Response (Greece 2004).

In his research paper, entitled Naturalisation Procedures for Immigrants: Greece, published in 2013 by the EUDO Observatory on Citizenship, part of the European Union Observatory on Democracy (EUDO), Dimitris Christopoulos, who specializes in issues related to citizenship, migrants and human rights, discusses amendments to the legislation under Law 3838/2010 (Christopoulos Feb. 2013, 1), pointing out that, under the transitional provisions of those amendments,

all the applications submitted before the amendment came into force should be examined within a three-year period. About 8000 applications submitted over the last 10 years are still pending. This deadline expires in March 2013 and of course, there isn't the slightest possibility of honouring this commitment. Therefore, this time frame will get an extension. (ibid., 3)

Moreover,

the [2010 amendment] naturalisations are not processed in accordance with the substantive provisions of the law, which primarily provides for foreign nationals an EC long-term residence as such [residence] titles are no longer awarded to Greece, because for several years now no funds can be allocated for the certification of their knowledge of the Greek language. This certification is a prerequisite for the acquisition of the title. The holders of these titles are still under a thousand out of a total of approximately 250,000 immigrants who meet the conditions for the acquisition of this title. ... This will, of course, continue for as long as the Greek state is not able to issue long-term resident permits in measurable numbers. (ibid.)

Christopoulos further notes that the new law is "more realistic ..., but it is simultaneously demanding; in some of its provisions, even more demanding [for immigrants] than the previous scheme" (ibid.). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. For more information on the 2004 Greek Citizenship Code, see Section 2 of Response to Information Request GRC104538.

2. Naturalization Procedures

Sections 3 and 4 of Naturalisation Procedures for Immigrants: Greece provide information on naturalization procedures and a copy is attached to this Response (ibid., 6-8).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Christopoulos, Dimitris. February 2013. Naturalisation Procedures for Immigrants: Greece. Florence: EUDO Observatory on Citizenship. (RSCAS/EUDO-CIT-NP 2013/9) [Accessed 29 Jan. 2014]

Greece. 2004 (consolidated version 2010). Law 3284/2004 Greek Nationality Code. Translated by Haris Psarras, PhD student, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, for EUDO Citizenship. [Accessed 29 Jan. 2014]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact the following organizations were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: Canada - Embassy of Canada to Greece in Athens; Greece - embassies of Greece in Ottawa and Washington, DC, Ministry of Interior; Greek Council for Refugees; Vardikos & Vardikos Law Firm in Athens.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Athens News; Athens Times; Balkan Human Rights Web; Balkan Insight; Constandinidou International Family Law; Council of Europe; ecoi.net; European Commission; EUR-lex; European Council of Refugees and Exiles; Factiva; Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme; Freedom House; Greece - embassies of Greece in London, UK, Ottawa and Washington, DC, Ermis.gov.gr, Ministry of Interior, Ombudsman; Greek Council for Refugees; Greek Herald; Human Rights Watch; Legislationline; Minority Rights Group International; Multiplecitizenship.com; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Research Institute for European and American Studies; United Nations - Integrated Regional Information Networks, Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Refworld, UN Development Program, UN Women; United States - Department of State, Embassy of the United States in Athens; World Council for Hellenes Abroad.

Attachments

1. Christopoulos, Dimitris. February 2013. Naturalisation Procedures for Immigrants: Greece. Florence: EUDO Observatory on Citizenship. (RSCAS/EUDO-CIT-NP 2013/9) [Accessed 29 Jan. 2014]

2. Greece. 2004 (consolidated version 2010). Law 3284/2004 Greek Nationality Code. Translated by Haris Psarras, PhD student, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, for EUDO Citizenship. [Accessed 29 Jan. 2014]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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