Last Updated: Monday, 20 October 2014, 15:44 GMT

Greece: Whether the Ukrainian husband of a Greek citizen can obtain a visa to reside with his wife in Greece; process and likelihood of obtaining the said visa; new rules for spouses of Greek citizens to obtain Greek citizenship (2001 - September 2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 13 October 2005
Citation / Document Symbol GRC100431.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Greece: Whether the Ukrainian husband of a Greek citizen can obtain a visa to reside with his wife in Greece; process and likelihood of obtaining the said visa; new rules for spouses of Greek citizens to obtain Greek citizenship (2001 - September 2005) , 13 October 2005, GRC100431.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147f22.html [accessed 21 October 2014]
Comments Corrected version March 2007
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.

Greek Visa

According to the Websites of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Greece in Washington, citizens of the Ukraine require a visa to enter Greece (Greece n.d.a; ibid. n.d.b). The Website of the Embassy of Greece in the United Kingdom states that if the spouse of a Ukrainian citizen has a European passport, the Ukrainian citizen may be issued a Schengen visa to enter Greece without charge (ibid. n.d.c). A Schengen visa allows one to travel without border controls within a zone of fifteen European countries that have agreed "to end internal border checkpoints and controls" (EuroVisa.info n.d.a; ibid. n.d.b). Signatories to the Schengen Agreement are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden (ibid. n.d.a; MPI 1 Oct. 2005).

A consular officer with the Embassy of Greece in Ottawa confirmed in 3 October 2005 correspondence to the Research Directorate that a Ukrainian citizen with a spouse having Greek citizenship may obtain free of charge a Type D National Visa, which is a single entry visa valid for three months and includes a single transit Schengen visa. The consular officer also explained that the husband or wife of any Greek citizen is eligible to apply for the Type D National Visa (Greece 3 Oct. 2005a). Commenting on the English translation of Subsection 4 of Article 33 of Law 2910/2001 found on the UNHCR Refworld Website, which reads as follows:

Members of the family of the Greek or of the European Union citizen are considered:

a. his spouse

b. his single children below 21

c. his parents provided they live with him (ibid. 2001),

the consular officer at the Embassy of Greece in Ottawa stated that there is an omission of "or her" and "their" in several places, causing confusion and making it seem as though there is a gender bias to the law, which is not the case (3 Oct. 2005b). The consular officer clarified that "in point (a) the Greek text includes terms "his/her", in point (b) the Greek text includes [the] term "their" and in point (c) the Greek text includes terms "his/her"" (Greece 3 Oct. 2005b).

In order to obtain the Type D National visa, the consular officer at the Embassy of Greece in Ottawa advised that a Ukrainian citizen must appear with his or her Greek spouse at a Greek consulate located in the country in which the Ukrainian citizen has citizenship or permanent resident status and must submit the following documents: a valid passport or travel document recognized by Greece, a certified copy of his or her spouse's Greek identification card, a copy of the marriage certificate from the Special Athens registry confirming registration of the marriage, and a copy of a family status certificate, attesting to family registration in a Greek municipality (ibid.). The Website of the Embassy of Greece in the United Kingdom states that upon applying for a Greek visa, a Ukrainian citizen with a spouse holding a European Union passport must submit his or her own passport, which must contain a valid residence permit issued in the United Kingdom, the European Union passport of the spouse, a signed and completed application form, two recent "passport sized" photographs and their original marriage certificate or child's original birth certificate "as appropriate" (Greece n.d.c). The time required to obtain such a visa can range between one day and several weeks (Greece 3 Oct. 2005a; ibid. n.d.c).

In order to remain in Greece longer than the visa duration period, holders of the Type D National Visa must apply for a "permit of stay" at least two months before the expiry of their visa (Greece 3 Oct. 2005a). This permit of stay secures the right of lawful stay in and re-entry into Greece, as well as unobstructed entry to the Schengen area for ninety days per six-month period (ibid.).

A person may be denied a visa for the following reasons: submission of inadequate documentation, submission to a consulate of a country in which the applicant does not have citizenship or permanent resident status, and marriage to a Greek citizen for the purposes of obtaining a stay permit or Greek citizenship (ibid.). Rejected applicants are entitled to an explanation of the decision if they are a spouse, minor child or parent of a citizen of a European Union member state (Greece 2001 Art. 7.1).

Please note that a new law on the entry, stay and social integration of non-European citizens in Greece, Law no. 3386/23-8-2005, was published in the Greek Government Gazette on 23 August 2005 and will come into effect on 1 January 2006 (Greece 3 Oct. 2005a).

Greek Citizenship

With regard to citizenship procedures, a consular officer at the Embassy of Greece in Ottawa stated in a 3 October 2005 telephone interview with the Research Directorate that Law 2910/2001 entitled "Entry and Stay of Aliens in Greek Territory, Acquisition of Greek Citizenship by Naturalisation and Other Provisions" governed citizenship acquisition rules and procedures from 2001 to 9 November 2004 and Law 3284/2004 entitled "Code of Greek Citizenship" has governed citizenship acquisition rules and procedures since 10 November 2004.

From 2001 to 9 November 2004, the spouse of a male or female Greek citizen may have applied for citizenship only after having legally resided in Greece for a total of ten years within the last twelve years and must have also had "sufficient" command of the Greek language and knowledge of Greek history and Greek culture (ibid. 2001 Art. 58.2). To become a naturalized Greek citizen the applicant must have submitted the following:

– an application for natuaralisation...

– a declaration of naturalization...made before the mayor of the municipality or president of the community, in the presence of two Greek citizens as witnesses;

– a bond in the amount of five hundred thousand Drachmas, [approximately CDN $2050.00 (xe.com 4 Oct. 2005)]...

– copy of passport or travel document...

– stay permit or other certificate of legal stay in Greece;

– certificate of birth or baptism...

– tax review form or copy of the income tax return for the last financial year; and

– a certificate of fingerprint identification by the police station of [their] residence (ibid. Art. 59.1).

The consular officer commented that the naturalization process in effect under Law 3284/2004 since 10 November 2004 is "slightly" different than the naturalization process that was in effect up to that date under Law 2910/2001 (Greece 3 Oct. 2005). Since the English translation of Law 3284/2004 is not yet available, the consular officer could only make general comments on the difference between these two laws (ibid. 13 Oct. 2005). The consular officer explained that with respect to citizenship acquisition, whereas before 10 November 2004 the spouse of a male or female Greek citizen must have resided in Greece for ten of the past twelve years before submitting an application for citizenship, after 10 November 2004 the spouse of a male or female Greek citizen was entitled to apply for Greek citizenship if they had bore a child with their Greek spouse and they had resided in Greece for at least three years since their marriage (ibid.).

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 additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

EuroVisa.info. N.d.a. "What are the Schengen Countries?" [Accessed 3 Oct. 2005]
_____. N.d.b. "What is a Schengen Visa?" [Accessed 3 Oct. 2005]

Greece. 13 October 2005. Embassy of Greece, Ottawa. Telephone interview with a consular officer.
_____. 3 October 2005a. Embassy of Greece, Ottawa. Correspondence from a consular officer.
_____. 3 October 2005b. Embassy of Greece, Ottawa. Telephone interview with a consular officer.
_____. 2001. Entry and Stay of Aliens in Greek Territory, Acquisition of Greek Citizenship by Naturalisation and Other Provisions (Law 2910/2001). (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Website) < http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf?tbl=RSDLEGAL&id=3b209fd54>

[Accessed 3 October 2005]
_____. N.d.a. Embassy of Greece, Washington. "Visa Information." [Accessed 26 Sept. 2005]
_____. N.d.b. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Visa Information." [Accessed 7 Sept. 2005]
_____. N.d.c. Embassy of Greece , United Kingdom, Consular Affairs. "General Information on Schengen Short Term Visas." [Accessed 7 Sept. 2005]

Migration Policy Institute (MPI). 1 October 2005. Julia Gelatt. "Schengen and the Free Movement of People across Europe." Migration Information Source. [Accessed 3 Oct. 2005]

Xe.com. 4 October 2005. "Universal Currency Converter Results." [Accessed 4 Oct. 2005]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Embassy of Greece in Washington, European Country of Origin Information Network, Europa, Legislation Online, Lexis-Nexis, World News Connection.

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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